A GUEST POSTING by jimdoes

Ok, this is an unashamedly ‘greatest hits’ based ICA. Because Hot Chip are definitely more of a singles band – their albums are good but, much as I love their music, I don’t think they’ve ever released a truly great album. Whereas I think a ‘best of greatest hits’ would be incredible. If I was introducing someone to the magic of Hot Chip I’d always go with the singles so that’s what I’ve mostly done here – they are always so good and guaranteed to get me dancing. The lead track “Hungry Child” off their new album perfectly illustrates my point – it’s brilliant!

But there are so many good songs, it’s hard for me to cut it down to ten tracks – so I’ve just gone with all my favourites. Hot Chip are one of those bands that remind me of my closest group of friends – they all love them and we’ve all screamed, shouted, whistled, danced and hugged each other while watching them live more times than I can remember.


1) Ready For The Floor (From Made In The Dark)

Do it do it do it do it now. For Lola my daughter – she first saw Hot Chip when she was 13 – all rave paint and glow sticks at LoveBox.

2) Boy From School (From The Warning)

I’ve no idea why but it took me a while to warm to Hot Chip. Alexis Taylor hasn’t got the strongest voice and they don’t look cool and are just not very rock n roll. And they are not as full-on ravey as the likes of Underworld and Orbital – I guess they fall somewhere between dance and indie without being either. Anyway I hated this song when I first heard it but my friend Suzy always liked them and kept playing this song to me until I was converted.

3) Flutes + Flutes (Sasha remix) (From In Our Heads)

Bit of a cheat here – the original is great but the Sasha remix takes the song into a whole new territory. For my brother Simon as he likes a bit of a dance to this one.

4) Huarache Lights (From Why Make Sense)

Named after a type of Nike Trainer. But the song’s not about shoes. Singer Alexis Taylor explains it as, “It’s about the joy of playing a show. The image of Huarache trainers seemed to sum up how something meaningless can encapsulate the happiness of a moment.” What a lovely thought. For Anna – who I’ve never seen Hot Chip with but she loves them too.

5 One Life Stand (From One Life Stand)

Romantic and soppy – a song with a great sentiment. For Lucie, my wife.

6) Over and Over (From The Warning)

LAAAAAIIIIID BACK. For Darren as he always barks the words to this.

7) Brothers (From One Life Stand)

A song about loving all your male friends – a subject that isn’t touched upon too often in popular music. Always causes a mass hug amongst my friends when they play it live. This one’s for all of them. It’s a wild love that I have for my brothers.

8) Hold On (From Made In The Dark)

For Jessica. Dancing at Brixton Academy. Always.

9) No Fit State (From The Warning)

This is traditionally the first track played in the car on the way back from Glastonbury – started by one of my oldest friends Nick – this one’s for him.

10) Let Me Be Him (From In Our Heads)

EPIC. Uplifting. A fitting end to this ICA. This one’s for me.

Bonus Track

Gabriel by Joe Goddard

Because it’s a truly great record – my favourite song of 2011 and one that still graces long car journeys. I’ve included it because from time to time Hot Chip play it live. Not sure if it counts as a cover version or not – Hot Chip always do great cover versions – 1999, Dancing In The Dark, and on their most recent tour Sabotage.





Whilst I am was in the States last week I was taken out around Chicago by a new colleague (Hi Chip, if you are reading, yup an American called Chip, I also have a German friend called Fritz, and a French colleague called Pascal). We were sitting in a bar playing ‘Cards Against Humanity’, which if you have never played I totally recommend, that is, if you like your humour to be puerile, immature and slightly dodgy – which sadly I do. Anyway, Chip turns to me and says ‘Do you Like Live music?’ – and I’m like, ‘Yeah, a bit’ – I was playing it cool, I wanted to jump up and down and shout ‘YEAH!’

Around the corner was a club called Metro, and that very night playing at the venue was a band called Criminal Hygiene, and according to Chip they have a bit of a buzz about them. I finished my pint of warm beer and say ‘What do they sound like?’, ‘Shall we go and find out’ Chip says. Definitely.

$6 is what it costs to get in, and, within about half an hour I have had another pint of warm beer plus an additional one thrown in my face, bearing in mind I am standing near the back this is quite an achievement. I don’t see that many bands live anymore, not in tiny venues that smell like sweat and stale beer, anyway, I’m too old, and I have a two year old daughter to look after. However in venues like this, in a town you don’t know, surrounded by strangers, watching a band, that forty minutes previous, you have never heard of, bands seem incredible.

Criminal Hygiene are very good live, they play a garage rock racket, kind of punky but in a good way. They kind of sound like The Replacements, although a more recent comparison would be Parquet Courts or perhaps The Orwells (see last weeks missive). Their show is pretty rock and roll, smashed instruments, clearly drunk band members inviting the audience on to the stage for an impromptu jam, that sort of thing. Its bloody brilliant. Especially at the start when the singer jumps on the stage and shouts ‘Let’s fucking Do this’. I read later back in the comfort of my hotel that the singer of Criminal Hygiene has false front teeth due to the fact that he smacked his fact on a skateboard when much younger. Respect.

At the end I retreat to the bar and about two minutes later Chip comes over drenched in sweat, his Tshirt is ripped but he has a heck of a smile on his face. ‘That was pretty badass’ he says. I agree, hoping that badass means good. Its about one in morning when we leave the club, I sigh knowing that in about six hours’ time I have to go to the airport and suffer more jet lag. Yet I will go with a smile, a tired, slightly badass smile perhaps.

mp3 : Criminal Hygiene – Turpentine
mp3 : Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving

And just because of how my friend looked at the end of the gig

mp3 : Hot Chip – Dark and Stormy