Far Out made its return to club-come-gig-venue Gorilla on Manchester’s Whitworth Street to catch an intimate album launch celebration from one of the last decade’s most consistent pop bands.

Hot Chip rose to prominence a decade ago now, with their profile really exploding thanks to the Mercury-nominated record The Warning.

But since then four more have followed, including Why Make Sense? – the new effort that gets a healthy showcasing on the live stage tonight.

There really is a huge sense of occasion and palatable buzz of excitement from the audience given that they have been presented with an extremely rare chance to catch a band of this stature in a venue with such a modest capacity.

And it doesn’t take long for this anticipation to overspill into complete euphoria. The first bars of recent single ‘Hurrache Lights’ are more than enough to get the 300-capacity crowd bouncing in unison.

The band have blended their trademark broth of pop melodies, electro beats and disco-style sensibility with a greater influence from the floor-filling house of the 90s on the new record – a factor that only makes for a more unadulterated rave on the night.

What’s more, they look like they’re bloody enjoying themselves, rather than getting hung up on how the new tunes are being received on their first outing – just for the record, the answer is pretty damn well.

Some of the most encapsulating moments on any Hot Chip album often come when frontman Alexis Taylor takes the tempo down and lays his heart on the line. There are glimpses in the set when Hot Chip dip their toes into this area of their work, but on a sizzling night when in all honesty this crowd are looking for all-out hedonism, these numbers don’t quite work as well on the live stage.

If ever there was a band with plenty in their arsenal to accelerate the heartrate of the audience in a flash, however, Hot Chip are the ones to do it. Queue ‘Over and Over’… Gorilla goes ballistic.

From there the hits just keep on coming. ‘Ready For the Floor’ leaves some gasping for air as the sweltering venue reaches boiling point and new single ‘Need You Now’ has instantly become a centre piece of the set despite its short life.

The new album’s title track brings the main set to a close, but this crowd are going nowhere without an encore, and boy do they get a a real show stopper to leave with.

‘Made in the Dark’ and ‘Alley Cats’ are two moments of rave-tinged perfection, but it is the closer – a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s iconic ‘Dancing in the Dark’ – that comes as a mesmerising surprise.

It requires balls to sign out with a rendition of such a classic, and if this show at Gorilla has been something of a ‘tester’ for the new material, we couldn’t have guessed, as it is just too difficult to pick out any kind of a dud moment. Here’s to another decade of Hot Chip letting us into their world.

Patrick Davies

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