Petshop950

AS THE decades roll by and the world becomes a little more volatile, The Pet Shop Boys remain perhaps the only unremitting force out there. The Bournemouth crowd were dropped deep into a tube of hundreds and thousands, where only bright colours surround them. A kaleidoscope of lights. A 1980s cult classic given a modern makeover that succeeds to capture its original beauty.

It’s no surprise The Pet Shop Boys, made up of London-duo Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, have captured the fascination of every generation since the re-recording of ‘West End Girls’ dropped in 1985. The ever twirling vocals of Tennant, still retaining an unwavering potency that went on to redefine a era, that collides with the still relevant electronics of synth maestro Lowe, was an instant hit. Decades later it remains.

Two gigantic pill-like discs revolve slowly. Oscillating darts of light fire out. Dressed with head gear more associated with Daft Punk than two maturing electro-genius’, the pair move slyly towards their audience. Cue ‘Inner Sanctum’ and a shuddering of overwhelming euphoria strikes.

It was a massive throwback. With tracks such as new disco anthem ‘Pop Kids’ re-energising the Boys’ set – that saw an array of the band’s forgotten classics interspersed with the likes of ‘Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)’ and ‘New York City Boy’ – the wave these lads continue to ride is astounding.

The magnitude of sound, landscape and energy was so immense, the band’s inaugural hit sounded soft. But brash smacks of disco-fueled ‘It’s a Sin’, football anthem ‘Go West’ and the beautifully re imagined ‘Always On My Mind’, saw the energy levels soar.

Such is their hook-laced brand of writing, it was only after leaving the Bournemouth International Centre in the cold, wet night that some hits like ‘Surburbia’ hadn’t been played. To be fair though, after 36 years, 39 top-20 hits and a performance that reminded us that as our perception of the world fragments, somethings will never change.

And frankly we hope The Pet Shop Boys never will.

Words by Clive K Hammond

MORE

CARELESS PEOPLE, CHARLOTTE OC, ALBUM, RECORDED
FOR SOMETIME, Charlotte Mary O’Connor – aka Charlotte OC – has been the electro-soulstress on the cusp of brilliance. Her 2013 track ‘Colour My Heart’ remains one of the darkened pop classics that finally distanced her from the bratty pop career Sony had once dreamt she would have. And in the four-years since, critics, fans […]
AETHERLIGHT, MT WOLF, ALBUM, RECORDED
NOT SINCE Sigur Rós landed in 1997 with their maiden release ‘Von’, has a debut album created such an anthemic buzz that every shard of the body quakes in sorrow, ectascy and electricity. And within minutes of London trio Mt Wolf’s ‘Aetherlight’ the very nature of the listener’s spirituality and existence is bought to question. […]
FEEDER, GUILDHALL, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
FOR quarter of a century, Newport alternative rockers Feeder have adorned playlist after playlist collated by exasperated teenagers, angry at something that they don’t really understand. Their songs have continually found relevance across generations of fans with the likes of smash hit ‘Buck Rodgers’ and ‘Just the Way I’m Feeling’ firm favourites, whether it be […]
IN WRITE, HAPPYNESS, ALBUM, REVIEW
IT’S been three-years since alternative outfit Happyness became our favourite dejected youngsters with 2014’s ‘Weird Little Sister’, and now as the Londoners return with ‘In Write’ the adolescent euphoria has become mature beauty. Whereas previously Happyness were about dysfunctional lyrics and sobering melodies, the space now filled by the trio represents something closer to the […]
THE STRANGLERS, GUILDHALL, SOUTHAMPTON, LIVE
With a career spanning four decades and 17 albums, The Stranglers, punk rock’s great survivors, show no sign of letting up any time soon. Rarely taking a break from touring The Stranglers have been a regular feature at Southampton’s Guildhall in recent years. Despite it being a Monday night the place was packed and the […]
FRAGMENTS, SALT CATHEDRAL, SINGLE, RECORDED
NEW York is synonymous with musical duos. Throughout the history of the state, there is a rich vein that constantly pumps out and supplies every corner, genre and listener with something identifiable and emancipating. Simon & Garfunkel providing disconsolate lovers with a soundtrack of regret, the fronting up beats of east-side hip hop outfit Mobb […]