Photo by Ms P

(Pictures by Ms.P)

Monday afternoon and I’m all set to head off to Archway for an instore performance by King Creasote at Puregroove Records. A quick check of the email and… “Congratulations! We’ve reserved you two tickets for the Scissor Sisters at The Scala tonight!”

Alternative gay club Popstarz pulled off a serious coup securing this “secret” Scissor Sisters gig previewing tracks from their eagerly awaited new album “Ta-Dah!”. The Scala only holds about 800-1000 people and tickets were unbelievably hard to come by, so those lucky enough to nab one were understandably a little overexcited during the two hour wait for the sisters to take to the stage. Even the DJ playing Morrissey failed to dampen an atmosphere approaching hysteria.

Shortly before nine the place erupted into a cacophony of whoops, yells, and frenzied applause – not for the arrival of the Sisters – but rather for the appearance of Elton John & his partner David Furnish. Covered in some serious bling Elton waved and grinned from a walkway a foot above the crowd.

This was supposed to be a low key try out of their new material, but as The Times pointed out in a four star review:

The Scissor Sisters don’t do low-key and within a minute of the flamboyant five’s appearance on Scala’s small stage a full-scale pop party was under way. Admittedly, Scissor Sisters couldn’t have picked a better crowd had they held auditions themselves.

The Scissor Sisters manage to pull off what in the hands of the less gifted could be extremely naff. Their sound distils almost every element of 70’s and 80’s pop from Wham to Leo Sayer, yet with modern beats and hooks galore they somehow manage to end up sounding totally unique. The same applies to what they wear.

Tonight Jake sports tight electric blue trousers and silk waistcoat matched with a yellow chiffon top that may or may not be the one Jane Torvill wore doing the Bolero in 1984. On Bass, Babydaddy looks like Omid Djalili dressed as Elvis while playing a banjo designed by Kiss. Ana Matronic has lost weight, and sporting a Harriwell-esque barnet looks fantastic, like a young Beverly D’Angelo. Meanwhile Del Marquis somehow squeezed into yellow britches buttoned up to his nipples, and a bright pink shirt. Most people would look ridiculous… but the Scissor Sisters couldn’t look cooler if they tried.

Scouring the net for reviews and blogs about the night it’s impossible to find anything but glowing praise. This was a performance from a band at the height of their powers, with the confidence that a worldwide hit album brings, coupled with now having more than just one albums worth of material to draw on.

It’s so good to be back home

Over and over again Ana told us how glad they were to be back in the country that first took them to their heart, while Del Marquis came over all nostalgic saying “I first came to Popstarz when I was 19!“. Ana quipping back “Oh bless, and now you still look 12!

Take Your Mama” got the show off to a flying start, with Jake and Ana sounding note perfect, and the pace and standard never dropped. “Tits On The Radio“, always a favourite of mine was magnificent, although how Shears hits those high notes is beyond me (they are very tight trousers). “Laura” remains an absolute classic, and newie “Paul McCartney” which Jake said came to him in a dream was more proof that the new material more than hits the spot. Karinski.net proclaimed it “the new filthy and gorgeous”.

The Live8 song “Everybody Wants The Same Thing” sounds like an attempt to crack the US market, and on tonight’s airing you wouldn’t bet against it. It’s tighter than i’ve heard them before and Del Marquis’s performance on guitar was off the scale. More to the front than on record, each song featured a large chunk of guitar… in fact you’d get fewer guitar solo’s at a Gary Moore concert than we did tonight.

Elton & HPDF - Photo by Ms P

New single “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin” is possibly the best thing they’ve ever done, and co-writer Elton John hollered his approval, sticking two thumbs up and waving frantically throughout. It uses that old Scissor Sisters trick of having hints of a few 80’s classics, with Spears “Dancin” like Leo Sayer. There’s more than a whiff of The Nolan Sisters in there too, which is no bad thing as far as i’m concerned, and the Buck Rodgers laser gun sound effects are simply the icing on a particularly sickly but absolutely delicious cake.

Next up and the place erupted to a performance of “Comfortably Numb” which was quite simply IMMENSE! The Scala can sometimes suffer from dodgy sound, but for Comfortably Numb it was like listening in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. Absolutely magical.

It took me a minute during “Music Is The Victim” to notice that they’d been joined on stage by a six year old child. Turns out he was their tour manager’s son, he may have prematurely developed some serious dad dancing moves, but he’ll have memories to treasure of the night he danced with the sisters while they brought the house down.

Skipping what I thought was the little bit dirgy ballad “Land Of A Thousand Words” they ended the night with an encore of “Filthy and Gorgeous“. As Jake stripped off his shirt, one fan evaded security and planted a huge smacker on the lips of a slightly shocked Mr Shears; unfortunately he also managed to fall off the stage taking Jake with him. It was a slightly awkward moment, but fortunately no one was hurt and Jake was quickly up and belting out the chorus.

At one point Shears on his hands and knees on the floor was straddled by Ana as she playfully spanked his backside. This is not a group who are in any danger of taking themselves too seriously.

It was a very special night in fact it’s difficult to think how they could have been much better. Too many acts seem content to turn up grunt a few words to the people who have paid to see them, put in a perfunctory and stationary performance and that’s your lot. It’s a privilege and pleasure to see a band who strain every sinew in an effort to entertain every single person in the building.

I even forgot how pissed off I was about having my camera confiscated by security for being “Too Professional”!

Pics from Scala gig:

Nice shots, and some serious Elton John bling @ Perezhilton.com

Loads of photos have been posted on the SS forum here

Moshi Moshi have superb shots, here & more here.

All rock n roll is homosexual, and pics too @ Gaypop

Armcurl & Photoneil have more on flickr.com

and more on Jeremy’s Myspace.

Finally The Sun has a close up of Jakes new blonde barnet.

Video:

Only found this little snippet on Youtube so far.

More Reviews:

Karinski.net djed right before the sisters, and as always sums up the night perfectly on her blog.

Four star in The Times

Hysteria reigns on the SS forum, quite right too

Set-list:

Take Your Mama
I Can’t Decide
Tits on the radio
She’s my man
Laura
Paul McCartney
Everybody wants the same thing
Kiss You Off
Mary
The Other Side
I Don’t Feel like Dancing
Comfortably Numb
Music is the victim
Land of A Thousand Words

Encore
Filthy Gorgeous