20th February 2017 KVH Studios

Pet Shop Boys @ First Direct Arena, Leeds. Saturday 18 February 2017

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Its 32 years since the Pet Shop Boys released their first pop masterpiece, and here they are playing Leeds for the very first time on their Super tour. After an interesting evening where we didn’t have tickets to get in, and then after a few phone calls and emails, we did, the evening was good fun.

Starting off wearing some very strange headgear – nothing new there of course – with a track called Inner Sanctum from their latest album Super released last year. Then it was time for Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money). What followed was an interesting set. We got several tracks from albums that probably passed most people by, but for me were great to hear. Home and Dry from Release (2002), New York City Boy from Nightlife (1999) and Se A Vida É (That’s The Way Life Is) from Bilingual (1996). We also got Inside a Dream, Love Is a Bourgeois Construct – only the PSB could write a song with that title – and Vocal from the 2013 album Electric, plus about 4 from the latest. It seemed to be a bit new material heavy, and at times, the crowd seem to be a bit quiet.

Of course they sprinkled some of the classics in the set. Love Comes Quickly and West End Girls were given an airing before we reached the last 30 minutes, when the big guns came out.
Its A Sin is just a monster of a tune and still sounds amazing. Then one of my all-time favourite PSB tracks was given a makeover and sounded great. This new version of Left to My Own Devices could well be a hit for them nowadays if they released. Then finally a track from my all-time fave album of theirs, Very. Sadly it was Go West, but hey, it’s a crowd-pleaser. This too was given a modern makeover. And then they were gone. Not for long of course, they came back out for an encore of Domino Dancing and Always on my Mind.

Musically what they did during the concert was brilliant, helped by 3 on stage musicians, who were all superb. Neil Tennant’s voice was good throughout, he even had a bit of banter with the crowd, not much, but a little. Visually it looked amazing. It was one of those shows where we wish we higher up to get a better view of it all, but considering we nearly didn’t make it all, we shouldn’t complain.

Thanks to Nathan Liddle Hulme from Kobalt Music, Jonathan Pool at Copmedia and the very nice production manager Andy Crookson.

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