Pet Shop Boys brought Bestival 2017 to a close last night (September 10) with a flamboyant show involving luminous bubbles, laser meshworks and multiple costume changes in keeping with the festival’s theme of ‘colour’.
Emerging in front of circular screens wearing their trademark metallic helmets, Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe marched to the front of the stage to the tune of ‘Inner Sanctum’ from their new album ‘Super’, before launching into the classic electropop of ‘Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)’ as footage of dollar signs and acid house smiley faces filled the screens.
“You are all amazing,” Neil Tennant told a crowd battered by wind and rain all weekend, “thanks for being here for us. We’ve survived, we are the Pet Shop Boys, you are Bestival, we are all, tonight, pop kids.” They then piled into ‘Pop Kids’ from the ‘Super’ album as Rubik’s Cube visuals filled the screens behind them.
“Here’s some 80s electronica for you Bestival,” Tennant promised before firing up the disco inferno of ‘Burn’. They then fed into the high art pop of ‘Love Is A Bourgeois Construct’, engaging brain and hip. The hi-energy synthpop of ‘New York City Boy’ followed, accompanied by New York hip-hop footage, before Tennant left the stage and reappeared in a Russian dictator outfit to sing the spy-pop ‘The Dictator Decides’.
Another costume change saw Tennant emerge in a silver rainbow jacket for ‘Inside A Dream’ before the band piled into the hits in earnest. As a meshwork of green lasers strafed the sky, ‘West End Girls’ gave way to an atmospheric ‘Home And Dry’, which descended into a full-on electro rave, and ‘The Sodom And Gomorrah Show’ from 2006’s ‘Fundamental’ album proved that The Pet Shop Boys are still masters of euphoric pop melody.
‘It’s A Sin’ followed, with red lasers filling the sky, and a plethora of 80s and 90s hits was unleashed. “Here’s another old song but in a slightly different version,” Tennant told the crowd ahead of a ‘Super Mix’ of ‘Left To My Own Devices’, and he introduced ‘Go West’ with a teasing “Here’s another old song, but which one? There are so many to choose from.” Multi-coloured orbs descended from the roof as the Village People classic played out, and stayed there for the encore of ‘Domino Dancing’ and ‘You Are Always On My Mind’.