Sunday, 27 May 2007

Pet Shop Boys at Hammersmith Apollo

Tonight we went to see the Pet Shop Boys at Hammersmith Apollo (one of the first things Neil said was that he'd been there in 1972 to see David Bowie). Now, I'm not a big fan of PSB but when Chris suggested seeing them I thought, 'why not?', they've been around for 20-odd years and have earned their place in music history and it should be a fun night out. The Apollo had removed the seats so it was standing downstairs but, with the sloping floor, I actually had the best view of any band I've seen in the last year. God must be telling me something.

It was a bit of a funny show really, since Neil and Chris aren't exactly Mr and Mr Showman and there's only so much a lightshow (which was excellent) can do to liven it up. I got the impression the crowd wouldn't mind just the pair of them and lights but they added 3 backing singers and 2 dancers. The singers were fine but I couldn't take the dancers seriously, two lads trying to the urban/street poses mixed with pseudo-ballet moves - it just didn't work for me in the slightest and I couldn't help grinning whenever they came on because I knew there'd be fun ahead. Was it them or the choreography? Probably both.

It was also quite noticeable that the singers and dancers had more costume changes than the stars - Neil (I think) wore three different frock-coat get-ups (plus a uniform for the final song) and Chris wore two hoodies and caps... yes, well, moving on....

They played a great selection of old and new songs, some of their classics like 'Domino Dancing', 'Where The Streets Have No Name', 'Rent' (why did Neil sit down facing the wings to sing this?), 'It's A Sin' and 'Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)'. 'West End Girl' was played but I'd have thought they would make more fuss of it but it was treated as just another song. I didn't recognise most of the new songs but they played 'I'm With Stupid' and 'Minimal' and closed with the great 'The Sodom And Gomorrah Show' where the singers and dancers all dressed in gaudy military uniforms sparkling with medals and then out came Neil, also in uniform and with just as much glitz in the medal department. I'd never heard the song before but loved it.

The encores were good, with a rousting version of 'Go West!' and then coming back for a second time to do a nice version of 'Being Boring'. I'd heard that on iPey on the way to the concert and it's a nice, thoughtful song.

All in all, I enjoyed it. Leaving aside the overly and unnecessarily energetic dancers, it was a good show and I'm pleased I've finally seen the Pet Shop Boys. It was a fun night out and they played some great music. And I actually had a good view of the band for a change!

Here are a few photos to give a flavour of the show (click to enlarge).

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