Hot Chip: ‘Playing a London festival is always an exciting prospect’

Hot Chip play All Points East on Friday, May 24. Picture: Ronald Dick.

Hot Chip play All Points East on Friday, May 24. Picture: Ronald Dick. - Credit: Archant

Hot Chip are back and so are the memories of dancing around sweaty basement clubs, and blasting their songs in the car, and watching their catalogue of bizarre music videos. The joy of repetition really is in you.

Owen Clarke (left) performs live with Hot Chip. Picture: Mike Burnell.

Owen Clarke (left) performs live with Hot Chip. Picture: Mike Burnell. - Credit: Archant

Hot Chip are back playing sold-out shows and releasing a new album - A Bath Full of Ecstasy, on June 21 - their seventh record in total and the first since Why Make Sense came out in 2015. Before that, though, a date with Victoria Park and All Points East festival beckons.

"London festivals are very important for us," says guitarist Owen Clarke.

"I don't think Hot Chip would exist without London - and that pool of influences you get from a city like this. You only have to go for a walk on a summer's day to hear so many different types of music coming from people's cars. Playing a London festival is always an exciting prospect."

The five-piece group will take the stage next Friday (May 24) in top form. They've just played 13 sold-out shows on the spin, introducing new material and performing their fan-favourite anthems to crowds from Bristol to Paris, New York to San Francisco.

The band have announced an autumn tour to coincide with the release of their new album. Picture: Ron

The band have announced an autumn tour to coincide with the release of their new album. Picture: Ronald Dick. - Credit: Archant

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The electropop stars have also announced their biggest ever headline tour of the UK, Europe and North America for the autumn, to go with a busy festival schedule which includes dates at Glastonbury and Belgium's Pukkelpop.

"We've been working on the (new) record for a while; you go through a period when the album is done and you are waiting, preparing the record for release," continues Clarke.

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"It feels good to get out and do some shows that bring these songs to life. (Before) they are just your things, and then you get to play them out and make them feel proper, as well as revisit some older songs."

Formed in 2000 by Alexis Taylor and Joe Goddard - who met at school in Putney - Clarke, Felix Martin and Al Doyle joined soon after to complete the Hot Chip line-up that continues to endure all these years later. Their second and third LPs The Warning and Made in the Dark produced Top 40 singles in the shape of Ready For The Floor and Over & Over, and three further albums of infectious, indie dance music have since followed.

The group released details of the new album alongside the video for lead single Hungry Child (which is, quite frankly, brilliant) in April. It was recorded in Paris and London and features input from two producers: Philippe Zdar and Rodaidh McDonald.

"Rodaidh was really good at getting us to think about the song-writing," says Goddard, "especially on 'Melody of Love.'

"He was quite ruthless - 'is this verse too long? Do we have to write something stronger? We should get to the chorus faster.' He pushed us to be more ambitious."

Hot Chip will take one of the showpiece sets for the opening day of All Points East 2019 - sandwiched between Primal Scream and headliners The Chemical Brothers - and Clarke is keen to kick-start their summer of outdoor shows.

"Festivals are an opportunity - without getting too emotional - to have a moment with the crowd," he says.

"The sets we've been playing on this run of shows are slightly shorter. The All Points East set duration will be similar. (Playing day one) is fresh, there's always a lot of energy on the first day.

"It's always fun to throw in something people aren't expecting - something that is unique to the occasion."

"In terms of mindset - it's different for a band at a festival (compared to a standard gig). Every festival has its own personality.

"When you're at a festival, there could be fire-breathers, interesting food, an act you've always wanted to see, or another act on the same wavelength (as you) - there's a freshness in not knowing the situation. There's a buzz and anticipation about it that's different to playing your own show."

Retaining a reputation as an important band for close to two decades is not easily done. But with the release of their typically creative and absorbing new music video, a clutch of festival appearances and a packed autumn tour, there's no sign of Hot Chip easing off the accelerator.

"Twenty years is a long time but when you release a record it has a life cycle of maybe two, so it's all relative," adds Clarke. "For anyone working in music that's pretty good going."

"We feel that while a lot of it is down to hard work, there's a big degree of luck and support from people going to shows, buying records and being involved.

"We're thankful to be in this position to keep making music, and basically do what we enjoy doing. I'm not saying we'll be here for another 20, but this is still great fun."

Hot Chip play All Points East on Friday, May 24. For more details and tickets, click here.

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