You know, a band cares about the detail when even the roadies get costumes. In the Dreamworld of The Pet Shop Boys’ greatest hits, the tech team (almost) seamlessly moved stage sets clad in helmets and/or mountaineering gear as Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe effortlessly climbed their mountain of gorgeous hits in white Persil attire, with Lowe’s usual indoor sunglasses even incorporated into their sculptural Anubis-like metal masks.
The Dreamworld show is essentially a slick two-hour medley of pop nuggets with barely a breath between songs. Tennant had a beautiful voice from the start, its soulful, tinny tone communicating the lament of Suburbia and their other early electro musings Rent and Love Comes Quickly, but also the stomping tune of Can You Forgive Her and the satirical growl of Opportunities ( Let’s make a lot of money), written in the 80s, Greed is good, and sadly never out of place since. On the other hand, the cautious elevation of It’s Alright still hits home too.
Their three-piece band did a fine, understated job behind their keyboards – or as understated as possible in sparkling silver slingshots. Glasgow singer Clare Uchima fluently filled in for Dusty Springfield on What Have I Done To Deserve This?, there was a rare sighting of an acoustic guitar on the whimsical You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk and the lighting design went from monochrome angularity to a riot of carnival colors in an instant.
The setlist was never far from the next flurry of fiesta and the party only escalated in the closing stages with the swagger of Go West and a hellish It’s a Sin, with Tennant channeling Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford in her overcoat and sunglasses, before the thoughtful encore of West End Girls and fan favorite Being Boring, dedicated on this occasion to the memory of Andy Fletcher of Depeche Mode.