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Scissor Sisters are doing it for themselves
Crack houses, stripping, underwear parties, hate mail from Pink Floyd fans and Elton John’s dog – are you ready for a tasty slice of camp pop history as told by Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters?
Stuart Clark, 03 Aug 2004
Ever wondered what Alex Kapranos would be like if he was gay, had a penchant for wearing ladies’ blouses and considered Elton John to be the last word in musical sophistication? Ladies and gentleman, meet Jake Shears, mainman with the all-singing, all-dancing, all-mincing – his words, not mine! – Scissor Sisters.
The parallels mightn’t be immediately obvious, but consider the evidence. They’re both into pop subversion (“Scissor Sisters” is New York slang for a particularly lewd lesbian act); write killer tunes (singing along to ‘Laura’ in the shower is a guilty pleasure chez Clark); and would be inconsolable if anything ever happened to their male grooming products. As if to clinch the deal, Shears recently covered ‘Take Me Out’ for a Jo Whiley radio session (archived here).
“Franz Ferdinand are one of the few rock bands you look at nowadays and think, ‘Whether you’re gay, straight or somewhere inbetween, these guys are sexy!’ ” the 24-year-old enthuses. “Elton John ‘Are You Ready For Love’, Britney Spears ‘Toxic’ and Snow Patrol ‘Run’ were the other songs I had in mind for the show, but ‘Take Me Out’ won because of the bit near the start where it goes dum-dum-dum and then just explodes! It’s so much fun to play.”
Fun is something Scissor Sisters have been having a lot of recently, with the band systematically getting to meet all of their heroes.
“We’ve either supported or got to hang out with Duran Duran, Debbie Harry, the B52s, David Byrne and Elton John, who came to see us with George Michael,” Shears drools. “That was a real ‘I can’t believe this is happening moment!’, which got better still when Sir Elton asked us to open for him in the UK.”
It must’ve been sphincter-relaxing knowing that Messrs. Dwight and Panayiotou were out in the crowd.
“Yeah, I was shitting myself,” he admits. “I asked where he was sitting before I went out, so I kept looking over to see what Elton’s reaction was. I got a little wave from him at the end of every song, and a big hug afterwards when he came into the dressing room to tell us how much he’d enjoyed himself. He’s the kindest man.”