It can’t be, can it? Four years since I last saw CSS? Even more than that since they last played Liverpool. Wow! The better than excellent news is that they came back apparently no older or wiser, just as bat-shit crazy as ever, and ready to blow the doors off the East Village Arts Club. It was odd in some ways to see them play a club-sized venue when last time round I saw them play mega-boxes. The environment suited them down to the ground though, tight and sweaty as an armpit, the crowd close enough to get up close with. I was expecting a four piece with Adriano having flounced off and all, but they had a live drummer. Whether he’s tour-only or there to stay is as yet unknown. The five of them crashed right into ‘Hits Me Like A Rock’ and all of a sudden it was like they’d never been away, dance central. Lovefoxxx was face painted in tribal fashion and swaddled in an cloak, black on the outside, gold lined, into which she disappeared at one point like it was a teepee.
She took the microphone in there with her, commenting that she might just change into a bikini; no,make that a trikini! (She told us what one was, you’ll have to look it up.) Of course she didn’t, but after a few flourishes, the cape was cast aside in time for ‘Music Is My Hot Sex’. The timing was perfect for me, I’d just done my duty and got out the the photo-pit. Anyone down the left hand side of the stage was treated to the sight of a middle aged photographer dancing as wildly and arrhythmically as only a white-bloke Brit can, camera left to dangle dangerously on its strap. By the time they got to ‘Let’s Make Love’, a song which was bigger in the UK than just about anywhere else in the world, delirium was setting in. Lovefoxxx (no, we can’t just call her Luisa, that’d be confusing) made repeated forays onto the barrier and fan love culminated in a lady in the front row planting a kiss chastely on the singer’s cheek. I was personally thrilled that ‘City Grrrl’ was in there, even if it is a bit strange that my favourite track off La Liberación is a thirteen year old girl’s rite of passage song. I guess we all dreamed of moving to the big city at one time or another.
They went off, they came back, and they played ‘Alala’ followed by ‘Art Bitch’ – “Lick lick lick my art-tit / Suck suck suck my art-hole” has to be the ultimate singalong chant. The played out with ‘I’ve Seen You Drunk Gurl’, their single from a couple of months ago. The rapping chant gives Ana chance to front it up there alongside Lovefoxxx. Along with the other new track, the crazy fiesta of ‘Hangover’, it gives notice that the new album, only weeks away, will be a no compromise party animal. ‘Drunk Gurl’, ‘Hangover’, drink anyone? That was one hell of a gig, twenty four hours later I’m aching all over from the dancing – that’s the effect CSS can have on you.
Main support was from the highly anticipated MIXHELL, also from Brazil. Don’t know if it was rave, hard house or 90’s techno. Who cares, as she said from the stage, let’s go disco dancing! Massively impressive, my opinion was apparently shared by CSS who were out in the crowd watching intently.
Second support was from Liverpool’s Wet Mouth. Gosh these were loud, much more post punk in delivery than their recorded output would dare to suggest. It was poignant too, it was Wet Mouth’s last ever gig given that Bjørn is about to move to Norway. It was a privilege to see them play their last ever live song, and a huge pity given just how good they were. I’m sure it won’t be the last we hear of them in different combinations.