Live Review: Hot Chip, Empress Of

30 January 2016 | 7:41 pm | Craig English

'No other band on Earth has the right to cover James Murphy’s masterpiece All My Friends'

More Hot Chip More Hot Chip

Lorely Rodriguez (aka New York City’s Empress Of) almost burst at the seams with inimitable flair, preferring to throw her musically brainstormed ideas into the crowd like an angry artist battering their canvas with paint rather than arrange them into anything resembling a formula or neatly packaged product – and it totally played to her advantage.

It gave everyone a surprisingly insightful glimpse into what Karin Dreijer Andersson would sound like on uppers. Her gilded voice repeating “I just need myself to love myself” over an arpeggiated harpsichord melody was as honest a personal statement as she’d make, all night; instead, she lay shrouded in her impressively complex beats and let her music do the talking. A stark identity eludes her, but it’s that very enigma that makes her so alluring and one to watch in the coming months.

This was the last time UK mischief-makers Hot Chip would be playing together for a good while, and they made no mistake about overloading the revelrous crowd with everything they had. The pulsating bass of opener Huarache Lights just about tore a hole in the fabric of space-time and deftly maintaining the intensity with One Life Stand proved just how pedestrian an exercise that really was for them. For the last few years, drummer Sarah Jones has provided the backbone for their live shows - her unwaveringly tight technique driving the energy behind Flutes and 2006 classic Over And Over. Need You Now, from last year’s Why Make Sense? continued their exploration of early '90s dance, weaving a bit of romance – the underlying theme of most Hot Chip songs - into the evening.

As is always the case whenever you’re having a metric shit-ton of fun, the main event zipped by in a flash, leaving the crowd wholly unsatisfied, and in spite of their inability to rouse a decent ruckus for an encore (undoubtedly owing to fatigue from too much elated dancing), the band returned to close with And I Was A Boy From School and the most ecstatically joyous cover imaginable of Dancing In The Dark, the latter half of which saw Al Doyle front the mic as the song morphed into LCD Soundsystem’s All My Friends. It could be argued that no other band on Earth has the right to cover James Murphy’s masterpiece, and on a night like this, it had to be done. Gigs like these are what summer was invented for.