It’s 16 years since the Avalanches’ era-defining ‘Since I Left You’. How can a follow-up that took so long sound so meh?
Scissor Sisters : New York Bowery Ballroom
...completely out of step with everything else going in music at the dawn of 2004...
Wearing tight leather trousers, a leather jacket (no shirt, ever) and a fedora, erstwhile go-go dancer frontman Jake Shears is camper than Casey Spooner on a catwalk, and his falsetto could rival Barry Gibb. His foil is Ana Matronic, a statuesque redhead in a one-shoulder gold lame dress who comes across as a cross between Mrs. Emma Peel and RuPaul – belting out backing vocals while whacking a tambourine. Scissor Sisters’ sexual politics are no mystery – their name is slang for lesbianism, the word "fierce" is intoned repeatedly and Ana exhorts the crowd to "get tested for HIV". The fashionistas are out in force –
there’s a man with his pants pulled down so far in the back that his ass hangs out, and a girl couple with matching skunk-striped mullets and enormous fur-lined Yeti boots shimmying next to the stage. Like Pet Shop Boys, the appeal of Scissor Sisters’ humorous, knowing, celebratory pop is universal. Their resurrection of dancey 80s AOR is both indebted and innovative; tongue-in-cheek and unique.
‘Tits on the Radio’ is a euphoric dancefloor romp that evokes prime-era Prince, ‘Mary’ is a heartfelt keyboard ballad straight out of the Elton John songbook, and ‘Comfortably Numb’ turns Pink Floyd into the Bee Gees with anthemic, giddy glee. Shears and Ana Matronic’s interplay often also recalls the kitschy boy-girl bounce of The B-52’s - and indeed, the B-52’s own Fred Schneider joins them for the encore, dancing across the stage in a sparkly black satin shirt and ear-to-ear grin. As they leave the stage, you expect confetti and
balloons to fall from the ceiling. Instead, Scissor Sisters distribute enormous brassieres. This isn’t just any old party.
A sequel that’s faster, flashier and more bombastic than the original
The sequel to Independence Day has been 20 years in the making, and it’s quite stupid but kinda fun
Minus Tom DeLonge, the pop-punk icons prove their worth on album seven
Mount returns both fearless and eccentric on bold new album