REVIEW: HOT CHIP + DJANGO DJANGO AT BRISTOL O2 ACADEMY (15/10/12)
Fresh from the release of their fifth studio album ‘In Our Heads’ back in June, Hot Chip descend upon Bristol but not without some hefty special guests. Mercury nominated quartet Django Django will be opening this evenings events, which gives the show a rather double headliner feeling. Or maybe it’s just that I’m just as excited to see the support (and see what all the fuss is about)
The O2 Academy isn’t one of my favourite venues in Bristol and I find that it often hinders the show somewhat. Again, this could be due to my height and/or lack of tolerance for shouty 17-year-olds but nevertheless, the atmosphere this evening is rather pleasant. Brimming with excitable young things and veteran fans, the anticipation is well under way by the time Django Django take to the stage.
Opening with a mirage of beats, guitars, bass, synths and possibly the biggest tambourine the guys instantly evoke a sense of originality, spontaneity and enjoyment. Lead singer Vincent Neff is polite and cautious towards the crowd, which sometimes comes across as a little awkward at times. Although, this modesty is a charming aspect of the gig and shows that the band haven’t let said nomination go to their heads.
Single ‘Default’ gets a roaring reception from the enthusiastic bunch in the middle of the venue and rightly so, as Django Django effortlessly mix a cocktail of indie, pop and electro. Some may say it has a ‘total 80s vibe’ but the band deserve much more than that; this is a band that are experimenting and blending genres and you know what? It completely works.
After a swift changeover, the lights go out to signify the beginning of Hot Chip’s set. Shuffling on stage to a series of whoops and yelps, the band dive straight into their definitive electro-pop. Well-known numbers such as ‘Over and Over’ and ‘One Life Stand’ obviously get the crowd going and for a moment, it seems as though everyone has forgotten it’s a Monday night.
However, it’s songs from the latest album that really stand out. ‘Night & Day’ – which has a most excellent video directed by the one and only Peter Serafinowitcz – battles Hot Chip’s back catalogue as their most catchy tune to date and the crowd certainly agree. There’s a few surprises too, as they play some of their lesser known songs from years gone by including the title track from their second LP ‘The Warning.’
Despite their poppy numbers getting the crowd into a tizzy, the show does go on a little too long. At 2 hours, the band are able to include lesser known gems that the audience aren’t that into subsequently killing the vibe a little bit. Lead singer Alexis Taylor doesn’t do much as a front man and often wanders around the stage whilst he sings, invoking a slight arrogance. At one very hot point, Alexis places a towel on his head and doesn’t remove it for an entire song. Wait, wouldn’t that make you even hotter?
Despite a few glitches, Hot Chip prove that they’re still the reigning Kings of the dance floor. Just maybe make it 90 minutes next time guys.
Words: Sammy Maine
Photo: Laura Palmer
by 247 Magazine