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Review: Pet Shop Boys

Left to his own devices: Smash hits and new classics from Neil Tennant PICTURE: GETTY


Pet Shop Boys

The Sage Gateshead


WITH over three decades of their signature ‘intellectronica’ under their belts, the Pet Shop Boys proved earlier this year with the release of their 13th album Super that their knack for fusing intelligent lyrics with state-of-the-art dance beats is as strong as ever. The Super Tour proves how well that album translates into a live setting.

Transforming Tyneside’s futuristic spherical Sage Gateshead into a dance music haven, they delivered a two-hour transcendental trip through disco, rave, house and synthpop. The elder statesmen of electronic dance music scaled down the theatrics — limiting themselves to a light show, lasers and video projections — choosing instead to emphasise the music.

The new album’s Inner Sanctum and Burn already sound like Pet Shop Boys classics and fitted perfectly into a show which struck the perfect balance between the old and the new. With one of the finest pop discographies at their disposal, each smash hit was met more rapturously than the last. Opportunities, It’s A Sin, Left To My Own Devices, Vocal and West End Girls all drew huge roars as did fan favourite In The Night.

Neil Tennant was on fine form in his home town, while Chris Lowe remained characteristically static behind his bank of synths.

Following an encore of Domino Dancing and Always On My Mind, a reprise of The Pop Kids brought the show to a euphoric climax. A song celebrating camaraderie and joy through pop music, it is the very essence of the Pet Shop Boys. Phenomenal.