Scissor Sisters - Manchester Academy 3 - 12.2.04

It looks like a scene out of Boy George's Taboo or Party Monster and for once it feels right to be in Manchester. About as far removed from the macho facade of the city, the fashionistas are out on the town and even though 20 minutes later the uber-trendy mullet haircuts start to tire you can't help but applaud the Scissor Sisters for bringing this camp carnival to a drab northern city. As Ana Matronic exclaims later, this is an old gay mans dirty fantasy!!!

From the moment the Sisters hit the stage it's non-stop entertainment for the next 60 minutes. If we thought the euphoric high of music couldn't hit higher after The Darkness, Polyphonic Spree and Junior Senior gigs over the past 12 months then the Scissor Sisters took the theatre and drama of the Rocky Horror Show and placed it the setting of what can loosely be described as a gig. Jake camps it up and minces throughout like the perfect host, an anorexic Leigh Bowery with a knowing grin and a wardrobe that is barely draped on him. And it would be easy to write them off as simply a stylized package if it wasn't for the fact that the tunes were so damn good. "Take You Mama Out" is half George Michael's "Freedom" covered by Elton John mixed with Primal Screams "Loaded" and played out in the mid west. "Laura" is Moby being f**ked over my the Tweenies and is even more joyful to watch with the interplay between Jake and Ana Matronic. Ana playing the letching fag hag to Jake's camp queen. It's these two that form the core of the Scissor Sisters, but Baby Daddy, Paddy Boom and Del Marquis come into their own as the show goes on.

"You Can't Get Tits on the radio...You can't get tit's on the Superbowl" Ana announces before launching into "Tits On The Radio", a song which lambastes Guilliani's vision of New York. Seemingly narked with the numerous chants for her to get her "tits out for the lads" Ana loses it by the end of the song and asks the young offenders to "go and watch a Britney video, she gets her tits out for every song...anyway he's (jake) got his tits out if that's what you want". As the opening riff to "Comfortably Numb" kicks in the room opens up in gay abandon. That uplifting house chords as the line "There is no pain you are receiving" kicks in is the sweetest pill and for those who have heard the Pink Floyd it's the work of genius or a travesty. Once you heard it live it's irrelevant and impossible not to get carried along with the sheer joy of it all.

Not only have the Scissor Sisters produced one of the albums of the year, they've also proved that they're the best live act on the circuit. When these guys return in a couple of months they'll be no avoiding em, bring on the gay pop revolution!!!

Alex McCann
Photo's by Karen McBride -

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