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Hot Chip, Empress Of, Viet Cong, Courtney Barnett and Royal Headache to Perform at Sugar Mountain 2016

London electronic outfit Hot Chip are returning to Melbourne to appear at the music and arts festival alongside Dām-Funk, Le1f, Julio Bashmore and the Dirty Three.
October 11, 2015, 12:50am

Though he can’t guarantee it, Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard says that there’s a strong chance that the British electronic outfit will perform their recently recorded version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” at Sugar Mountain in January.

The dance floor legends have been announced on the Melbourne music and art festival lineup alongside the Dirty Three, Courtney Barnett, Le1f and Sydney’s Royal Headache.


Speaking from his London home, following a six month world tour, Goddard told us that Hot Chip’s version of the Born in the USA classic has quickly become a crowd and band favourite. “The lyrics are fantastic and it’s really well written. Obviously Springsteen is an amazing songwriter and it really is a joy to play. It's one of his more synth-heavy tracks and so we felt like it fitted with the Hot Chip aesthetic.”

The band who are known for their tracks such as "Over and Over", "Ready For The Floor" and "One Life Stand", will be joined at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) on Saturday 23 January by Julio Bashmore, Empress Of, Dām-Funk, Viet Cong and locals Pearls, Roland Tings and Total Giovanni.

Sugar Mountain’s visual art component has expanded for 2016 and will include the world premiere of Japanese and French collaboration NONOTAK as well as the inaugural Sugar Mountain Art Prize.

Read the Hot Chip interview and check out the Sugar Mountain lineup below. Noisey: Whose idea was it to cover "Dancing In The Dark"?
Joe Goddard: I think it was Alexis' [Taylor] choice initially. We were talking about having a big cover version to play during our festival set. That means it's necessary for the song to be a big song, so we picked "Dancing In The Dark". Alexis is a massive Bruce Springsteen fan. From Darkness at The Edge of Town to Nebraska; he's made so many good records though his career. Not just the bombastic rock albums but the quieter ones are amazing as well. So "Dancing In The Dark" came to mind quite quickly. We've been really enjoying it, and we actually recently went into a studio in London and recorded a studio version.


Is it a main part of your set now?
We started doing it in May but the reaction's been so good. Our label Domino asked us to record it, and so we'll probably keep playing it now. I can't say for certain, but hopefully we'll play it when we come to Australia because people seem to really enjoy it.

It looks like it’s a fun song to play.
It really is. We really try to be a fun band at a festival. We don’t play the deeper material and confuse people. We like to give people an entertaining show.

Hot Chip have been together for 15 years. Bruce has been playing for 42.
He doesn’t seem to ever really stop does he? I saw him headline Glastonbury a few years ago. He played for over two hours and it was amazing.

But 15 years is still a great effort. Do you celebrate an anniversary?
We don’t really have a specific celebration. We don’t have a particular date that we think of as an anniversary but I guess we should. I am proud that we are still doing it. Mostly I’m proud that we still like each other as a group of people. We don’t have any terrible fights and that kind of thing so I think that’s really cool. It doesn’t mean that we have an enormous audience around the world we just do our thing. We are a mid level indie pop thing.

Have you heard Ryan Adams covering Taylor Swift’s entire 1989 album?
No. I’m not sure what his motivation was but covering a whole album seems like a bold thing to do. I don’t know the whole Taylor Swift album but some of the singles like “Blank Space” and “Wildest Dreams” are pretty fantastic pop songs. I don’t consider myself a full on Taylor Swift fan because I don’t know that many of her other songs – maybe I’m showing my age a bit – but the those tracks are pretty excellent pop music that reminds me of 60s girl groups. They are super romantic and dramatic with really good lyrics and are really well written. I want to buy that record for my five-year-old daughter. I think for a young girl it would be an awesome record to listen to.

Sugar Mountain 2016
Hot Chip
Dirty Three
Courtney Barnett
Julio Bashmore
Royal Headache
Viet Cong
Empress Of
Tim Sweeney
Tom Trago
Kate Tempest
Roland Tings
Harvey Sutherland & Bermuda
Total Giovanni
City Calm Down
Sampa the Great
Kate Miller
Laila Sakini
Research & Development

NONOTAK (Japan/France – world premiere)
Daniel Askill (Aust. exclusive)
fuse* (Italy – Aust. exclusive)
Nic Hamilton
Yahna Fookes x Martha Zakarya
Prue Stent x Honey Long x Clare Longley

Sugar Mountain at Melbourne’s VCA on Jan 23 2016. Tickets available Monday Oct 19 2015.

Read our review from Sugar Mountain 2015.