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Jake Shears at Glastonbury review: A stunning spectacle of vocals and voguing

It's been nearly two decades since Shears burst onto the music scene, but his performance was proof the party has never stopped

5.0 rating

By Joseph Ryan-Hicks

Jake Shears holding a trophy
Jake Shears' Glastonbury performance showed the party is far from over (Image: Mute)

Camp, sweaty and fabulous.

If I had to summarise Jake Shears’ triumphant solo outing at the Avalon Stage yesterday, it would be of that sentiment. Bounding on stage in glittery red athletic wear, it was evident this was going to be everyone’s cardio for the weekend. It was to be expected that a large percentage of the crowd were keen to hear the hits of Shear’s former musical collective, Scissor Sisters. And he did not disappoint.

The singer – who has recently released his second solo album, Last Man Dancing – rattled through several of Scissor Sisters’ biggest hits, barely giving the audience a moment to catch their breath from grooving. “You know what time it is? It’s mama time!”, he announced before the familiar acoustic riff of ‘Take Your Mama’ filled the tent. Queue a sea of women-of-a-certain-age rushing in to join in on the fun. A marvellous spectacle.

The dancing never stopped

Despite the overwhelmingly positive response to hits like ‘Don’t Feel Like Dancin’’ and ‘Let’s Have a Kiki’, Shears’ solo music blended effortlessly into the hits of his former band. So much so that the two eras in his musical career were almost indistinguishable – and the dancing never stopped. “I wrote this song for people who don’t want to go to bed… like me”, he said before launching into the title track of his latest album. It might be nearly two decades since Shears’ burst onto the music scene with his unique blend of funky disco pop, but his latest offerings are further proof that the party has never stopped.

The thumping electroclash of closing number, ‘Filthy/Gorgeous’, was a real highlight. The 2005 hit still sounds as fresh today as it did on release and was the perfect close to wild and high-energy ride.

Despite being billed as a solo performance, nothing about this felt like a one-man show. A packed stage of accompanying musicians, an outrageously talented backing vocalist and an array of voguing dancers made this short but sweet set feel like one big celebration. The final important component being the audience themselves, who lapped up the musically extravagant journey. We’re glad to have witnessed this kiki.