Returning with new material ahead of their sixth album, the electronic eccentrics remain as colourful as their patchwork jackets
During the insistent shimmy of their 2012 track Flutes, four members of Hot Chip have assembled in a line behind their keyboard stacks for a dance routine, rotating in time to the skipping-song beat. Meanwhile, a beaming man hugs me and plants a smacker on top of my head. It is hands-on proof that the veteran pop eccentrics can create an infectious atmosphere of dancefloor camaraderie even in a chilly warehouse on a rainy Scottish night.
Ahead of a summer bulging with festival dates in the UK and beyond comes this brief jaunt round relatively small venues, featuring some Hot Chip material fresh from the fryer. The London five-piece (who bulk up to seven on the road) play three new songs tonight, presumably from the follow-up to their sixth album Why Make Sense? They are experimenting with new team branding, too, sporting patchwork jackets daubed in spray-can green and pink, an eye-catching colour scheme that extends to singer Alexis Taylor’s hair.
Squint and they could be wearing spattered lab coats, which feels appropriate. Their knack for bringing humanism to house-inflected electronica means Hot Chip belong in the same bracket as self-effacing Brit tinkerers such as Nick Park and Oliver Postgate. They construct club bangers with the appealingly handmade feel of the Clangers, exemplified by the bric-a-brac funk of Over and Over. That metronomic 2006 earworm triggers the biggest cheer of the night.