All the gigs of my life

All the gigs of my life: Gig 99 – Scissor Sisters, Thursday, August 18, 2005, Kentish Town Forum

A night of fun and frolics from the Scissor Sisters.

Carrying on through my season of Gigs I Wrote Nothing About In My Diary, here is my one and only gig from the Scissor Sisters. I do remember that, a week before the gig happened it was announced online by Xfm, and I somehow managed to procure two tickets whilst behind the reception desk in my outpatients job – clearly an expert multitasker.

So my Glam Best Friend and I got glammed up once again and strode out to Kentish Town this summer evening. Now, with no diary entry to go from, I have to rely on sketchy, 15 year old memories from the dark recesses of my mind in order to record anything about this gig. I do recall the support set from Bananarama – only a duo at that time, who enthusiastically rattled through a string of camp 80s classics.

As for the Scissor Sisters themselves, much of the set was made up of the darkly seedy and insidiously catchy songs from their debut album. However, I also recall that they previewed a song from their second album and I thought it sounded fantastic. I’d assumed, as I started writing this blog post, that this previewed song would have been their world-conquering single of 2006 “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'”, but this blog post – by someone who was sensible enough to write something down day after the gig -suggests that it was actually “I Can’t Decide”. That is a song that would go on to feature in a particularly epic Doctor Who finale in 2007, and given that my obsession for music was gradually taking second place to my love for Doctor Who at the time I saw the Scissor Sisters, it feels strangely appropriate that I heard that song for the first time this night in 2005.

One further memory is of Ana Matronic dedicating a song to the city of London, referencing the recent 7th July terrorist attack on the transport system, and expressing solidarity as New Yorkers who had, of course, also experienced shocking terrorist activity in recent memory.

All the proceeds from this gig went to charity. I couldn’t bring to mind from memory which charities were being supported, but this old page from Xfm reveals that it was for the Joe Strummer Foundation and Elton John AIDS Foundation. It also mentions the wristbands designed by the band that would be on sale at the gig, with proceeds going to charity. I bought a fetching blue one which says “If in doubt… make tea” – wise words for many a troubled era.

But that’s all there is for this gig. However, I did have an interesting discovery when I searched my Gmail account to see if I had any old emails referencing this gig, which is that I actually bought a ticket to see the band again at Wembley Arena the following year. I have absolutely no memory of doing this, nor why I failed to actually attend that gig in the end – but it’s very much in keeping with the way music was slipping out of my obsessions, making way for other interests and pursuits.

For me, the Scissor Sisters are very much representative of a moment in time: the end of the era of people actually buying music, where idiosyncratic and eclectic artists could infiltrate the people’s hearts and shine their way to the top of the charts, before streaming cast a pall of blandness over the music world. So I’m glad that, for this one time, my gigging life crossed paths with the colourful and characterful world of the Scissor Sisters.

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