Carling Academy Liverpool- Tuesday 18th December 2007.
Ok, so they’re a quirky six-piece band from Brazil who sing about sex, but are they any good live?
Having seen CSS warm up the Radio 1 stage at Leeds Festival 2007 for Klaxons and my memory from the event being rather hazy due to copious amounts of…. Anyway, I decided that I needed to see CSS live again to be able to give my true opinion on whether this Nu-rave band is actually talented. We all know and love, whether admittedly or not, Let’s Make Love and Listen to Death from Above, but is that all that CSS have to show for themselves? So I jumped behind the wheel of my car and adventured across the Lancashire hilltops to Scouse land, unassisted by maps, compass or Satnav, to discover the answer to these mystical questions.
We arrived fashionably late, as always, to a hyped up crowd and were greeted by the electronic sounds of support act Metronomy. The London trio took to the stage cladded all in black apart from a decorative bedside touch lamp that was velcroed to their chests; which they pressed on and off intermittently to a dance routine that could be likened to a boy band (insert laughter here-I certainly did). If we put aside the theatrical farce that took place on stage, they actually weren’t that bad. They played mainly mainstream electronic indie, but one track called “Heart Breaker” really stood out for its jazz-like bass line, spontaneous sax solo and melodic love lyrics. This song could really get these guys somewhere, but unfortunately the rest of the set did not live up to this standard and individuality, imitating the likes of Hot Chip and Calvin Harris. So after our chuckle we where fully revved up for Lovefoxxx and her gang of merry men.
CSS arrived on stage even more fantastically dressed then their support. The band entered the stage to the sound of sleigh bells and were dressed as presents while faux snow was pumped onto the audience. It was a magical opening to a Christmas gig, and CSS were determined to begin the set as they meant to go on. The band jumped out of their wrapping and speedily got into the instrumental opening of Off The Hook, when Lovefoxxx made her entrance (or exit from her wrapping paper) to display her vivid green sequined leotard. They played Off The Hook followed by a slower version of Alala which ended with Lovefoxx inviting a Christmas tree on stage (an extra dressed as a Christmas tree that is!) for a Christmas dance to Fuck Off Is Not The Only Thing You Have To Show.
The band showed that they were really tight, with quick changes between songs and intricate chord variations on well-known tunes, which was not expected from a band that only first picked up an instrument in 2003. CSS’s obvious musical talent and Lovefoxxx’s energetic stage antics certainly got the crowd going and this gig definitely one to be remembered. It certainly got me into the Christmas spirit, after two weeks of intense exams, as opposed to all of the loathsome Christmas songs that plague the radio and bars in the running months up to December.
The band also played some new songs which showed a progression in their music, as it portrayed an obvious new direction away from notorious Nu-rave electronics to more heavily guitar based music which were devoid of the sexual denotations that were disseminated throughout their debut album.
After the indefatigable crowd had chanted “CSS Suxxx” and pleads of more, CSS returned to the stage for the encore with their hit Let’s Make Love and Listen To Death From Above, which truly set the evening alive.
If you you’ve heard their music and realised that you just want more and more check out the bands at a local-ish venue near you:
Metronomy- 24th Feb King Tuts Glasgow.
CSS- 24th Feb Barrowlands, Glasgow for the NME Awards Show.