The stepped floor of East Village Art Club’s Auditorium is peppered with knots of people when Liverpool’s own Wet Mouth bring their lo-fi fuzz to the stage. It’s energetic and dark, the pounding basslines and vocals of lead singer Veslemoy winding lovingly around the twin guitars of Bjorn and Sophie, a homily of crashing refrains and intricate riffs. We’re told that sadly this is Wet Mouth’s last gig for a while, Veslemoy is moving to Berlin and Bjorn back to Norway. While this is sad, it is sort of to be expected from such an international band whose members come from so many different countries. If you want to have a listen to the night’s set they helped you out and recorded it for you, check it out here
After a little break MIxhell begin, dressed entirely in red. Their set up of drums, bass and a collection of synths seemed to be an attempt to make dance music a more exciting live experience, an admirable aim certainly but something which seems to fall a little unappreciated on the early evening crowd. Whilst they showcase an incredibly impressive rhythm partnership and unfailing stamina, like a live mix the songs never stop, they merely fade into one another, no one seems to be particularly into it and so the majority of the crowd hang about on the higher end of the steps, watching.
When CSS take to the stage at just a little past 10 the crowd has come down from the steps at the back of the auditorium. As the band file on there are several mutters at Lovefoxxx’s long black cape; whatever’s hiding underneath is bound to be amazing. As the band start up it seems as though both they and the crowd are taking a while to get into it, Lovefoxxx’s spoken vocal doesn’t seem to quite get into the rhythms being put down by the rest of CSS, her theatricality slowly unwinding itself. Then it happens, the intro to ‘Music Is My Hot Hot Sex’ begins to play, the cape is whipped off to reveal golden butterfly wings underneath and a swim suit/ trousers combo on which ‘CSS’ is taped in neon colours. The crowd love it, the carnival is here and Lovefoxxx is suddenly perfectly in tune with her band and the crowd, instructing them to ‘break it down until your dick touches the ground… all of you!’ She is obeyed and the show becomes a party, every song becomes a hit to the dancing crowd who roar their adulation as the band swap instruments, laugh and dance with each other, ‘Let’s Make Love And LIsten To Death From Above’ and ‘City Grrrl’ reducing the crowd to a mob of flailing limbs. Their rapport with the crowd is brilliant to watch, Lovefoxxx seems to make it a mission to find everyone who shouts out some words of love and make sure they know she heard and appreciates it, even hugging and being kissed by Wet Mouth’s lead singer Veslemoy.
The party comes to it’s crescendo with the perfect party trio of tracks, ‘Alala’ is followed by a pumped up version of ‘Art Bitch’ and ‘I’ve Seen You Drunk Gurl’ which devolves into a kind of rap battle between Lovefoxxx and Ana. By the end everyone is tired, sweaty and slightly euphoric. Surrender to CSS’ party vibe, resistance is still futile.