Simultaneously released along with Dannii Minogue's Perfection and Jenny Frost's Crash Landing, it was an exciting era where sadly none of them got their just deserts. Lisa's unsure determination was evident with her face furrowed like a cracked egg shell as the blistering track rattled on compelling her to 'buzz like a vibrator' whilst keeping a straight albeit-asymmetrical face. Disposable lyrics are part of what pop is loved for and here she boasts: 'I'll buzz like a vibrator, an energy creator, yeah, yeah, yeah' ... 'duracell got nothing on me' ... 'jack me up feeling the E' ... and 'feel me, I’m unprotected / see spots now we’re connected' (as if sharing an STD is the new sharing an ice-cream cone).
Above: Lisa's live P.A's are legendary at gay clubs where her loyal and crazy fans will claw at homosexuals and stop at nothing to try and touch their favourite Steps member.
Scott-Lee's stellar career in Steps does not invest me beyond the stunning Love's Got A Hold of My Heart and the sun-reflecting Last Thing On My Mind. Nevertheless, Lisa's solo singles showcased the kind of vocal grit, production gusto and glamorous edge that helped make 2003 a fantastic year for fans of alpha-female electronic dance-pop. Holly, Dannii, Rachel, Britney, Libery X, Jamelia, Sugababes - they were all at it.
Above: Lisa's courageous reality TV venture on MTV distracted attention away from the music, and despite her likeable enthusiasm she came across to many as laughably desperate. Her album Never Or Now was eventually released in South Africa with a horrible 'we don't think you're that beautiful' front cover.
Lately is her unfortunately-titled sole and last top 10 hit to date, a flashy number with a sweet chorus with designs on blending Kylie and Dannii and coming up with a titanium groove that is all her own. Its improbably fun and frothy b-side I'm Burning is just magnificently delicate but is Hi-NRG inspired. Her best was yet to come: Too Far Gone performed admirably, stabbing the charts at #11 in a tough sales week. Echoing Alcazar, it remains her finest single and could have been released by Dannii or even Infernal.
Above: Sex siren Lisa gets famously impatient, pictured here waiting to find out if she got the part of 'skank on a chair' to tide her over financially until her next magazine deal.
I personally saw Lisa perform at a really nasty gay dive called Bennets in Glasgow: basically I was very drunk and sensibly pushed my way right to the front not knowing where my friends were (this is when it all went wrong). I had to cling onto the railing by the stage for dear life as her hysterical fans tried all but knawing my hands off in order to prize my fingers off the banister. Luckily for me, when these nutters got the attention of a security guard, even whilst pissed out my face, I was still able to eyeball some sanity to the burly bouncer and got to stay put. Now onto Lisa: she basically stood as far back as possible within this tiny 'stage', from her fans leaning out to her like starving African children at a Madonna concert, and even her backing dancers looked at her with such incredulous embrassment which made the ordeal almost worth it. The next day I had bruises, but that might just be another story.
Below: creating 'buzz' for her #23 guest vocalist single Get It On with her collaborators Intenso Project too embarassed to be seen.Special mention must go to her sultry secret weapon Back In Time (later covered by Angel City), a slinky distortion of painful regret and brittle self-preservation. It boasts her most lusty vocal to date, cracking under the pressure of things going wrong: 'such deep regrets can't pay my debts' and an ad-lib that twirls down the plughole make the singer a sympathetic and highly emotive performer far beyond what she will ever be given credit for.
Above: 'Oh to have a second chance to try ... I wanna go back and do it all again'.
Lisa might have a face like an egg shell, but her similarly dented and bashed beauty has never been more evident than on a recent photo-shoot 'doing a Demi' whilst 7 months pregnant - publicity whoring shows her back very much in form, and I for one cannot wait for her to come to her senses and get her priorities straight by finally releasing more sexually ecstatic dance fodder, singing about sex, dancing sexily in a club and more filthy anthems about having it off 'unprotected'. Lisa's 3 single legacy of trashy publicity stunts and dancefloor sass grooves on.
Here is what I wrote about Lisa back in 2007 on popjustice:
Everyone associates desperation with Scott-Lee, but I think she is mostly just very sensitive and not really equipped to properly deflect her critics. Electric is still a good song, but it came a couple of years too late, amongst a smug media portrayal (her CD:UK treatment was almost sickening) and a time-limit and budget all seemed to catch up with her on close-up. She was without her safely net. I think she sounded all the more compelling for it, but battling these ridiculous barriers, she did very well. At the time it was herself, Dannii and Jenny Frost releasing tracks with very narrow appeal. Of the lot, Electric was the most commendable. Not that that is saying much; Dannii was doing herself no favours mixing botox with Ibiza and Frost at least got the sentiment right with her song title. Lisa should avoid questions of giving up, or just answer "what do you think"; "fuck off, I was in Steps".
Enough! - thanks for reading.
Never Or Now download here.
Never Or Now download here.