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5 Things That Surprised Hot Chip About Australia

5 Things That Surprised Hot Chip About Australia

Dance-floor connoisseurs Hot Chip return to Australian shores this month to headline Melbourne festival Sugar Mountain (Saturday January 23) and perform at a run of sideshows in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. The London-based group love coming to Australia – they’ve visited our shores several times in their 15 year history – but they still hold on to fond memories of their first visit and the things that surprised them most about our great southern land. Owen Clarke, who wears many hats as guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and percussionist, kindly shared these musings with AWOL.


#1 Vastness

Australia is vast. This is known. But coming from London, where people won’t travel 45 minutes for a gig, we found people in Australia were flying, in the air, in planes, to go to gigs! Chewing up vastness like it was a tiny marshmallow. Or maybe just driving. For eight hours. In a straight line. Fast. But not too fast. Because its only eight hours, right? No hurry. Take that vastness.

#2 Tomato sauce wizardry

Australia is at the forefront of disposable one handed ketchup dispensing technology! Those little plastic things that crack and squeeze ketchup? Sweet lord! Do you not know the mess the rest of the world is making? Every time I see that marvel of engineering performing such a mundane task I am terrified. What are these evil genius’ capable of?!

#3 A spade’s a spade

In conversation between Hot Chip and an Australian chap a few years ago, the subject of national flags came up. Ruminating upon the rather fussy technicality that the British flag is known as the ‘Union Jack’ when flown at sea and the ‘Union Flag’ on land, we inquired as to the nomenclature of the Australian flag. We were surprised by the wonderfully prosaic response “Ah – we just call it ‘flag’.”

#4 Bird’s the word

(Photo: “Jurong Southern Cassowary” by Bjørn Christian TørrissenOwn work, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.)

We are surprised by cassowaries. There’s a lot of weird nature in Australia and there’s a lot of deadly nature in Australia. But dudes. Seriously. You have GLAM ROCK DINOSAURS THAT KICK YOU TO DEATH. And I just found out their eggs look like mangos.

See Also
9 Incredible Things To Do In Australia That Aren't In The Capital Cities

#5 The playful relationship with syllables

Australia’s love of an ‘abbrevo’ can only be matched by its fondness for a nickname. My name, Owen, shorn of its formality and unshackled from its cumbersome second syllable, became ‘O'(oh). This was deemed exclamatory and was softened, affectionately suffixed with an ‘Y'(ee). I was restored to my duo-syllabic status as ‘Owey’. Needless to say ‘HC’ found this practise endearing and ‘Lec’, ‘Ally’, ‘Feel’, ‘Sare’, ‘Robbie’, ‘Joey’ and (ahem) ‘Owey’ can’t wait to be back in Oz.

Ready for the floor? Let Hot Chip surprise you on their upcoming tour. For tour dates and ticketing, click here.

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