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The holiday season is unavoidable in Pompey’s soon-to-be-flattened leisure centre. Garish gold, silver, red and green decorations hang in the chlorine thick air. As expected from a series of dates billed as a Christmas tour, the stage is lavishly endowed with more plastic paraphernalia. Microphones suffocated in tinsel, huge stars drip from the light rigging and a fibre optic Christmas tree oscillating in vibrant colours neighbours the drum kit. Later we’re told it belongs to the venue, which would explain its survival after the other props are liberated and handed to the audience come the night’s close.
As the lights dim on the Christmas morning living room scene a snow machine spews out detergent-like suds that sting the throats of people standing at the back as well as those whose perfect indie hairstyles are being bleached. Coughing fits aside, the scene is serene enough. Balloons are handed out and ticker tape released when six human sized presents waddle out on stage. They perform a short dance before exploding into the members of* CSS*, vocalist Lovefoxx complete with an uncomfortable snowflake worn like a high collared waistcoat. Let the festivities begin.
‘Fuckoff Is Not The Only Thing You Have To Show’ may not be in the spirit of Christmas, but it gets the show started. The energy, as always, is ridiculously fun. The bounding cat suit, black locks and slightly chubby grin are all exaggerated tonight, but then this is the last night of the _ChristmaSS _tour.
The people of the south coast are treated to a new one early on. An impressive starry backdrop and amazing disco ball effects accompany ‘Beautiful Song’. ‘This Month, Day 10’ _continues a rude theme that flows through every CSS gig, but one which shouldn’t really fit here what with Jesus and Santa look-alikes manning the mixing desk. _‘Music Is My Hot Sex’ and_ ‘Meeting Paris Hilton’ heighten the sexy fun before the band dedicate the next song, _‘Alcohol’, a love song, to everyone.
‘Alala’ and_ ‘Off The Hook’_ follow in quick concession before a banner announces another new one, ‘Reggae All Night’. The fresh tracks don’t dampen the crowd in any way, as unfamiliarity might expect to do. The mob continues to bay for more as the band retreat and return for the encore. An unannounced Christmas number is played out before a rendition of L7’s_ ‘Pretend That We’re Dead’ and the band’s closer, predictably by now, _‘Let’s Make Love And Listen To Death From Above’.
It’s disheartening when you see a band lots but they don’t pull out any new crackers to whet the appetite of their fans. Klaxons, for example, are still not playing any new numbers despite the album being a year old now. Thankfully this crowd is treated over the Christmas season to some musical treats and it looks like the sassy Brazilian vixens aren’t losing any of their sex appeal going into the New Year.