Pet Shop Boys
When: 29th May 2022
Location: OVO Hydro
Pet Shop Boys are the critically acclaimed electronic pioneers, who are back with their latest tour. Coming to Glasgow OVO Hydro on the 29th May 2022.
Pet Shop Boys formed in London in 1981 when vocalist Neil Tennant met keyboardist Chris Lowe. The duo bonded quickly over a shared love of synthesizers and dance music. They formed a band, adopting their moniker in honour of some friends who worked in a pet shop. Their first single, West End Girls, was moderately successful in the US in 1984. But it failed to make a dent on the UK charts.
Following another single, One More Chance, the band signed to EMI. They released their third single Opportunity (Let’s Make Lots Of Money). But it also failed to gain traction in the UK. However, partnering the band with producer Stephen Hague resulted in pure alchemy as their hugely successful new version of West End Girls became the band’s first UK No.1 single. In 2020. It was named by The Guardian as the best UK No.1 single of all time.
Debut album, Please
Their ensuing debut album, Please, entered the UK top ten, as did the single Suburbia. The duo’s second album, Actually, continued this fine run of form. Yielding two more superhits in the shape of It’s A Sin – their second No.1 single. As well as What Have I Done To Deserve This? Which saw Tennant duetting with Dusty Springfield. The song had originally been written for the band’s first album. But Tennant refused to record it with anyone other than the elusive Springfield. She finally accepted his invitation on the strength of the band’s first album.
In 1987, the band performed a cover of Elvis Presley’s Always On My Mind for an ITV special. Later released as a single, it became another huge hit for the band, fending off The Pogues’ Fairytale Of New York in the battle for the coveted UK Christmas No.1 spot. The following year, Tennant and Lowe released their third album, Introspective, which was yet another success and contained the singles Domino Dancing and Left To My Own Devices, alongside their cover of Always On My Mind.
Moving into the 90s
Following Introspective, the duo collaborated on albums by Springfield and Liza Minnelli, while Tennant formed the band Electronic with Johnny Marr (The Smiths) and Bernard Sumner (New Order), scoring a hit with their song Getting Away With It. When Tennant and Lowe reconvened, they continued their incredible run of critically and commercially successful albums with Behaviour in 1990 and Very in 1993. The latter featured their cover of The Village People’s Go West, which went to No.2 in the UK.
The duo were somewhat less prolific for the remainder of the 90s, releasing just two more records: 1996’s Bilingual and Nightlife in 1999. They began the new millennium with a long-mooted collaboration with Jonathan Harvey on a West End musical about gay life called Closer To Heaven.
Their eighth studio album
In 2002, the duo released their eighth studio album, the enigmatically titled Release. The album saw Tennant reunited with his erstwhile Electronic bandmate Johnny Marr on several songs. In 2005, they recorded a soundtrack to the silent film Battleship Potemkin, performed at a free screening in Trafalgar Square. In 2006, they joined up with producer Trevor Horn for Fundamental, while 2009’s Yes saw them working with renowned production team Xenomania.
The duo continued to combine their music with other media in creative ways, recording a two-disc album written as the accompanying score for a Sadler’s Wells ballet called The Most Incredible Thing. In 2012, they performed their sports-themed single Winner at the London Olympic Games. In 2014, they teamed up with the BBC Concert Orchestra for a piece commemorating Alan Turing, performed at the Royal Albert Hall.
Tennant and Lowe continued to release albums at the same time, focusing on electronic dance music for 2013’s Electric and 2016’s Super, both produced by Stuart Price. Their third album with Price was 2020’s Hotspot, which featured a collaboration with Olly Alexander of Years And Years. Alexander would go on to star in the acclaimed Channel 4 series It’s A Sin, which took its name from the Pet Shop Boys song of the same name.
Greatest Hits tour
Pet Shop Boys were due to embark on their first ever Greatest Hits tour in 2020 but dates were postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic. In February 2021, they announced that the Greatest Hits tour had been rescheduled to May 2022.