77 Days To Infamous……

Just another 77 days and finally I get to see Derren Brown’s Infamous (only had my tickets since June last year lol, however my wait will soon be over). Currently doing a week in Leeds, here’s a local interview he has done there  with ‘Leeds-List Meets’ with a few added pictures from my laptop……..
Its Theatre Darling - Leeds Grand Theatre - Derren Brown Infamous_668_web

Leeds-List Meets… Derren Brown


By:  Paul Clarke 21.3.14

Derren Brown is one of the few illusionists who genuinely make you think ‘how did he do that?’

His TV shows and live shows are the work of an entertainer who really understands what makes people tick. Paul Clarke caught up with as he brings his new show ‘Infamous’ to Leeds Grand Theatre later this month


What is Infamous all about? Well I ask audiences to keep the contents of the show a secret, so I can’t say a lot. For anyone who has seen previous shows, they’ll get the general idea – it’s an evening of psychological manipulation where audience participants are randomly selected with frisbees. There are certain themes that emerge, but I don’t want to give anything away. It’s funnier and more varied than what you’ll see on TV and you know you’re not seeing something that’s edited or staged. I find it has a better home on stage then on the small screen. That’s one of the reasons I’ve moved away from performing that kind of stuff on TV.


You are back working with Andy Nyman and you claim this show is different to the others…how so? It’s got a different feel from previous shows. It’s personal, more stripped back, my equivalent of an ‘acoustic’ set. I felt, after five previous shows, that I had to do something different. It was a risky move, as we weren’t sure that people would go with it, but they seem to have taken well to the sideways step.



I saw Svengali, which was mind-blowing…you must have psychic powers. That’s very kind, but I don’t, I actually spent a lot of time debunking such things. I think it’s good for people to know that sort of thing can be convincingly faked. But strangely, I find that I have to be more convincing than the psychics who perform largely for believers, as they don’t have to work so hard. if you know what can be done by someone like me, then you can make a more informed decision about whether or not you want to go see someone, say, offering to put you in touch with a lost loved one. I find the psychological reasons behind why those kinds of charlatans can convince us is far more resonant than talk about spirits or psychic ability, because ultimately it’s about us, about what it is to be human, and how we work as thinking, fallible, fascinating creatures.


Victorian theatres like Leeds Grand Theatre seem perfect for your type of show…what do you think of the venue?
It’s beautiful and the crowds are excellent, which is why we’re filming it there for television. Whatever happens on stage in Leeds Grand Theatre will be immortalised for ever. Which is an odd thought, given how much the show can change from night to night – I don’t know what sort of people will turn up or how they’ll react. The show works well in older theatres, as it’s all about the experience of the audience members and the environment does make a difference. If I was performing in arenas and stadiums, it would be a very different type of show and we’d lose any of the intimacy. That’s bad enough for comedians, but I think for my shows it would demand a complete re-think.



I loved ‘Apocalypse’. Out of the TV shows you’ve done, do you have any favourites? ‘Apocalypse’ and ‘Hero at 30,000 ft’ are my favourites. In both cases, someone’s life was really affected for the better and it was a very emotional experience for everyone involved. So I feel a strong connection with those shows, as well as with Matt – who’s from Leeds – and Steven who went through them. But, that’s not the same as them being the ‘best’ shows or the most popular – that’s a hard one to judge. Certainly Apocalypse was madly ambitious. The last show, The Great Art Robbery, was much more intimate in scale, but was still extremely popular.


How thrilling was your cameo in ‘Sherlock’? I confess I’d only seen bits of it here and there. I don’t watch TV and was only vaguely aware of the extraordinary phenomenon that is ‘Sherlock’ before I starred in it. I watched the previous episode shortly before viewing the one I was in and like everyone else; I tried to figure out the answer, but I was way off. It was a fun day filming – I did it during a day off from touring ‘Infamous’ last year. There were loads of ‘Sherlock’ fans on the street and the production team kept them guessing and threw out a lot of red herrings. The atmosphere was extraordinary. I did my tiny bit fairly quickly and enjoyed it immensely.



Although you are pushing people’s buttons, are you ever surprised how far people will go? Filming ‘The Assassin’ brought some surprises – the guy who was to later shoot Stephen Fry was hypnotised and put in an ice bath, having been told that he would find it perfectly comfortable. The psychologists and I were both skeptical that the suggestion would work, but it would have been fine in the show for it not to have worked, so we went ahead, not really sure about what would happen. It worked so well, that it challenged our presumptions about nothing really being possible under hypnosis that isn’t possible outside of it. You’d be hard pushed to sit in that ice without battering an eyelid using any other sort of motivation. That was fascinating for me. Usually I’m fairly confident that the bigger stunts will work and that they’ll comply in the right way, but often it’s the small stuff that takes me by surprise.


You are the patron of a parrot sanctuary. How on earth did that come about? I had a parrot for many years and I used to talk about him in interviews. The Parrot Zoo – near Skegness – got in touch and asked if I’d be a patron.
Since then I’ve seen it grow into the most extraordinary place. They take in unwanted parrots and do some wonderful research with them, while offering a gorgeous visitor attraction with monkeys and meerkats.
We all go as a touring group whenever we pass anywhere remotely close and it’s generally the highlight of the tour for us. I have a new parrot now – a Blue Quaker called Rasputin. They’re extraordinary animals.

Derren Brown’s Infamous is at Leeds Grand Theatre from Monday 23rd March to Saturday 29th March 2014. Tickets are available.

Erm……..”It can’t come quickly enough” :D

Attitude Magazine: Shears on Scissor Sisters: ‘I’m sure we’ll start in a couple years’


Jake Shears has spoken about the future of Scissor Sisters.

The much-loved pop band released their fourth albumMagic Hour in May 2012 – then announced that October that they were going on hiatus.

Speaking to Attitude recently, Shears, the band’s frontman, revealed that he has been writing music in his new hometown of Los Angeles, where he recently moved from New York  - but said it was too soon to say what this will be used for.

“All I can say is I’ve been writing music, who knows?” Shears said coyly. “Who’ve I been writing with? Just, you know, various friends. I feel like if I say anything it’s just gonna… There’s no real, like, plan.

“It’s been interesting getting into the L.A. world because I’ve had to meet new people. In New York there’s so many collaborators: I know so many people and I can just pull someone into the recording studio and get writing. In L.A. I’ve had to, like, meet new people and make friends. It takes a little while. But I’ve definitely met some awesome people now and I’m enjoying writing again.”

Asked what made Scissor Sisters decide to go on hiatus in 2012, he replied: “I think the thing was, when we hit the ten-year mark, we were like, ‘Oh my God, it’s our tenth anniversary!’. That to me was sort of wake-up call. We were either in a tour cycle or a recording cycle for that entire time and we made four albums. And when [instant camp classic Let's Have A] Kiki happened I was like, well, we’ve said that,  I don’t quite know what else to say.”

He then added: “I’m gonna be very excited some day to take it back up again and I’m sure in the next couple of years, some crazy idea is gonna come to me and Scissor Sisters will start the next record.”

The Voice

Continuing, Shears admitted that he misses his band mates and being in Scissor Sisters. “You know, I miss it a lot, I miss performing,” he said. “But I feel like it’s a good thing. With Scissors, I felt like we just got to this amazing place where we felt satisfied with what we’d done – and once we hit that satisfaction point, I didn’t really know if it was a good idea to keep going with it. Right now, anyway. I felt like we sort of said what we wanted to say for now.”

Shears will join his close friend Kylie Minogue as an advisor on The Voice this Saturday (March 1). During his chat with Attitude, he revealed that Kylie and the Scissor Sisters recorded “a whole album’s worth” of songs together over the years

Jake Shears To Assist Kylie On The Voice UK – Hell Yeah :)

This pleases me muchly :) :)


……..hoot :)

Posted by Jake on Instagram tonight :)

Posted by Jake on Instagram tonight :)

MY VIEW: We are on the third series of  ‘The Voice’ here in the UK. I have never watched until this series. The changing of  two judges has made such a difference.  Always loved  the Kaiser Chiefs so great having Ricky on board. Having Kylie, someone with a lengthy career in the business seems much more appropriate also. Thoroughly enjoying this series, blind auditions have ended, now the fun really starts…….


Will.i.am, Ricky Wilson, Kylie Minogue and Sir Tom Jones. The Voice UK 2014 judges.



Scissor Sisters: 10 Years (How Time Flies) – Article from Idolator.com

Scissor Sisters’ Debut Album Turns 10, Babydaddy Discusses: Backtracking

Feb 3rd, 2014 via Idolator.com

“Another kind of love.” A passing phrase in “Better Luck Next Time,” one of eleven tracks on Scissor Sisters‘ multimillion-selling debut album. Another kind of love is what the band brought to pop culture in 2004. Stories of club life, sex, freedom… taking your mother on the town to get her “jacked up on some cheap champagne.” Four men, one woman, and some seriously theatrical clothing.

The giddy energy and wit of the band’s songs, mixed with the buoyant personalities of vocalists Jake Shears and Ana Matronic, made the Sisters POP on the radio. Surrounded on the charts by acts like KeaneRobbie WilliamsFranz Ferdinand and Maroon 5, they were a discoball with a lit fuse. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of their eponymous debut (released February 2, 2004), Idolator spoke with band’s songwriter Scott Hoffman, properly known to fans as Babydaddy, about the album’s recording and its resulting success.

Scissor Sisters formed in the club scene of turn-of-the-21st-century New York, with multi-instrumentalist Hoffman, Shears on lead vocals, guitarist Del Marquis, a drummer called Paddy Boom and Matronic as a ribald mistress of ceremonies/vocalist. From the start, they had a clear goal for the recording of Scissor Sisters: “We felt strongly that the album needed to be not only a manifesto of what Scissor Sisters were,” says Hoffman, “but also a full survey of where we started and where had had come by the time the album was complete.”

Scissor Sisters — ”Comfortably Numb”

Their first single, on indie label A Touch of Class, was the snarky “Electrobix.” It didn’t make the final tracklist, but when the band landed their UK contract with Polydor, that single’s b-side became the record that tipped them on the charts. Their cover of Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” re-imagined the classic as a sinewy, falsetto-laden dance track. It went to #10 on the UK singles chart, but not without some initial doubts.

“We were proud of ourselves as songwriters and weren’t too keen to be known as ‘that band’ who was only known for a cover song,” Hoffman says.

A year later, in what he calls an “insane moment” in London’s Hyde Park, Hoffman and his bandmates finally came face to face with the rock legends. “We [met] Floyd at the Live 8 concert, first David Gilmour and the rest of the band minus Roger (Waters), and then Roger on his own,” he recalls. “They said they had had some sort of meeting in which they discussed whether our version was ‘ok’. Apparently it was.”

There’s a wind-up man walking round and round

From the very first track, “Laura,” it’s clear the album is going to have a sense of humor. After an intro that sounds like a lost Muppets theme, Shears starts telling stories. His observational skills are fine-tuned and he stacks these songs with the New York characters. From the self-referencing of Babydaddy on “Laura,” to the “acid junkie college flunky dirty puppy daddy bastard” in “Filthy/Gorgeous,” these are downtown tales unlike anything on the radio at the time.

Scissor Sisters — ”Laura”

The threads between the Sisters and the classics of pop rock are laced throughout the music. The immense guitar-and-piano single “Take Your Mama” has, to many ears, an early ’70s Elton John vibe. “I was a fan of Elton’s music,” recalls Hoffman, “but Jake wasn’t as familiar with the catalog at the time we made the album.” He says that it was actually the Elton comparisons that lead them to delve more into his music, “but not necessarily in time to influence the record too greatly.”

Scissor Sisters — ”Take Your Mama”

You gotta wrap your fuzzy with a big red bow

Scissor Sisters’ attitude was forthright, unashamed when it came to sexuality. The album’s stomping “Tits On The Radio,” (with a lyrical assist from Ana Matronic) brought us this wicked chorus: “You can’t see tits on the radio / I’ll give you five fingers for a one man show / Fasten those pants for the lap dance…”

“Filthy/Gorgeous,” Hoffman says, “was mostly about being yourself, with that message including, of course, sexual freedom.” It was a point of view the UK and Europe embraced more easily than their own homeland. The culture on the other side of the Atlantic was almost the inverse of America, which seemed repulsed by sex, yet glorified violence. In the UK, Hoffman says, “we had been told many times there could be no guns or cigarettes in any imagery.”

When I suggest that the album has a certain power, or even joy, in its gay sensibility, Hoffman responds thoughtfully. “The band was named after a term for lesbians, a few of us were openly gay men — Ana was a ‘drag queen trapped in a woman’s body’ — and we sang about all kinds of sex and love,” he says. “We talked about gay things. But the music we made was for everyone. To be called a ‘gay band’, on the other hand, always felt dismissive, like it was meant to pull us out of the mainstream.”

But they were the mainstream, certainly in the UK, where Scissor Sisters sold a hearty 2.5 million albums, making their debut the bestselling LP of 2004 — one that yielded five singles.

I’ll make the journey so sublime

Although the band is known for its up-tempo tracks, the album is grounded in measures of sweetness, melancholy and darkness. The stunning ballad “Mary” encapsulates Shears’ capacity for introspection: “Someday we’ll go round the world / I’ll make the journey so sublime / I know you’re not a travelin’” girl,” he sings lovingly to his real-life best friend. Hoffman says today, “I think it’s one of the most meaningful and honest things he has ever written.”

Scissor Sisters — “Mary”

Likewise, album closer “Return To Oz” goes deep into the meth-addled underside of modern nightlife, but it sets the tale in a sweep of ’70s rock music. Which was the point, according to Hoffman: “[Oz] was our attempt to write a ‘classic,’ epic rock song,” he says. “It probably spoke as much to Floyd as it did to a band like Ween.”

He continues: “We were fans of pop music through and through… we felt that we had accomplished what we had sought out to do: to make a great pop album that we hoped allowed us a chance to be a part of pop history.”

Listening to Scissor Sisters ten years on, the music brings back fizzy memories of the band bouncing onstage in feathers and too-tight-to-breathe pants. New York twentysomethings taking the world by the — to use a British term — bollocks.

For the man known onstage as Babydaddy, the songs bring back those early years…the journey, from playing New York clubs like The Cock to conquering the main stage at the legendary Glastonbury festival in England.

“As we drove away on our bus,” he remembers, “we found out our album had gone to #1.”

MY VIEW: Still got my old original copy which has seen better days. The cover is now above a poster on a wall in my humble abode just had to keep my old copy which was bought the week it was released back in 2004. Now I have a replacement copy along with the 3 albums that followed of course….. Some bands just stick with you through life. Here’s to any future tour. Loved every minute of seeing them live back in 2010 :)

My Photo 2

My Photo 1