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