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Hot Chip are just faultless

Entertainment | Published:

Back in 2006, this London-based group played Birmingham's Irish Centre – a curious venue with one small bar, 70s style carpet and handpainted murals of the Emerald Isle on its walls.

Hot Chip

O2 Academy, Birmingham

Back in 2006, this London-based group played Birmingham's Irish Centre – a curious venue with one small bar, 70s style carpet and handpainted murals of the Emerald Isle on its walls.

At the time, cramped behind a keyboard on the tiny stage he was sharing with founder member Joe Goddard and three other band-mates, Alexis Taylor, lead vocalist with Hot Chip, quipped: "Welcome to the venue that time forgot."

How things have changed. Now, with four albums under their belts and a string of hits, the group's capacity crowd at the Academy proved just how far Alexis and his bandmates have come from such humble beginnings.

From the opening track, a reworked version of Boy From School, from second album The Warning, Hot Chip went on to perform a faultless set, Alexis' heartfelt lyrics and melodic vocals underpinned by a relentless bass-heavy beat and synths.

As a venue, The Academy suited the group perfectly, a superb sound system pounding out Hot Chip's four-to-the-floor dance rhythms with ease.

The first hands-in-the-air moment came when the group launched into One Pure Thought, from previous album Made In the Dark, but songs from current album One Life Stand were greeted just as enthusiastically, highlights being the title track itself and Brothers, a tune with a naggingly catchy chorus and sentiments that in anyone else's hands would be the ripest cheese in the deli.

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Older material too was met with cheers from an enthusiastic crowd, with tracks such as No Fit Shape and Over And Over, sending the audience into a frenzy. When Joe Goddard informed the crowd that his dad was from Birmingham, before inviting everyone to an after party at The Hare and Hounds in nearby Kings Heath, there was a real bond between audience and performers.

Hot Chip's continued success lies in the way the group manages to weld predominantly electronic sounds with the warmth of emotion - behind synthetic beats, thuds a human heart.

And, as encore track Ready For The Floor sent the audience into euphoria once again, it was clear that Hot Chip have left the smaller venues behind and are more than ready for the world.

By Chris Davies.

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