20-odd years before Lady Gaga there were the Pet Shop Boys. Marrying electro-pop with modern art, off-the-wall costumes and general bonkers-ness, the Boys are still going strong 30 years after their chart-topping arrival with West End Girls.
I’ve written about their debut song previously which, iconic though it is, features early in the running order of their setlist for their four-night residency at the Royal Opera House, which I attended on Thursday evening. It was a suitably dramatic setting for a show that featured more lasers than all seven Star Wars films combined and concluded with an army of dancers in fat-suits that gave the surreal impression that we had accidentally wandered into a preview of Big Hero 6: The Musical, as you can see from the video below.
Frenzied, hyperactive artistry is a trademark of Pet Shop Boys stage shows, as much as keyboardist Chris Lowe remaining wordlessly rooted to the spot throughout the entire set is.
I love my music but it’s been a while – seven years – since I last went to a live gig. Having three kids in rapid succession will do that to you. But I’m very glad I did go (thanks Anna for sorting it all out) and the bug has definitely bitten again. I ended the night dripping with sweat and with barely any voice left. But then I suspect I wasn’t alone among a sell-out crowd who jumped around with abandon while singing their hearts out. From the angst and Catholic guilt of It’s A Sin to the irresistibly catchy Left To My Own Devices – cue the dancing Baymaxes and 2,000-plus people singing “Che Guevara and Debussy to a disco beat” in unison – and the closing Always On My Mind, the Pet Shop Boys are living proof (singer Neil Tennant is 62) that you’re never too old to dance.
Even if you have two left feet like me.