REVIEW: Pet Shop Boys Birmingham 8.6.24

REVIEW: Pet Shop Boys Birmingham 8.6.24

Hanging around lamp posts late at night has often been an occupation met with risk, ambiguity and certain sense of not knowing what’s going to happen next. Bring synth pop legends Pet Shop Boys into this aquation and you’ll probably be wondering what I’m going on about, but tonight in Birmingham’s cavernous Utilita Arena Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe use these yellow lit street pillars to stunning effect on their Dreamworld tour.

The legendary duo are a welcome sight and have been ever since their advent of West End Girls back in the early 80’s. Obviously their all conquering pop chart smash grandeur is well documented. Chris is still your uber cool sidekick, portraying the kind of mate who didn’t say much but was able to ping a football in the top corner of a goal net with as much skill as Pele, Tennant has the voice capabilities and stage presence to hold the crowd in the palm of his hand, just like Dave Gahan, David Bowie and Bernard Sumner have done with their own brand of pop deliciousness, Tennant delivers something totally unique, devilishly charming and spell bounding, Grotbags would have killed to have known his recipe.

Tennant announces from the stage that tonight will be a mixture of singles, not necessarily everything they’ve ever released, but no matter the main game players would be introduced. Opener Suburbia gets cheered on euphorically from the baying throngs of thousands, the backing of 2 drummers, backing vocalist, keyboardist and guitar player make for their brand of house music to be heard like never before. Opportunities, Rent, Left To My Own Devices all get their chance to shine and its hard to keep up with the pace, like the incline on a running machine being increased tenfold, you have to be made of stern stuff to make the finish line, fortunately everyone here tonight has been well versed in tonight’s setlist so can steady the weather well.

Domino Dancing is particularly poignant, this diamond 80’s dance anthem with its timeless chorus ‘all day, all day, watch them all fall down’ has Tennant giving up the microphone for the crowd to chime at him those well versed lyrics, similarly passionate is new track Dreamland, no doubt there seem to be elements of Manchester Hacienda in attendance tonight, arms in the air, eyes closed, lost in the music, Lowe knows which keys unlock tonight’s padlocks unfurling chambers and corridors of never ending beleric beats.

The final choruses of Love Comes Quickly, It’s Alright, Go West, It’s a Sin, with the aforementioned West End Girls still resonating as fresh and vibrant as it always has been, but with an added dash of booming synths, its left to Being Boring to send the throngs on their way, it would appear this final song for the night might be a tongue in cheek message that the Pet Shop Boys have been far from boring on their pop voyage, instead tonight is a reminder that the duo have often taken risks, introducing fans to new ways of thinking in today’s world of confusion and welcoming messages of you can do it in the face of adversity. The Pet Shop Boys are simply divine.

All photos are copyrighted to Robert Barrett Photography 


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