By Tom Bishop
BBC News Online
New York band Scissor Sisters have wasted no time in vindicating the pundits who tipped them for success.
Ana Matronic (right) joined the band after they performed at her club
After appearing in BBC News Online's Sound of 2004 poll, they scored a top 10 hit with a disco cover of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb.
They have followed this with a debut album that echoes the best of Prince, Elton John and Donna Summer in one very stylish package.
"We're not the most conventional rock or pop band," admits lead singer Jake Shears, who formed Scissor Sisters three years ago.
"We don't look or sound like everything else," adds his multi-instrumental co-founder Babydaddy, "and we have no desire to."
The pair were given their first live gig by club hostess Ana Matronic, who was impressed enough to join them as a singer. Guitarist Del Marquis and drummer Paddy Boom completed the line-up.
"At first people were apprehensive because of what happened two years ago to [New York dance act] Fischerspooner," explains Matronic.
"They and their electroclash sound were really hyped in the press but never really broke through. That coloured our own musical direction; but none of us ever limited ourselves to one specific genre of music anyway."
Now is the "perfect moment" for Scissor Sisters' funky and often salacious brand of rock, Shears says.
"We shared the top 10 with Kelis, OutKast and Franz Ferdinand, who are all amazing. This is this moment when the freaks can bust the door down and change the way people think about music."
Nevertheless the variety of retro influences on their album may catch listeners off-guard, the youthful band admits.
"But if we can open up doors for fans to go and buy the records of the people we all love, we'll have an army of listeners to feel in kinship with," says Paddy Boom.
Not everyone is rushing to join the Scissor Sisters' party, however, and they have received "rather sinister" threats from Pink Floyd fans unimpressed by the success of Comfortably Numb.
"It was pretty nasty stuff," says Shears, "but Pink Floyd Publishing told us the band was very pleased with our version. Roger Waters wants a picture disc."
"I bet you anything he owns a three-piece white polyester suit and is boogying down to Comfortably Numb, thinking 'wow - I never thought it could sound like this,'" adds Matronic.
In January they were invited to perform the song on ITV pop show CD:UK, an experience they found "hilarious".
"When we rolled in wearing our outfits it was as if fairground music started playing and someone had said 'the circus is in town!'" laughs Matronic.
"Liberty X were also performing and one of the girls in that group just could not stop staring at me. I think they were confused by us."
The band is touring its "full-on" rock show around the UK in February.
Boom declares: "Expect entertainment, good music and something you feel satisfied by at the end of the night."