Thursday, 23 February 2017

Pet Shop Boys

22nd February 2017

Edinburgh Playhouse

Back in the Eighties, there were a smattering of successful synth-pop-duos: Soft Cell, Blancmange, OMD, Yazoo, The Communards, Erasure and, of course, Pet Shop Boys.  But whilst all of the others fell by the wayside over the coming decades, the last named plodded relentlessly on.  Somehow succeeding in remaining not only active and popular, but somehow relevant (whatever that word actually means).

The pair's latest release Super has garnered all manner of accolades in the music press, so I bought it, partly to hear what all the fuss was about, but mostly to ensure Wife, Daughter and I were not exposed to too many unfamiliar tunes this evening.  Homework, you could call it.

And the new album is, well, OK, I suppose.  There are no whopping hits on it.  The Pop Kids, with its (one hopes) slightly ironic lyric, comes closest whilst Say it to Me, Twenty-something and Undertow all harbour memorable hooks.  

But much of it is the sort of stuff one generally associates with footage of a crowd of egged-up Club 18-30ers cavorting away in some barn in Ibiza, desperately trying to convince each other that they are having fun.  Quality, yet formulaic, synth-pop which does not, to my fogey ears anyway, appear to have significantly evolved since 1990.

Much of the concert this evening was as the last time we had caught the boys (in 2014): timeless PSB masterworks like West End Girls, Love Comes Quickly, Domino Dancing, Love Etc. interspersed with trance-dance passages which at times appeared merely to be serve as an, admittedly enjoyable, backdrop to the jaw-dropping light show.  

But the only point during which proceedings dragged – as identified by the increased number of toilet visitor squeezing past us – was during the plodding The Dictator Decides/Inside a Dream section. 

And Go West is as fine a singalong as one could wish to singalong to.

Set list

Inner Sanctum
The Pop Kids
In the Night
Love is a Bourgeois Construct
New York City Boy
Se A Vida É (Thar's The Way Life Is)
Love Comes Quickly
Love Etc.
The Dictator Decides
Inside a Dream
West End Girls
Home and Dry
The Enigma
The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
It's a Sin
Left to my Own Devices
Go West

Domino Dancing
Always on my Mind
The Pop Kids (reprise)

Pet Shop Boys - Edinburgh 2017.

Pet Shop Boys - Edinburgh 2017.

Chris Lowe - looking more like Mark E Smith every day.

Pet Shop Boys - Edinburgh 2017.

Pet Shop Boys - Edinburgh 2017.

Pet Shop Boys - Edinburgh 2017.


Pet Shop Boys - Edinburgh 2017.

Neil Tennant.

The Dictator Decides.

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