July 16, 2024

CSS – Live in Leeds 2024 – “epic oversharing”

Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 24th June 2024

No-one goes to a CSS gig for the songs, though a good handful are remembered in the bouncing about. They go for the totally unassuming fun plus the epic oversharing of singer, Lovefoxxx. The Sao Paulo Spice Girls have brought themselves out of retirement just for fun, nearly twenty years after their stint in the spotlight, to celebrate the band and perhaps to say goodbye.

Tonight in the Brudenell, fans from first time round are bouncing happily and loving Lovefoxxx’s tale of flashing The Cockpit during a power-cut back in 2006. She sounds almost fond of Leeds’ long-gone stinky, sticky-floored dive, tucked under a railway bridge. Similarly scurrilous, she tells us about the ‘secret’ meaning of the opener, ‘CSS Suxxx’. Despite the rest of the band denying it, she claims it is about oral sex – “CSS sucks”, she laughs, “but not you!”

With a vibe that resonates with today, CSS means “Cansei de Ser Sexy”, which means, in Portuguese, “Tired of Being Sexy” and there’s a ‘having fun with the girls, for the girls’ about them, even here, in what is probably their late-thirties. “They used to ask why we wrote so many songs about sex”, says Lovefoxx, “We were nineteen. Now we write songs about cats – it’s a natural evolution. If The Smiths were still together, it would be about cats”. Jokes about calorie counts and no-one being able to name five Motorhead songs float past and fill the set out to 90 minutes. There’s plenty of music too, eighteen songs; bouncy, dancy, relatively unremarkable but definitely feet-moving and the big songs get the crowd shouting the hook lines back.

The band isn’t all about Lovefoxxx, though her larger than life personality can make it seem that way. Ana Rezende, Carolina Parra and Luiza Sá seem relaxed and enjoying the return to the stage. Songs like the silly mash-up of the Ramones and a classic diva in ‘I Wanna Be Your J.Lo’ see grins all round and the loud disco stomp of ‘Let’s Make Love’ has the band jumping. The closer, ‘Alala’ sees Lovefoxxx crowdsurfing the hard and punchy sound.

This is a band that is simply celebrating good times while having a good time. If you go, be prepared to dance and sing.

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