Scissor Sisters – Nottingham Arena, Sunday November 12.
Three years ago, when the Scissor Sisters first played Nottingham, they were an achingly hip bunch of New York clubbers – loved by fashionistas with “directional” haircuts, but unknown to the rest of us. Nowadays, you can buy their albums in Sainsburys and hear them on Radio 2. Your mum probably likes them. Indeed, judging by the show of hands in the Arena last night (yes, they asked), their audience now contains equal numbers of mums and gays. As Ana Matronic wryly observed, this must be evidence of the band’s “all round appeal”.
When your pet band makes it big, it can sometimes hurt to share your secret. “They were so much better in the old days”, you’ll sigh, eager to let people know that You Saw Them First. It’s a classic trap.
And yet, painful as it is to criticise such a talented, popular and enjoyable act, something of the original spirit has been lost. The shared sense of fun which worked so well in a sweaty club has been diluted by the sheer size of the venues which the band now fills. Simply put, they’re not a natural arena act. Jake Shears is an able performer – and a sexy little mover to boot, especially in the tight gold shorts he wore for the encore – but he can’t quite extend his reach, and form a personal connection with his audience. The band give it everything they’ve got – but they still look a little swamped by the vast stage.
Of course, none of this mattered during favourites such as “Comfortably Numb”, and the future wedding disco standard “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” – and Jake and Ana’s banter is as outrageous as ever, dedicating “Laura” to their president’s wife. (“May she rest in pieces!”) Nevertheless, a little less mega-success would suit them well.