Pet Shop Boys: Tennant and Lowe’s Edinburgh legacy, from Fringe to watching the Portaloos puff along Princes Street

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Coincidentally, it was the Pet Shop Boys who celebrated my 50th year on the planet headlining Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, seeing in 2014 a set of timeless favourites. The last time they played in the capital, however, was in 2017 when they brought their Super Tour to the city, delivering another “bouncy, banging and brilliant” night, as I wrote in my review for the News. It didn’t take long for this concert to receive NME’s Godlike Genius Award, at the Playhouse they demonstrated why they were worthy recipients.

Tennant and Lowe are no strangers to Edinburgh. In 2007, they slipped into town to watch Seriously: Pet Shop Boys Reinterpreted, a creative classic reworking of their songs in a theatrical setting at the Roxy Arthouse.

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Pet Shop Boys Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant performing on the main stage during Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations on 31st December 2013 Pic Jane Barlow

It was during the press show after the evening of this production that Chris told me about their first failed attempt to play the Edinburgh Hogmanay. They were supposed to ring in 2007 only to see high winds cause the event to be canceled at the last minute – “We watched the Portaloos blow along Princes Street,” he recalls.

Their last visit to the capital brought them back to the Fringe in 2019 for the opening of their new musical cabaret, Musik, but next week as they return north for the only Scottish date of their Dreamworld: Greatest Hits Tour , all roads lead to Glasgow’s OVO Hydro for the capital’s Petheads.

On Sunday, May 29, the Pet Shop Boys will once again give their multi-generational fanbase a live show that many new kids in the neighborhood would find hard to compete with.

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The tour, which will take them around the world, began earlier this month in Europe and from the camera phone footage already making the rounds on social media, the Pet Shop Boys’ distinctive magic is still there, the crowds leaping and singing along with the classics. like It’s A Sin, Go West, Always On My Mind, not forgetting Suburbia, Domino Dancing and Being Boring, probably the most perfect pop song ever written. As always, the staging is breathtaking.

Never afraid to follow their own creative path, whether it’s musical theatre, a film soundtrack, ballet or even making their own film, the duo’s fortunes have -be known ups and downs over the decades, but there is no doubt that now, as former statesmen of electronic pop, their legacy, much like their popularity, has never been so big – the last time I saw them in 2019, in London’s Hyde Park, I was part of an audience of 50,000. Massive.

There’s speculation on the fan forums that Dreamworld could be the boys’ last big tour, I like to think they’ll keep doing their thing, maybe not on such a grueling schedule as their current tour and of course, when it comes to Edinburgh’s iconic Castle Concert Series, it’s the makers of hits that have escaped so far. I still crossed my fingers. Hopefully if they ever do, the weather will be nice and Chris won’t find himself sitting around watching Portaloos blowing across the Esplanade.

Tickets for Pet Shop Boys Dreamworld Tour are here.

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About Patrick K. Moon

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