The Pet Shop Boys performing their Super Tour at The Motorpoint Arena Nottingham on Thursday 22nd June 2017.

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

In a week that saw Kraftwerk, the pioneers of electro pop visit Nottingham, last night it was the turn of the Pet Shop Boys to show what they can do before a sold out Motorpoint Arena, and they did not disappoint.

Front man Neil Tennant and keyboardist Chris Lowe have long been known for their flamboyant stage shows that bring their throbbing dance beats to life, and last night was no exception. The duo appeared slowly to the crowd, wearing silver helmets. Tennant’s is blasted open to give a Medusa like crown of metal curls whilst Lowe’s is completely encased as they are turned around on rotating white discs.

Songs from their latest two albums, last year’s Super and 2013’s Electric make up most of their set list, but the disco beats keep the concert’s vibe something akin to a nostalgic rave, with the crowd gently tapping their feet in recognition of the songs.

Opening with a cranked up version of Inner Sanctum and with video screens beaming intense shapes, colours and lasers sliced through plumes of dry ice, Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money) was up next.

But it was the Pet Shop Boys’ third song of the night, The Pop Kids that energised the crowd and showed that they are still commercially acceptable. By the fourth song in, Burn, a team of boiler suited clad henchmen arrived to remove the helmets from the duo to wild applause as fans get the first full glimpse of a smiling Tennant in noble form and the sombre expressionless Lowe.

Next was the arty posturing of Love Is A Bourgeois Construct which collapsed into a camp glitter ball version of New York City Boy, whilst The Dictator Decides was the most troubling image of the night with its accompanying chilling imagery which was followed by Into The Dream with Tennant’s head projected on the screens with a disturbing crown of wriggling worms.

And then it happened; the concert really came to life. The mood really lightened with their debut chart topper, West End Girls, which was dished up deliciously with its throbbing intensity and is one of their classic hits of the 80s undimmed by the passage of those 32 years since it topped the charts.

The lasers and lights absolutely thrilled on The Enigma and Vocal before the crowd were treated to another old favourite, It’s A Sin which has retained all of its original cinematic glory and had this crowd firmly on their feet. Bringing the main set to a close was a new version of an old song, the entertaining techno-bop romp of Left To My Own Devices, before being teased with the opening strains of Heart as they ploughed into Go West that saw giant colourful balloons lofted high behind them all.

The duo returned to the stage for an encore of poptastic Domino Dancing and their mega hit cover of Elvis Presley’s Always On My Mind before a reprise of The Pop Kids to remind us of their roots.

Whilst the first half may have been slightly hampered by some less than perfect sound quality with Tennant’s vocals sometimes being hard to decipher, it had still been a joyous celebration of one of the UK’s most notable bands and when Tennant left the stage saying “Nottingham we must do this again, we are still the Pet Shop Boys”. They certainly are and we hope that they do.