Live Review: Hot Chip (Support Act = Casio Kids), 13/02/2010

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Reviewed by Ali Quaile

Norwegian band Casiokids bravely opened for Hot Chip at the HMV Picture house last Saturday. A relatively new band they did well to please the fans of one of the UK’s most popular electropop acts. The vocals which are entirely in Norwegian didn’t seem to put people off as their exuberant stage presence made for an enjoyable set. Despite this however, their focus on an array of eclectic electronic sounds seemed to deviate from the coherence of the music as a whole and as a result there were moments where the music sounded a bit sloppy and confused with too many contradictory sounds. A band definitely to look out for in the future and to do them justice they are still in their early stages and have already come a huge way in such a short time although I feel that they need to focus on the basic structure of their song writing before experimenting with different sounds/instruments.

As a warm blue light filled the stage Hot Chip emerged to hungry fans, their array of synthesizer’s, guitars and the latest addition of steel drums made for quite a spectacle. The thump of the kick drum announced the start of the set as they broke into the opening song ‘Thieves in the Night’ from their latest effort ‘One Life Stand’. The perfect start to a Saturday night the crowd were ecstatic from the get go with the impeccable blend of dancey and affable numbers appealing to everyone. Having just released a new album the set list as would be expected reflected this with highlights including ‘Brothers’ which they claimed was the first time they had played live and was beautiful with the gentle trumpet from Al Doyle. ‘Alley Cats’ another personal favourite from the latest album provided a mellow contrast to the more disco-house orientated songs such as ‘One Life Stand’ and ‘Take It In’.

Perhaps the highlight of the show was the alteration of some of their more classic songs which gave the audience a pleasant surprise. It’s always a bit depressing when a band reproduces their songs sound for sound when played live and the best live acts are those that add something different to the songs to satisfy the fans. In this case the addition of steel drums to the intro of ‘And there was a Boy from School’ was a refreshing change whilst in the case of ‘Ready For the Floor there was a completely different intro altogether and it was only when Alexis Taylor broke in with ‘Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it do it now’ that the audience acknowledged what song it was. Other songs which the crowd loved include ‘I Feel Better’ from the latest album which really got them going and ‘Hold On’ from ‘Made in the Dark’ where a sea of people filling the 1,500 person capacity of the picture house bopping along was quite a sight.

A terrific show to mark an excellent album although their choice of ordering of songs was a bit confusing. As they left the stage before the encore one was left wondering what they would play having already given us the likes of their most popular records and thus it seemed a strange choice to be playing tracks such as ’Slush’ which I really don’t rate very highly in what should have been the pinnacle of their set. Apart from this their actual playing cannot really be faulted and so it is not something that should really be questioned in relation to their overall performance which was far above par.

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