Adventures Close to Home
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- CSS »
I arrive late tonight. I'm so, so sorry. It's absolutely shameful to be honest. 93 Feet East have oversold this by 100 tickets already, and the guestlist has, by all accounts, a tailback running well into double figures. The thing is, I've been cleaning my house all day - and to a 'professional' standard - to try and salvage any remnants of my deposit. Circumstances force me to move into my new room today, too. So I've been running around since six with my stomach eating itself and the most desirable thing in the world is the Brick Lane curry I've been promising myself for the last two weeks of skintdom. But still... I'm sorry.
Anyway, I hear CSS waltz into their first song as I rush through the back door, and take my standing room place on a bench at the back of the hall. Peering out over a canopy of skulls you can see that it is indeed full of, as my girlfriend so eloquently puts it, "gay media people who got in for free and gay afro people with glasses". Yeah. That's my girl.
With the venue rammed halfway to the rafters and every one of the six on stage dancing to their own rhythm, the view through a tunnel of heads is compelling and humid. I don't know who's supposed to be directing this whole thing, but I prefer it (like most here, I reckon) that they plainly aren't. Though Sub Pop and word-of-mouth have ensured 'see-ess-ess' hisses from the lips and into the ears of all the cool kids, this _is_ their London debut and clearly there is going to be a potent whiff of curiousity in the air. So, for the uninitiated, the regular template for a CSS song - on tonight's evidence - is writ thus - (let me clear my throat)...teen-slasher cheerleader AKA 'Lovefoxxx' - always, the wickedly cute one - bounces around the stage like her possession's compressed into some tight ball of ridiculous energy. Drifting stage left somewhere, high-heel synth teeters, high off the petrol fumes pouring from a guitar that looms tense in the shadows. What bass there is throbs and aches big behind mad scientist synths that swirl and bleep around Lovefoxxx's cute (again), accented vocals. Sound like you like?
Well, this formula is concocted for most, if not all, of the tracks played out tonight so you'd better. It's what they do, but they do it well. 'CSS Suxxx' stands out with its chanted chorus, and the chunky, velcro chords of 'Meeting Paris Hilton' swagger like a caveman 'Atlantis to Interzone', the repetition of the word 'bitch' ensuring nothing is lost in translation. CSS may be tired of hearing it, but they are sexy. They're from São Paulo. They play with a sense of fun and naïvety that you'd imagine to be sorely endearing to a London crowd loosened up on colour and glowsticks. They are five-sixths female. They are truly a marketing man's wet dream. However, tonight falls slightly flat, compared to their recently-released record and its lightning bolt imagery.
They finish, obviously, with 'Let's Make Love...' which shakes the place, and helps to exorcise the absurd refrains like "Run, run, run just to make a heart shape" and "I came to show you mad love" that've been stuck in my head for the last couple of months. They cut it short and clang-clang-clang to a halt with the standard rock star finish, everything hit as hard as possible in staggered unison, 1...2...3...4...fiiiiiive. People are still cheering as Lovefoxxx points the mic' their way, before thanking everyone, enthusiastically, as we head for the exit.