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Pet Shop Boys (pic by Sergio Calleja)

There is a frustratingly small number of groups and artists who you just know are going to put on a good show for you – and the Pet Shop Boys are one of them.
If you saw any of the footage from the Glastonbury Festival, you will know that Neil Tennant and co do not do things by halves – prancing round the stage with energetic dancers with boxes on their heads, rattling out hit after hit.
It was this winning formula which managed to transform the usually stale and somewhat small Cardiff International Arena into a all night electro party (well, not quite all night, but definitely an electro party).
As expected there was a motley mix of gay men, middle age women and younger music lovers for the Pet Shop Boys’ gentile credible pop has an appeal across the board.
From the unforgettable ‘It’s A Sin’ to the camp as Christmas hit ‘Go West’ and the more beautiful ‘Heart’ and wonderfully cheesy ‘Suburbia’, it was a right old hit fest.
But it was the more recent take of Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, which really stole the show, when Tennant came out in a robe and crown and swanned around the stage with some very fit female dancers in flowing red dresses. My my, Lady Gaga would be shaking in her bumble bee pants if she saw some of the costumes on this Pandemonium tour. The Pet Shop Boys have a remarkable ability to take an established song, put their stamp on it and take it to a level the original artist could only dream of. They did it with Elvis’ Always On My Mind and they’ve now done it with Viva La Vida.
Let’s face it, Tennant doesn’t have the strongest voice in the world and his partner in crime Chris Lowe looks like a grandad with a new synth trying to be cool (though he can actually play his instrument), but you can bet your bottom dollar that this crowd would do it all again in an instance due to the wonderful stage show the duo put on.
The set culminated with a fist fight between two dancers, some very energetic moves by some hot scantily clad twins and a giant wall of white boxes collapsing onto the stage. Give me that over some big headed rock star lobbing his towel sauntering off stage anyday.
By the end of the show my ears had almost recovered from the Sophie Ellis Bexter wailing sesh I walked in to the venue to as well. Brilliant.

Words: Laura Williams