Review: Pet Shop Boys, Edinburgh Playhouse

They may now be regarded as disco’s elder statesmen – a peerless pop institution who have sold more than 50 million records worldwide over a 36-year career – but Pet Shop Boys’ greatness lies in their refusal to rest on their laurels.

With every album Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have tried to do something different – and succeeded.

Take newbie Super, which, 30 years on from the release of debut album Please, lived up to its confident title.

Fresh from receiving the Godlike Genius award at the NME Awards 2017, Pet Shop Boys took to the stage at the Edinburgh Playhouse to rapturous applause.

The electro-pop superstars performed a crowd-pleasing set that featured many of their biggest hits, some newer songs, and a few rarely-performed fan favourites from their impressive back catalogue.

The up-for-it crowd lapped it up and went off into the night with huge grins on their faces.

The bottom line from last night’s gig is that the duo were absolutely awesome, and that, pretty much, is all that needs to be said.

You want more? Fine. Read on and you’ll learn that Pet Shop Boys arrived on spinning circles wearing amusing headgear as they launched into the pulsating techno of Inner Sanctum.

Messrs Tennant and Lowe, of course, have long been known for their flamboyant stage shows – and this was no exception.

Behind them, patterns of dots danced on a huge screen and as bright colours and lasers sliced through plumes of dry ice the whole experience was akin to being in a discoteque – and the best discoteque you’ve even been in, at that.

“We are the Pet Shop Boys, you are Edinburgh, but tonight we’re all the pop kids,” said Tennant, to huge cheers.

Their 24-song set saw them dusting off classics like Love Comes Quickly, West End Girls, It’s A Sin, Left To My Own Devices and Domino Dancing.

Neatly, they also slipped in some lesser-known numbers like The Sodom and Gomorrah Show, Love Is A Bourgeois Construct, New York City Boy and Home And Dry.

“Edinburgh you are brilliant,” beamed Tennant towards the end.

As they wrapped up with a crowd-pleasing rendition of Always On My Mind and a reprise of The Pop Kids, no one in attendance could have been in any doubt that they were witnessing masters of their art.

AAA doesn’t use a star rating in reviews, but if we did, this would have been of the five-star variety.

Truth told, even six stars wouldn’t have flattered Pet Shop Boys. They were THAT good, the crowd THAT satisfied.

Words: Gary Flockhart

 

Set list

  1. Inner Sanctum
  2. Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots of Money)
  3. The Pop Kids
  4. In the Night
  5. Burn
  6. Love Is a Bourgeois Construct
  7. New York City Boy
  8. Se A Vida É (That’s The Way Life Is)
  9. Love Comes Quickly
  10. Love Etc.
  11. The Dictator Decides
  12. Inside a Dream
  13. West End Girls
  14. Winner
  15. Home and Dry
  16. The Enigma
  17. Vocal
  18. The Sodom and Gomorrah Show
  19. It’s a Sin
  20. Left to My Own Devices
  21. Go West
    (Village People cover)
  22. Encore:
    Domino Dancing
  23. Always on My Mind
    (Brenda Lee cover)
  24. The Pop Kids
    (Reprise)

 

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