From the opening piano chords of Take Your Mama, Scissor Sisters painted London town red. Raising awareness for the childhood victims of Aids in Africa, this gig coincided with the release the band’s second record Ta-Dah and their first number one single. For one night, Jake Shears, Babydaddy, Ana Matronic, Del Marquis and Paddy Boom ruled Europe’s largest city.
It began stratospherically with Kylie Minogue, picked out by a spotlight, introducing the Sisters. Looking stunning and fully recovered from her recent health scare, the Aussie poppet could hardly wait to get back to watching the band who wrote her hit I Believe In You. She’d already be aware that, while Scissor Sisters make great songs on record, they must be seen in the flesh, sequins and fedoras to be believed.
Trafalgar Square’s fountains gushed skyward and the audience, many already dancing bare-chested in the fountains, gushed stageward as the party started. An intelligent set spliced together Ta-Dah’s new tracks, which most of the audience had yet to hear, with the cream of the first record’s well-known crop.
First of the new pieces was I Can’t Decide, a ridiculously catchy honky-tonk party piece all of itself, before Ana Matronic’s first of two lead vocal moments showed the level of musical development the band – joined on stage by guest keyboardists – have enjoyed in the last two years. Tits On The Radio’s new arrangement is harder, rockier and uptempo, Shears’ campy falsetto soaring above the lyrically mentioned Miss Matronic’s robot tones.
More new material was aired in the form of Lights, the catchy-as-a-cold Paul McCartney, more of Ana Matronic lead vocals on break-up song Kiss You Off and wannabe arena anthem Everybody Wants The Same Thing. But all this followed the strident piano of debut single Laura had the 15,000 capacity crowd going wild. On its first release Laura reached only number 54 in the UK – such iniquities now seem little short of crazy. Mary was also aired – all the more poignant here as the Mary in question recently passed away.
In a night chock full of highlights, one of the biggest was Comfortably Numb, Shears’ vocals still on good form despite all the shrill falsetto Bee Gees impersonations. With the crowd absolutely with them, a raucous Music Is The Victim cemented the event as one to remember. Topping it all off was current number one single I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ – and everybody in the place seemed to know it.
For the finale of Filthy/Gorgeous it was difficult to take the show’s various points of interest in. Grey-painted Nelson figures danced on giant columns, wielding swords and waggling their hats, behind Shears. The diminuitive front man was by now dressed head to foot in a fetching sparkly gold number and bouncing around the stage like a hyperactive kitten before ripping it all off to reveal some kind of groin-hugging swimwear for his last few bars, to the delight of the audience.
Ana Matronic meanwhile indulged alternately in robot dancing and kittenish poses, her make-up emphasising that Jake doesn’t have the band monopoly on impossibly big eyes. In the fountains, wannabe go-go dancers minced and flapped as lights went ballistic and in front of the stage the faithful hollered every word back at a band who’d just pulled out every last stop. Spectacular from beginning to end.