By Clashmusic.com Reader Kimberley Brown

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There are no good girl bands.

My housemates and I had discussed the topic of ‘girls in bands’ a week before this gig. Admittedly (and we were all sad to admit this being all girls) we decided that there wasn’t one good all-girl (thus omitting Blondie) instrumental band. CSS are not all girl, they are infact 5 girls – the same amount of oestrogen as the Spicegirls and Girls Aloud-and one maybe very lucky boy. I had seen CSS before at Glastonbury and memories of them were admittedly hazy, but with ‘Let’s make love..’ having one of my favourite rifts of the fondly missed 07 I was looking forward to seeing them at The Astoria.

The band start the set with lights, enthusiasm and ‘Off The Hook,’ Lovefoxx is adorned in a huge red bow as she presents herself as a gift to the crowd. That all done it’s straight into the ska-tinged ‘Alcohol’ which the Saturday night crowd seem to enjoy singing along to with great, if not somewhat, inebriated cheer. I am still not convinced about girls in bands, Lovefoxx is jumping around like something possessed and the others are doing the moody pouty indie thing….it’s all seeming contrived to me. So, onto ‘Music Is My Hot Hot Sex’ which gets a great applause from the fans and then swiftly into the barely noticed ‘Patins’, note Lovefoxx still hasn’t got a stitch and is breathing heavily down the microphone. Next up is the big hit ‘Alala’ with it’s high intensity intro that keeps Lovefoxx bobbing around until their last song (the one we were all waiting for) ‘Let’s Make Love..’ which, once finished, leaves the crowd cheering for more…whether they’re waiting for more because the set has been so short (the show was part of the NME Shockwaves tour with CSS being the headline act) or if they genuinely want them to play more is another question.

Now don’t get me wrong, the show was fun, joyfully upbeat and a delightful start to what became a long long Saturday night but it was far from sensational. The songs are all rather similar and they don’t sound as electric live as I would have hoped. I guess if the female lead put half as much energy and enthusiasm as she did into her dancing into her singing maybe they wouldn’t be where they are today. I don’t like mainly girl bands.

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