Cansei de ser Sexy
Live (1990s / The Rogers Sisters)
So many bands use music to articulate what is wrong with the world. Some manage to make reasonably profound statements, whilst others fall for all the clichés. But shouldn’t music provide escapism, be fun, joyous and step away from the delusion that what they have to say is going to change the world?
Cansei de ser Sexy provide just the type of light relief from guys in tight jeans singing about standing in the dole queue. Neither do they have any illusion that they are the most accomplished musicians around (apparently having formed the band with no knowledge of how to play an instrument). But what they lack is more than made up for with the sheer energy and spontaneity of the group. CSS just want to have a good time and for all those that come to their shows to join in.
If crowds are anything to go by, the packed venue signalled a good night lay ahead. Support bands The Rogers Sisters and the 1990’s got a lukewarm response, but when CSS took to the stage I couldn’t see for all the glow sticks and crowd surfers. The group’s music is difficult to define; in fact it seems as if they don’t want it defined or pigeon-holed in any way. It’s all gloriously upbeat, simple stuff, yet that simplicity and ambiguity allows it transcend musical and generic boundaries and appeal to a huge range of people. Sure, all the hype surrounding them has obviously done a fair bit to increase the band’s popularity, but the thing that really makes them stand out is simply that they are something refreshingly different, and that this is incidental rather than a marketing ploy.
The tracks, in places, make little sense, but the implications are clear, such as ‘Alala’ which is pretty nonsensical but good fun. ‘Meeting Paris Hilton’ is a cute reference to the celebrity culture that the band despises, whilst ‘Alcohol’, aptly sounds like a drunken conversation put to music (which is much better than it sounds!) They even throw in a bizarre rendition of Destiny’s Child’s ‘Bootylicious’ without losing pace.
However, it’s ‘Let’s Make Love and Listen Death From Above’ which really epitomises what the band is all about. It’s the kind of song that would usually be described as a ‘guilty pleasure’, yet something about the way they perform it makes it intrinsically cool. If it were to come from an X-Factor reject, the effect would be somewhat diluted, but the fact that CSS are just a group of carefree young people having a good time with no pretensions translates their sound to something celebratory rather than cheesy.
CSS aren’t just the latest fad band; they really know how to create a party spirit. Whether they can keep it up with the same effervescent dynamic remains to be seen, but for now they just want to have fun and make sure that all those they meet along the way do too.
Guest article from Ellie H.
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