Live Music + Gig Reviews

CSS @ Astoria, London

23 April 2007

“Fuck off is not the only thing you have to show / I know I know” Lovefoxxx pants. I’m not sure if I really understood. But it didn’t matter. Halfway through any CSS set what does become very clear is why they’ve got so popular so quickly. The name on no-one’s lips less than a year ago has turned into a must see for all the young and trendy, filling out two nights at London’s very sadly outgoing Astoria. How did they manage it?

MySpace is the usual slightly world weary answer. For many a MySpace cynic the days of bands paying dues are sadly over, and the distance between playing in your garage and in front of a sell-out crowd is now measured in days rather than years. More often than not the MySpace band surfaces, makes a few waves, then sinks without a trace – a sad reflection on today’s fickle times, perhaps?

But who cares? It’s certainly helped – free access to four songs that have been listened to by hundreds of thousands (the brilliant Meeting Paris Hilton alone has had almost 500,000 plays at the time of writing). But to say that’s the end of the story would be incredibly unfair. CSS have got big because they are talented and, perhaps most importantly, a noisy, sweaty, joyfully entertaining live band. If MySpace has played its part, then we should only be thankful.

A six piece outfit playing upbeat, dancey rock, they were in their element in the Astoria. The hugely charismatic Lovefoxxx, reminiscent of the equally fantastic Karen O, writhed around the stage with a manic energy, full of love for her songs. “Alala alala / give me three wishes / I wanna be that dirtyfinger / and his six bitches” she sings, her lyrics weirdly impenetrable whilst at the same time leaving little to the imagination. “My music is where I want you to touch”.

Album tracks were mixed in with an excellent cover of L7‘s Pretend That We’re Dead and a revolutionary (in that it actually sounded good) reworking of ‘I Wanna Be Your JLo’. “Can you believe it’s Monday?” she shouts at the crowd. “No” everyone screams, even though it’s not that unbelievable: CSS are the kind of band you want to agree with. Superb, rapturous fun – see them this summer, who knows how long they will be around for?

buy CSS MP3s or CDs
Spotify CSS on Spotify

More on CSS
CSS – Planta
CSS @ Hoxton Square Bar + Kitchen, London
CSS – La Liberación
CSS – Donkey
CSS @ Astoria, London