Thursday, November 16, 2006
CSS / 1990s / The Rogers Sisters @ The Scala, 14 November
You know the gig's a hot one when you can't see the band for the photographers at the start of their set. And the band's reputation had obviously preceded them - the bouncers were moving into their positions at the side of the stage well before CSS took to the stage. But before talking any further about everyone's favourite Brazillian electro-poppers, let me cast my mind back to earlier in the evening.
The reason I was so excited about this gig wasn't just the oh-so-hot headliners. It was a prety impressive triple bill. I was particularly keen to see The Rogers Sisters again. Their Invisible Deck has been one of these albums that I've kept going back to througout this year, and their gig at ULU in April was excellent. And sure enough, it was another fine set from the Brooklyn garage rockers. Particularly memorable was their cover of Captain Beefheart's Zig Zag Wanderer, and the closer, my favourite Sisters track, the mighty Your Littlest World, where they wrung every last drop of goodness out of their guitars before leaving the stage. Phew, what a start! And The Scala is still filling up.
Download: The Rogers Sisters - Why Don't You
Download: The Rogers Sisters - Your Littlest World
Buy The Invisible Deck
Next up are Glasgow's 1990s, and mates of CSS. This band aren't going to win any beauty competitions, but they will surely rock many venues like this for at least a while to come. I had got these guys wrong. Somehow I had them down as some sort of post-punk-funk outfit or something like that. But there's a lack of angular guitars. Instead I heard big meaty riffs, chunky basslines and singaling choruses. These guys, alumuni of other Glasgow indie bands The Yummy Fur and V-Twin, have partying on their minds, and come across like a slightly poppier Primal Scream (the current Scream, not the Screamadelica-era lot).
They're definitely a good live band, particularly on top tunes like their forthcoming proper debut single You're Supposed to be My Friend, but I'm not entirely sure what they will sound like on record - hopefully not like the Fratellis. I fear a little. It's quite amusing to hear their Glasgow accents creeping through the mid-Atlantic style they affect for their songs. Particularly on the ba-ba-ba bits. A qualified success then.
I would have liked to post some 1990s songs, but since their only release has been a long sold out 7 inch, you'll have to be content with their myspace. The new single is out on Monday.
Everyone is really waiting for CSS. About halfway through their set, Adriano (the only bloke in the band) apologises for them not reading the manuals for some new equipment they'd bought. Maybe that explains something. Because I don't know what it was, but CSS's set doesn't quite soar the way I'd expected. Maybe it was because it was more well, rock than electro-pop-rock. Maybe the audience was a little less wild than I thought they were going to be. Or maybe I just had mentally built the gig up to a level it couldn't reach.
But don't get me wrong, it was a great show. CSS are the best type of live band - out for a good time, to give their best, and most of all they have in Lovefoxx a real pop star in the making. She totally lives up to the tales, spending a considerable amount of time either surfing above the crowd, or in amongst the sweaty bodies, getting down with the kids. She doesn't remain still for a second. The great thing about her is that despite her obvious charisma, she seems seriously lacking in ego. When she joined the 1990s for backing vocals on one song, she didn't disappear back into the dressing room - she headed into the audience, made her way to the front, and spent the rest of her mate's set clearly enjoying herself.
CSS play pretty much the whole of their self-titled debut album. They don't have much else to play, so the set is short and sweet. But despite Cansei de ser Sexy only having been out for a few months, it's clearly a well-loved record already. Alcohol is a natural singalong "You like alcohol in this country" Lovefox says. Yep. Their "R 'n' B number" (of course it is) Music is My Hot Hot Sex is totally thrilling, and the biggest cheer is saved predictably for Let's Make Love and Listen to Death From Above, their last song and messy exit. They do return though for an encore - a cover of L7's Pretend We're Dead, which considering how rubbish L7 were, is surprisingly good. And then CSS really are gone. But they'll no doubt be back soon to entertain and excite us.
Download: CSS - Alcohol
Download: CSS - Music is My Hot Hot Sex
Buy Cansei De Ser Sexy
Look at my photos of all three bands at my Flickr photostream