TVD Live Shots: Jake Shears at Heaven, 11/14

The first time I heard the Scissor Sisters was at SXSW in 2004. I remember watching the show and thinking that this is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen at SXSW—glorious ’70s pop played with an incredible band and two flamboyant singers taking me back to the good old days of AM radio, but with a much slicker, modern production.

During the set, I ask the guy next to me who’s on stage, and he yells in my ear with a heavy British accent, “It’s the Caesar Sisters mate.” After that, I was on a mission to find out who the Caesar Sisters were and how I could get my hands on their record if they even had one. After researching further I, of course, figured out that the guy was yelling “Scissor Sisters” and I ran straight to Waterloo records and bought the album. I put the thing on, and I was hooked from the opening bouncing piano and distinctive vocals of the incredible Jake Shears.

Now the Scissor Sisters have been on hiatus since 2012, and both Shears and his counterpart, the equally brilliant Anamatronic, have been laying low with only a collaboration or two leaking out over the years. Then seemingly out of nowhere I see an ad that Jake Shears is playing two solo gigs, one in New York and the other in London. THIS is why I love living in London—you never know what or who’s going to announce a gig among the many different amazing venues that the city harbours. I immediately bought a ticket.

Shears took the stage in front of an absolutely jam-packed room for an intimate performance in a relatively small club (by Scissor Sisters standards that is). Opening the set with the new song “Good Friends,” it was immediately clear that Jake and his band were excited to share the new material. Jake’s voice was flawless, and his band was locked and loaded. Easily the best song of the night came in the form of another new one called “Sex on the Brain”—a true gem of a pop song with a slight disco feel, but a whole lotta soul and one hell of a hook.

The only official song released so far teasing the hotly anticipated solo record is the New Orleans funkified Bee Gees-like “Creep City.” As many reviewers have already mentioned, it’s not a huge departure from the Sisters’ sound, but it does strip away the electronic dance feel of the newer Sisters songs and gets back to the funky sounds of the debut, ala “Take Your Mama Out” and “Laura,” both of which made appearances that evening in Shears’ brilliant set.

Closing out the night was a slowed down take on the Sisters’ massive hit “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” which sounded fantastic. While it was great to hear some Scissor Sisters classics, this night was all about Shears’ solo material which can’t be released quickly enough for this fan. I don’t even think there is a tentative date yet, so stay tuned to Shears’ updates and get ready to hear some feel-good music at a time when the world desperately needs it.

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