Scissor Sisters, Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow
Aerosmith, 02, London

The New Yorkers kept a promise and gave their new album its world premiere in Glasgow, to an ecstatic reception

Flattering the crowd is the oldest trick in the showbiz book, but for once it's genuine. Last time Scissor Sisters played Barrowland, they enjoyed it so much that they vowed to showcase their next album here and, impressively, this wasn't bull.

The New Yorkers' third effort, Night Work, does indeed receive its world premiere in the legendary Glasgow ballroom, and Ana Matronic, who admits she was welling up when she heard the famous Barrowland roar from the wings, declares herself an honorary Glaswegian for the night.

It figures that they'd be as good as their word. After all, Scissor Sisters were – maybe still are – a band to believe in. An inclusive Rainbow Nation of male, female, gay, bi and straight, they embodied in terms of gender and sexuality what Sly and the Family Stone did in terms of race, when they first came pirouetting into view.

They may have been too vanilla for some tastes, but what Scissor Sisters achieved in terms of mainstream acceptance of alternative sexualities must not be underestimated. They were a band uniquely able to reach out to anyone, regardless of age and background: I meet at least one person who's literally taken their mama out tonight.

I, for one, was so swept up with the Scissors' liberation philosophy that I came a needle's width from having their logo tattooed on my bicep. But after their second album Ta-Da arrived with an inferior killer-filler ratio to its hit-packed predecessor, I was glad I'd bottled out of that plan.

Tonight, it doesn't take long to remember why I loved them. When Jake Shears, in stonewashed jeggings, trademark braces and a soon-discarded vest, starts dancing like a puppet on invisible strings and Ana Matronic starts crawling towards him like Catwoman, it's as if they have never been away.

Ana's easily Jake's equal as a focus of attention. Wearing a dress made of rubber, her hair in 1940s victory rolls – simultaneously classy and kinky – she's the Sisters' genial ringmistress, in contrast to the more reticent Jake. And a married woman she may be, but she's a much-adored dykon, every bit as popular with that demographic as Shears is with the boys. When she slaps her own posterior, there's a telltale high-pitched scream.

Comeback single "Fire with Fire" isn't working for me yet, but other Night Work excerpts such as "Whole New Way" seamlessly reprise the Scissors' trick of fusing dancefloor grooves with charleston/ragtime/ vaudeville daftness, and can live alongside oldies such as the Parton-channelling "Laura", the Teutonic perv-pop of "Tits on the Radio" and the hillbilly disco of "I Don't Feel Like Dancing".

On the basis of this first taster, that tattoo might be back on. At least a temporary henna version ...

There are many bands who could lay claim to being the inspiration for Spinal Tap, but Aerosmith's case is among the most convincing. The Tap's "Hello, Cleveland!" moment is the sort of thing that happened to Steve Tyler and Joe Perry on a regular basis in their Seventies pomp. On one occasion, for example, the band decided to reverse the normal order of their set, which so disorientated a drug-damaged Tyler that he sang the first song (normally their last), triumphantly yelled "Thank you, good night!" and strode off into the wings.

Make no mistake, this is a band who've lived it. Steven Davis's official Smith-ography, Walk This Way, easily the match of Mötley Crüe's The Dirt, charts their rise from playing scuzzy dives where Hell's Angels fought to the death in front of them to making their name as the archetypal good-time Southern boogie outfit (no mean feat for a band from Boston), to the scandalous behaviour that accompanied their imperial phase. In guitarist Joe Perry's case, this meant getting through heroin like it was sugar on his Kellogg's. In Steve Tyler's case, it was shacking up with a 14-year-old whose legal guardianship he somehow obtained from her parents.

My favourite anecdote, though, is the one about produced Jack Douglas hanging live crabs from the ceiling of a studio whose light switch was on the far wall, then sending in studio manager Jay Messina to fumble his way through the crustaceans' furious pincers. It highlights a childishness which has served Aerosmith well over the years, as the innuendo-laden "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)" reminds us tonight.

If they sometimes feel like they need a rest, it's hardly surprising. The Cocked, Locked, Ready To Rock tour was preceded by protracted rumours that Tyler was about to retire, and even talk that Aerosmith might replace him with Lenny Kravitz (arguably an even more disastrous idea than Mick Hucknall fronting the Faces).

Thankfully, Tyler's back in the saddle, romping up the catwalk in silver lycra flares for "Love in an Elevator". (There aren't many bands who, when wondering how to give the start of their show a lift, can go for the literal option.)

It's often said that hooking up with Aerosmith helped to break Run DMC – and rap in general – into the mainstream, but in Europe the opposite was true. Prior to "Walk This Way", most Brits couldn't name an Aerosmith song with a pistol pressed to their temples. Indeed, they aren't even credited on the seven-inch.

To us, therefore, they're a phenomenon of the late 1980s/early 90s, by which time they were already endearingly ragged old tarts, their revival powered by those Alicia Silverstone-vehicle videos. Tonight, it's one of those songs – more than "Walk This Way" – that will live in this writer's memory. "Cryin'" is the ultimate tears-in-your-beer rock ballad, and I scream along, like the rest of the 02, with no irony whatsoever. You can giggle at Tyler and Perry as hard as you'd giggle at Tap's Tufnel and St Hubbins, but when they can pull a song as great as that out of the bag, who's having the last laugh?

Next Week:

Simon catches Kele Okereke, a chip off the old Bloc

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing