When Hot Chip headline Alexandra Palace's Kaleidoscope Festival next month, it will mean a five minute stroll up the hill for frontman Alexis Taylor.

It will also mark the synthpop stalwarts' unique status in playing all three of the Muswell Hill landmark's major spaces.

Taylor has appeared solo in the Victorian Theatre with Jools Holland, and twice with Hot Chip in the indoor hall "both very big moments for us in our career."

Ham & High: Kaleidoscope is a one day festival of music comedy and family friendly activities.Kaleidoscope is a one day festival of music comedy and family friendly activities. (Image: Lloyd Winters)

On July 15 they will perform outdoors at the all-day family-friendly festival of music and comedy.

"You can't argue with five minute walk," says the 43-year-old.

"Friends and family will be there and I might recognise a few people from the area. I have a lot of fondness for the venue, it's a really fascinating place and I'm looking forward to playing a local show five minutes from my front door. It has an unusual view with people watching us with all of London behind us. It's a nice spot to see music outdoors, and being the only band to have played in all three places is quite nice."

Ham & High: The 2023 line up includes comics Joe Lycett and Nina Conti, with music by Gaz Coombes The 2023 line up includes comics Joe Lycett and Nina Conti, with music by Gaz Coombes (Image: Lloyd Winters)

The lead vocalist, keyboardist and guitarist plans to "hopefully throw some old things back into the set as well as new ones and maybe something brand new."

He and bandmate Joe Goddard met at secondary school in Putney in the 90s, and with eight albums, including Mercury Prize nominated The Warning under their belt, and a string of dance floor tunes like Ready for the Floor, and Over and Over, are still happily collaborating.

Their immersive electronic shows, full of dancefloor and pop melodies have made them popular on the festival circuit. They have just returned from touring America, and are heavily booked here this summer.

"It's nice to travel to different places and play festivals," says Taylor, who is just back from Oxfordshire's Kite Festival.

Ham & High: Alexis Taylor originally started the band in the 1990s with fellow Putney school pupil Joe Goddard.Alexis Taylor originally started the band in the 1990s with fellow Putney school pupil Joe Goddard. (Image: Courtesy of Hot Chip)

"It was great to be back at a festival to walk around, fall into good conversations and see other gigs like Candi Staton, who is a bit of a legend - I asked her to sign something for me. Things like that are what make festivals special. You get to see disparate music in the same spot, and discover artists you've never heard before."

As a performer, festivals are a chance to "connect with a wider audience who might never have heard you before."

"It's different from playing to your fans who have bought tickets specially for you, you try to make it a bit more banger-centric and think about the fact that not everyone's going to know the deep cuts from the albums."

Ham & High: Joe Lycett will also appear at Kaleidoscope Festival on July 15.Joe Lycett will also appear at Kaleidoscope Festival on July 15. (Image: Matt Crockett)

He grew up influenced by soul, reggae, house music and Prince "whose records I loved but he felt so untouchable, someone from a different universe."

Early live music experiences included De La Soul in Finsbury Park, Massive Attack and Neil Young at the Phoenix Festival, and the Beastie Boys at Brixton Academy.

"That's the gig that made us think 'maybe we could do something that wasn't a million miles away from that' although we weren't bad boys in the way they were."

In fact the band seem remarkably unscarred by the raging egos, broken guitars, and creative fall outs that have sundered many groups.

"There is definitely some level of ego but we keep it in check," he says.

"We do get on better than some. We definitely don't get on every moment, but we are not Oasis."

Ham & High: Bands play against a backdrop overlooking London.Bands play against a backdrop overlooking London. (Image: Lloyd Winters)

He credits solo projects in between Hot Chip albums with keeping things sane and creatively satisfying, and feels lucky that he's still "inspired to write music."

"We all value the fact that it's an enjoyable career; being able to make records, play in front of audiences, and we enjoy the music itself.

"We're not just trying to do the same thing over and over again. We have conversations in the studio about whether we are moving foward enough.

"It's not someone putting their foot down and saying it has to be this way, but leaving space for others. We're a group of people able to challenge each other and blend different creative ideas. It works well and we are still together."

Besides, he says if you don't like hearing feedback from bandmates "you can always make music on your own"

"But there is a point in getting someone else's perspective. Doing it together is better than doing it separately."

As for fame, while his teenage daughter is a huge Harry Styles fan, he prefers to take the tube without being mobbed: "I don't know what it would be like to be in that position. I wouldn't really want that."

"We've always thought of ourselves as being part of pop music culture but wanting an interesting take on pop music. We are not ashamed to be aiming to make something successful that reaches people, but we're not fixated with being in the charts. Chances are if it's interesting and moving to us, it will have some strange or quirky quality to it."

Hot Chip play Kaleidoscope at Alexandra Palace on July 15.