7th December 2008. CSS / Justice. Academy. Birmingham.

I think i’m right in saying this was my first gig post smoking ban in England (I could be wrong). Justice looked so rock n roll it was untrue. The smaller one of the duo walked out to start the set smoking a huge cigar. A big “fuck you” and only a tad Spinal Tap. The set was played at the impossibly early time starting about 8pm. In truth you need to see this outfit at 2am in a dirgy club to possibly fully appreciate. Their album is a corker and live they rocked big time. The stage set of the wall of Marshall Amps and huge flashing crucifix was quite mesmerising.

I kind of figured the track “We Are You’re Friends” was more “owned” by Simian Mobile Disco and expected Justice to omit it from their live set. So it was a huge highlight when some morphing / messed up / rock techno started bleeding into the song. Would they play it? Yes – they did and it was a great sight and sound.

No encore. Very rock and roll. The duo had it all. If you get the chance check out the movie that comes with the limited edition of their debut album (the DVD comes with the CD). The bit where the smaller guy sings Under The Bridge to a bemused Anthony Keidis, the bit where one gets married, the trick driver, the arrest, the bit where they set a groupie on fire….

Rate 10 out of 10.

CSS had a hard act to follow. This reminded me of when the Beastie Boys played after Rollins Band way back in ’92. The Beastie Boys were the bigger act – but were wise enough to spot that some acts are too hard to follow.

CSS were cool – but again perhaps a bit of an off night. I love their records and they still are an outfit to watch. (Are the still going?)

Rate 8 out of 10.

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