POOR Al Doyle. When I catch up with him he is looking slightly worse for wear, sipping on a Lemsip in the backstage of the Barrowlands. 

“No-one enjoys them,” he tells me about his Lemsip. “They’re too sweet”. 

Quite a statement from one of the musical masterminds behind Hot Chip’s newest release, A Bath Full of Ecstasy, the artwork of which is immersed in candy pinks and sweetie blues. 

The band, who headlined at this summer’s Playground Festival in Rouken Glen, are currently in the grips of a world tour – which explains why poor Al is taking comfort in a hot Lemsip than any other liquid comfort. We catch up only hours before the band play their hearts out to the Glasgow crowds. 

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“It’s been pretty heavy all the way through,” says Al. “You are seeing me at a low ebb, though,” he laughs. 

“I’m happy to be here but it’s inevitable. We aren’t as young as we were and it’s a lot of late nights and early mornings. The show itself is physical.

"We’ve had a wonderful time. Being in Japan was no hardship, and we have some in South America which is always fun. These things give you a boost, you remember why you’re doing it.

“We’re trying to maintain our morale. We have gigs – tonight’s one – that have been in the calendar for a long time and we’ve been looking forward to it, so now it’s finally here. 

“It’s always good to be in Glasgow. It’s going to be a long night potentially, because we’re djing in the Sub Club later too. This venue is like a second home, almost – I can’t tell you how many times we’ve played here.” 

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Al himself is in the unique position of having played here twice – both with Hot Chip, and also with LCD Soundsystem, where he plays guitar and synth. 

Hot Chip have returned from a four-year break after 2015’s Why Make Sense? That record was a distillation of potent times for the band; it was around this time that Vincent Sipprell, a violinist, school friend and longtime collaborator of the bands co-founder, killed himself in January 2015; Taylor has said that the loss deeply influenced the record, which came out in May that same year. 

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The tragedy didn’t stop there. On November 18, the band were due to play in Paris where five days before, 90 people were killed at the Bataclan. 

Unsure whether or not to play, they decided to go ahead and it was Al who read a statement at the start of the gig that he had written in French, about how incredible it was that even just playing a show after something like that happens can be a political act. 

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It is a statement that has no doubt stayed with them, and which has made their album sound more all the more hopeful. 

“We’re not playing loads of tracks from the new album, maybe three or four consistently, but we’ve had to build it into the set a little bit.

“They fit in well to the current sound. There doesn’t seem to be an energy dip: the crowds have made it easy for us and they’ve been very forgiving and understanding. We feel good about it.” 

Evening Times:

Glasgow crowds are known for their energy, and with a set after the show in Sub Club, it’s inevitable that Hot Chip will get a warm welcome from Glasgow’s electronic loving crowds. 

I ask if Al feels any affinity to places like Glasgow that have such a fierce love for their music. 

“For sure. I think that there is an edge to the crowd that would like things to be quite hard and raw. The set has to be mostly the same everywhere, but there are moments where you have a big break and it’s a signal to the audience to enjoy themselves, which can feel artificial but is fine in small doses. In Glasgow, when the crowd is giving you everything, it’s so hard not to give it back.”

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I ask Al what he’d be doing if he was in better spirits. 

“I like The Laurieston. It’s a fun place to be, especially in day time. You get some good characters. We usually end up in Sub Club, and we always go to Sarti’s.” 

I’m shook – an Italian before playing ‘Over and Over’? 

“We eat hours before, we’re strict about it” Al laughs. “You’re asking for it if you don’t. We’ve learned from throwing up on the stage before.” 

Hours later when I see Al next he has donned his culottes and hat and there is no hint of a Lemsip about him. They really are ready for the floor.