14 years after the release of the debut Scissor Sisters album, front-man Jake Shears is back on the scene with his debut solo offering that possesses the same fundamentally upbeat approach that shot the band to success back in 2004. Though this isn’t the first we’ve heard of Shears this year as March saw the release of his autobiography, ‘Boys Keep Swinging’. We caught Shears on one of the first dates of his UK tour, at one of our favourite venues; Arts Club, Liverpool.
Shears burst onto the stage with the Bowie-esque ‘Good Friends‘, before diving into the first Scissor Sisters track of the evening; ‘I Can’t Decide’. Exuberant as ever and dressed in sparkly gold trousers and a top hat, Shears barely stopped moving, dancing around the stage and taking full advantage of the intimate nature of the venue by singing to the lucky fans that were stood within the first few rows of the crowd. Being one of the jauntiest tracks in the Scissor Sisters back catalogue, it’s hard to imagine how it could be followed, but there were no problems whatsoever as ‘Big Bushy Mustache’ was more than worthy and it wasn’t long before another Scissor Sisters hit was introduced.
As the instantaneously recognisable intro to ‘Laura’ began, triggering robotic dance moves from Shears, there wasn’t a single static person in the crowd and the volume of the mass sing-along well and truly highlighted the adoration felt towards Shears from the entire room. However, as wonderful and unexpected as it was to hear such an array of Scissor Sisters tracks, Shears’ solo material soared just as much and tracks such as the anthemic ‘Sad Song Backwards’ and the bass heavy ‘Clothes Off’ slotted into the set list just as perfectly as ‘Take Your Mama’ and ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’. The only opportunity the crowd had to catch their breath during the 90 minute set was during bruised ballads ‘Everything I’ll Ever Need’ and ‘Palace in the Sky’, evoking emotion both onstage and off, as well as placing the spotlight on the strength of Shears’ vocals.
Mid-set, Shears ripped his trousers off, revealing fish nets reminiscent of his Scissor Sisters touring days – though it wasn’t just his confident manner and flamboyant outfits that showcased his bold and bubbly personality and when he wasn’t thanking the crowd for their support, he was telling quirky anecdotes. That’s not to mention the constant beaming smile that was upon his face throughout the entire evening!
The eclectic single ‘Creep City’ kicked off the encore, with the set coming to an almighty end with ‘Mississippi Delta (I’m Your Man’) and we can confirm that the world is certainly a brighter place with Jake Shears in it. With the man himself teasing future UK dates and his album still storming the charts, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a repeat performance very soon!