The synth-pop duo performed a rare intimate show at Electric Ballroom as part of Band On The Wall’s ‘Passport: Back To Our Roots’ series of events to raise money for the grassroots live music scene and small venues. The show also acted as a warm-up gig for their Glastonbury Festival set the following night but more stripped down, without the dancers and visuals which vocalist Neil Tennant said was, “just you and us and the songs.”

The set was taken from their recent Dreamworld tour that the band have been touring nationally and internationally for the last several months, featuring their greatest hits collection. Beginning on ‘Suburbia’ from their 1986 ‘Please’ album, Neil Tennant and keyboard player Chris Lowe arrived onstage, the former in a long white coat, during the song getting the audience to sing the lyrics. They also performed their other single ‘Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)’ from the same album with Tennant shouting, “Camden!” and then following it with Pet Shop Boys 1987 album, ‘Actually’, with ‘Rent’.

Tennant related some stories such as his holiday with Lowe to St Lucia in the ‘80s where they played and lost at dominoes, with the winner doing a victory dance around the table; they then did ‘Domino Dancing’ which that story gave birth to with its pumping synth and salsa interlude and ‘Left To My Own Devices’, both from their 1988 ‘Introspective’ album. They finished that segment of the show on a cover of Gwen McCrae’s ‘You Were Always On My Mind’.

Wearing a holographic metallic coat, Tennant performed the eponymous flagship track from their last 2020 release, ‘Dreamland’. They returned to ‘Actually’, going straight into the springy synth keys of ‘Heart’ and gothic-synth anthem, ‘It’s A Sin’. After another coat change Tennant and the rest of the band returned for an encore of their debut single ‘West End Girls’.

24/06/22: Pet Shop Boys @ Electric Ballroom, London.

Photo © Ayisha Khan.

© Ayisha Khan.