It goes without saying that different gigs come with entirely different atmospheres. As the rock staple that is Download Festival wraps up for another year, tonight the Leadmill showcases a very different kind of music, and the venue feels almost as if it’s gearing up for a club night rather than a gig.
But that’s to be expected. With support from the 2 Bears, Hot Chip certainly know how to get a crowd excited. The main room is rammed, with a few people still milling around in the side room watching the football, and it’s obvious that tonight is a sell out. This is Hot Chip’s first gig showcasing new material, and everyone is waiting with bated breath to see how their new favourite track will be transformed live.
It’s safe to say that nobody leaves disappointed. Hot Chip launch into ‘Motion Sickness’ taken from their latest album, In Our Heads. The night brings us tunes from across Hot Chip’s back catalogue, but a good half of the setlist is focussed on songs that are being played live for the first time. Particular highlights are the spectacular ‘Flutes’ and first single ‘Night and Day’. For the latter, the darkened room glows with an intermittent blue light, and the atmosphere becomes the kind of thing you only ever see replicated in dodgy club night scenes on TV – except this is real. It’s a special moment, and the crowd clearly realises it.
Hot Chip aren’t an especially chatty bunch, but they take the time to introduce new drummer Sarah Jones, whose first gig this is. She fits in with the group well, and there aren’t any noticeable technical or musical problems during the set, even when they launch into a sped-up rendition of fan favourite ‘Over and Over’.
As part of the encore, we’re treated to a fantastic cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Everywhere’, alongside the classic ‘Ready for the Floor’ and ‘Let Me Be Him’, another new song. It’s a fantastic way to finish the gig, but for a large portion of the audience, the night’s just beginning, with The 2 Bears returning to DJ until the early hours.