The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


A review of the live album/DVD 'Pandemonium' by Pet Shop Boys

'Pandemonium' by Pet Shop Boys

Review Snapshot: Over 100 minutes of pure bubble-gum pop, absorbed in a rainbow of multi-coloured lighting, with a combination of clever choreography, making this CD and DVD an aural and visual spectacle from the start.

The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10

Full Review: Love them or loathe them, you can’t help but have admiration for the Pet Shop Boys. Over 25 years in the music business and they still continue to come up with fresh ideas, both in their music and their presentation.

Last year they released their 10th studio album, had another no. 1 on the Billboard Dance Charts, were awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Music at the Brits, and now they’ve released a CD/DVD of their Pandemonium Tour at London’s O2 Arena, barely six weeks after it was recorded.

Wearing coloured boxes on their heads for the opener ‘Heart’, it’s a bowler hat and shades for Tennant as they mix their back catalogue with recent singles ‘Love Etc’ and ‘Did You See Me Coming’.

‘Building A Wall’ winds the clock back 30 years replicating Pink Floyd’s memorable gigs just down the road at Earls Court, as the large brick wall crashes to the ground at the finale of this number. From track 1 (Two Divided By Zero) on Please, to songs from Yes, this is a greatest hits live collection that spans their whole career ranging from ‘Suburbia’ and ‘Always on My Mind’ to ‘It’s A Sin’ and ‘Go West’.

It’s not all pop though; there’s plenty of art here also, with lesser known gems like ‘Closer to Heaven’, ‘King’s Cross’ and ‘Jealousy’ included in the set. There’s also a medley of hits mixed in with a great version of Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’ which Neil performs dressed as a king, complete with crown and cape, and they finish the gig with their swan-song ‘West End Girls’.

If the combination of CD and DVD weren’t value for money already, there’s 30 minutes of extras on the DVD. First up is a cover of the Madness hit ‘My Girl’, a rare performance of ‘It Doesn’t Often Snow at Christmas’ (complete with dancing Christmas trees), and the three music videos from the 'Yes' album.

And if that wasn’t enough there’s even a shot of Chris Lowe actually smiling, the full Brit Award performance featuring Brandon Flowers and Lady Gaga, and an audio commentary from Neil and Chris. Now who says the Pet Shop Boys are constantly being boring? Not on this performance.

Mick Lynch

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