the actual performance - in two days tine - there will be about 40 of
then, but only half cal) make it here tonight. Chris isn't here, either,
though he has been here rehearsing the other songs the Pet Shop Boys plan
to Perform -"Can You Forgive Her?", "To Speak Is A Sin"
and "One in A Million" - earlier in the day. Nor is guitarist
J.J. Belle, as every Evening bar Sundays, he is currently playing guitar
in the new production of the musical flair. But Neil is here, as are singer
Sylvia Masoniames, programmer Pete Gleadall and arranger Richard Niles,
the choir from a circle make spooky warm-up noises and body undulations,
Neil talks about the tribute the Pet Shop Boys recorded for Simon Bates'
final show on Radio One earlier in the day: a raga version of "So
Long, Farewell" from Tire Sound Of Music with Chris saying in the
middle: "We'll really miss you, Smiles."
is time for the run-through. The first time it sounds distinctly weak
I just say," says Neil, "that I know
rehearsed this carefully, but we've dumped the 'hmmnm's at the beginning?"
He also wants them to sit)g with more conviction, "It needs tons
of attitude. The attitude is...camp! Big'. It can't be too big."
There is some laughter at this, "Art imitating life," says Neil,
try again, on their own.
meaning to be rude," Richard Niles tells them, "it's sounding
wimpish." They look suitably chastened. "Now we'll try with
the tape," he suggests.
is on rape," Neil points out. As with all Pet Shop Boys live performances,
the samples and sequences are being triggered afresh from a bank of computers.
band," says Richard Niles. "Sorry."
try it some more, "Yes, it's getting funky," Richard Niles says
approving, though he has a new simplification between two of the choruses.
"Let's forget those 'aaah's, Those 'aaah's am history. Those 'aaah's
are Elvis, Those 'aaah's are, indeed, Louis ,"
departs to the recording studio where the Beatmasters are finishing off"!
Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing". "It's gone from being
a very simple pop record to being totally over-the-top. They've made it
like they imagine a Pet Shop Boys record sounds."
is waiting there, "Are the choir no good?" he asks, expectantly,
before he has been told anything. The Beatmasters final mix is played
and meets with their approval. "Yes," nodes Neil, "another
bass-descending-chords--with-string-runs-over-it. We've had four singles
in a row with string rims."
we were rehearsing this afternoon,"
Chris, "I released that 'To Speak Is A Sin' had the same descending
chords, in the same key, as 'One In A Million'." He laughs. 'You
can't heat those classical chords - lie difficult hit is writing a new
song over the top."
October 24th. The London Palladium. 2.OOpm.
Pet Shop Boys are in their dressing room, disappointed to discover that
it isn't Jason Donovan's. (For the rest of the week the Palladium is the
borne of Joseph And His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ) Neil tries to
telephone Boy George.' they want Boy George to introduce them with Janet
Street-Porter, "No doubt," says Chris, "he will mention
the review you gave him I years ago..."
tries on his wig. They will premiere their new hairpieces tonight.
Trevor arid Simon," says Chris.
got to look beatnik," frets Neil. "Am I really going to go on-stage
wearing dark glasses?" He asks for opinions. "OK!" he resolves.
"It's a definite possible.." He also decides to remove the wig
at the end of the preference. "I'm going to whip it off in a pathetic
look a bit Kurt Cobain," Chris insists. "A bit Nirvana-ish.
That's my perception. Other people will think I look like Carol Chaining."
Ian MacKelen strides in, wearing a promotional Last Acijo,; Hero jacket
and spraying kisses all around.
run through their songs. In the middle of "One In A Million"
they have added, rather thrillingly, a portion of Culture Beat's "Mr
Vain". The choir march on for "Go West" but it still doesn't
sound very good. They're too quiet. 'Their microphones are adjusted, and
eventually they improve a little. Now everyone
about their entrance and exit.
you want us to walk in any particular way," one choir member asks
seems a little stumped by this. "What options do you have?"
show begins at 8pm. There is a wry,
introduction from Stephen Fry, some synchronized leg-kicking from the
Tiller Girls, old-fashioned paper-tearing from Terri Carol, a brief appearance
from Joanna Lumley and Jane Horrocks of Absolutely Fabulous (afterwards
Neil and Chris are thrilled that Joanna Lumley asked to meet them), comedian
Lea Dc Lana, a celebrity sticky moments from Julian Clary (featuring varies
EastEnders, Claire Rayner and Victor Meidrew), the cast of Hair, drag
queen Lily Savage, and an award presentation to Richard Norris, the mat)
partly responsible for repealing anti-gay laws in the Republic Of Ireland.
'Then Boy George and Janet Street-Porter appear.
many people in this audience waited until they were 212" he says,
and there is no response. "I was IS."
was 14," says Janet.
worked out this introduction," Boy George says. "Give us an
'0'. Give is another '0'. Give us another 'o'. What have you got?"
is a rather confused "Ooo!" and the curtain opens to reveal
the Pet Shop Boys. As the Pet Shop Boys are in wigs, and no one seems
entirely sure that this actually is the Pet Shop Boys, the confusion continuities
for a while. As Neil begins "Can You Forgive Her?" the lyrics
are translated into sign language by a woman at the side of the stage
who has been profaning. This service all night. After "To Speak Is
A Sin" Neil introduces everyone, including "the blond bombshell
Chris Lowe". Chris spreads his arms.
West" works magnificently after all, the whole audience on their
feet. At the end Neil whips his wig off and walks away, whilst Chris stays
on-stage, playing along to the song's ravey final section. When it finishes,
he also saunters off. The applause is quite deafening.
Areagraphy Ltd 1993: All Articles have been
Taken From Literally 1993 Issue 11