Scissor Sisters - MEN Arena Manchester - 6.11.06
Many bands have been in Scissor Sisters position and just faded away. I mean look at the Darkness who had it all and then f**ked it all away with drug addiction and a megalomaniac control freak of a lead singer that turned off their few supporters in the media. For Scissor Sisters it all could have ended up the same way. I mean how do you end up going from an underground performance art troupe to hanging around with Elton and Kylie without it affecting you. With Scissor Sisters it opened up to them the possibility of making a classic pop album with that inevitable unique touch and before you knew it "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" was the biggest song of the year with the exception of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy".
After last weeks dark glitter filled Halloween Show at the Manchester Apollo the biggest surprise about the Arena show is just how conventional they've become since the theatre shows last year. With Jake Shears and Ana Matronic upfront the set itself could have been borrowed off the Sugababes, but to their credit it puts the focus back on the music which is perhaps the last
With a seamlessly never ending collection of singles from the debut album (and album tracks that should have been singles) tonight really seems like a Greatest Hits collection. "Mary" with it's soaring Elton John influence through to the Party Monster sleazy electro of "Filthy Gorgeous" via the honky tonk of "Mama" and the amphetamine laced "Comfortable Numb". If we could see the drugs of choice in the Scissor Sisters camp by the music they were playing before then the new material they're stone cold sober, but still partying hard on champagne and vodka and red bull as "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" is the party tune of the year that you never ever tire of. On the other hand new single "Land Of A Thousand Words" is at best passable and the tracks of "Ta Dah" are not familiar enough yet to become crowd favourites.
If you've been here since the early days what's interesting is at the same time Jake has retreated into his shell and become a little less confrontational, a little more reserved, Ana has stepped to the front of the stage as the face of Scissor Sisters happy to basque in the attention and continually banging home about how important the UK is to the Scissor Sisters. With any other band it would seem insincere but despite the New York glamour the Scissor Sisters following in the grand tradition of British Camp from Carry On through to Morrissey's humorous moments by way of the classic British Pantomime.
As someone who's been there since the early days tonight was a chance to see the band reach that level, but next time they come back we'd like to see more of that low-rent glamour
Photos: Karen McBride www.karenmcbride.com