The Gossip & CSS
Manchester Roadhouse
Live Review


The Brazilian approach is world renowned for its flamboyance, regardless of the activity in question. Tonight, the band formerly known as Cansei De Ser Sexy (now simply referred to as CSS), achieves this though a sordid strut and punchy grittiness that comes through in their rock n' roll lyrics, strident beats and Lovefoxx's lurid, Le Tigre flavoured vocals. Exuberance and energy are displayed throughout a dingy and engaging time on centre stage. Throughout, Lovefoxx nimbly clambers upon roof-hanging pipes. It as though to say "Id like to see Beth Ditto do this?" For many, it has already been worth queuing and jumping through a number of loops put in place by myspace, in order to witness this extravaganza.

'Alcohol', is a spiky beat grind with a simple drown yourself in drink message that gushes out a rock n' roll, couldn't give a shit vibe. Stage-dives galore add to the entertainment and each band member is enthusiastically welcomed into the sea of excited gatherers. Naturally, the quirky beat-out of 'Let's Make Love And Listen To Death From Above', puts the lid on an eccentric parade of femme led frolicking. An appearance from Beth Ditto at the end sends the party-ometer soaring.

There is none of this low-key artist hiding before the main feature. During the pre-set musical interlude, The Gossip's larger than life party queen, Beth returns to centre stage and gyrates in her own raunchy way, to Hot Chip's 'Over And Over', much to the delight of adoring onlookers. However, when she and her troupe decide to fall into their main performance, it lacks any stark impact, potency or consistency. Of course, it is the lion-lunged lead vocals that set The Gossip apart from contemporaries, but early on not even that element can conceal the fact that the accompaniments are quite lame. It is plain to tell that the outfit sometimes falls back on overused riffs and percussion beats that have done more rounds than Ernie, The Fastest Milkman in the West. Already, Ditto is leading cries of 'CSS, CSS, CSS' and vowing never to follow them again. However, she does it in a genuine way and clearly has a respect for the outfit. To the extent that it fills you with the hope that she can move on to replicate at least half, of the Brazilian outfit's tempo pushing frivolity.

Of course, this Arkansas outfit who are synonymous with seedy fun takes advantage of the showcase setting to take entertainment to its limits. The super-sized Har Mar Superstar personality that is feministic icon Beth, allows an excited reveller to slot a Myspace glow-stick in her bra. She then wiggles provocatively once the deed is done, basking in the attention. Determined to top this, she covers herself in tuna, seemingly leaving no part of her anatomy uncovered. Thankfully, after this, the music begins to pick up and 'Standing In The Way Of Control' shudders out, to the extent that attendees don't notice, nor don't give a damn about the lingering smell of tuna flavoured body odour that is seeping into the air like a noxious gas. 'Jealous Girls' retains its Chicks On Speed style bite in a live setting and thrusting new single 'Listen Up', oozes new wave defiance. A wandering percussion fuelled jam allows the leading lady to lap up the accolades, before making a prolonged exit. In a refreshing touch, the buzzing revellers are allowed to continue to party like Beth, as a DJ doles out beats and tempos through the night.


David Adair

Tag line;

"Everything you'd expect The Gossip to be; provocative, catchy-beating, energetic, eccentric, frivolous and good humoured, CSS were."

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