Pet Shop Boys Inner sanctum

The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

Saturday 23 July 2016

The most stunning sumptuous venue…

The time had arrived. Several months of waiting was almost over. The University of Edinburgh's highly informative Pet Shop Boys Symposium, that I'd attended earlier in the year, felt like a distant memory. As did the first play of my vinyl copy of Super.

"In the inner sanctum you're a star…"

But now it was time. The capacity crowd inside the "inner sanctum" of The Royal Opera House, in London's Covent Garden were going nuts. The graphic design couple from Durham, to my right were going nuts. The French gentleman, to my left, was going nuts. I was going nuts…!!!

Finally! The white spheres revolved to reveal the Pet Shop Boys…

"Oh! I like it here. Oh! I love it."

It had been a number of years since I'd enjoyed seeing Neil and Chris so close-up. The last time was in 2000 at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow, with my late civil partner Kenneth, for their Nightlife tour. However my second row seat - which was only sat on for about five minutes pre-concert starting - provided me with the most wonderful view.

"Petheads" know that live Pet Shop Boys performances provide their audiences with so much more. Inner Sanctum was yet another audio visual feast. The two hour set was packed with crowd pleasing favourites from the past 30 years, punctuated with tracks from their more recent Stuart Price produced albums Electric and Super.

The Es Devlin staging picked up the Mark Farrow circular graphics for Super, which were then applied to backdrops, projections, costumes and lighting. At times it was almost difficult to know which part of the stage to look at, in fear that you might miss something that was happening elsewhere.

In addition the band and dancers, who were gathered together for this residency, simply intensified the drama of Inner Sanctum. From energetic body popping to graceful ballet-inspired movement, supporting vocals, delicate strings to full-on percussion, there was very little this show didn't have.

And before we all knew, it was over. New versions of old favourites had been aired for the first time. Dancers filling inflatable costumes had made us smile with their literal choreography to Always On My Mind. Neil had conducted us as we sang Domino Dancing. He told us "we were amazing." He told us that they loved us. He told us that they'd see us soon. Then they were gone.

All that is left to say is thank-you Neil and Chris, and yes you will see me soon. In February 2017 when you bring the UK #SUPERtour to the Edinburgh Playhouse. My ticket is already purchased and I'll be down the front again, dancing like a mad man.

It cannot come soon enough!

Created By
Derek Digital

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