O2 Academy, Bristol | October 15th
With our first trip to the bar navigated whilst presumably only a couple of songs into the evening, Bristol’s O2 Academy is already filled to the brim on a miserable, rainy Monday night for Django Django’s opening set. Recognising the slashing guitar line of Wor, we enthusiastically make our way to the front.
Anyone imagining that the juxtaposition of these two bands may seem a tad strange could be forgiven for thinking so, but in reality there is plenty to mark out Django Django as an ideal addition to the occasion. They were personally invited onto the Bristol, Southampton and Brixton legs of the eight show UK tour by Hot Chip themselves, a fact announced by visibly grateful vocalist Vincent Neff. The band have had a stellar year, with the release of their lauded self titled album and its subsequent Mercury Prize nomination, and it was clear from their energy and constantly smiling faces that the band are riding the crest of a wave at the moment, the best time to see a band live.
More than a handful of the crowd are purely there to catch the headliners, but Zumm Zumm does well to implore those not nodding their heads that they’ve ‘got to get to know, got to get to know’ before Crack’s personal favourite Waveforms oscillates its way into our ears. The obvious connection between the two bands tonight is that both share the ability to create perfectly formed, off-kilter pop music, illustrated perfectly by Hail Bop, which can’t help but summon up comparisons to the Beach Boys. High praise, really.
Hot Chip open their headline slot with Boy From School from the breakthrough 2006 album The Warning, swiftly followed by the title-track to 2010‘s One Life Stand. This quickly diminishes any fears from some attendees that they would ‘only play the new record’. Of what they do showcase from the new album, Night and Day is an early highlight – admittedly sounding almost strange due to how often the Dusky remix had been played out in clubs over the summer – but that said, they concentrate mainly on tracks spread evenly across the three previous records, with Crap Kraft Dinner, Hold On and Brothers all getting an airing much to the crowd’s delight.
Two interesting additions to their live performance are tracks that are not their own. Joe Goddard’s rendition of John Beck and Valentina’s Gabriel makes a surprise appearance; make your own mind up on whether that is due respect from his fellow bandmates or a diva-like request to play his own material. Either way it goes down well with the fans that know, but one of the bigger shouts of the evening goes to an inspired mash-up of Ready To The Floor and Fleetwood Mac’s Everywhere, no doubt stemming from years of festival appearances. In fact, for a few minutes Crack is transported to a sunny field on the Isle of Wight or a small town in Somerset, probably due to the sweltering heat in the O2 (and the local accents). Hot Chip really are a band that aim to please, and when Over and Over drops (which they must be tiring of playing over and over by now, judging by frontman Alexis’s adaption of the vocal up to and including leaving it altogether for a moment) the crowd really takes off, and it’s time for Crack to get down and make like a monkey with a miniature symbol. All in all, a great way to spend a rainy Monday evening.
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Words and Photos: ‘Artbeats