My review is about my whole experience of being in London to see Pet Shop Boys.
I arrived at Carlisle railway station just as an enormous storm hit the city, preventing all trains travelling south from reaching Carlisle. Passengers were being asked to come back another day unless travel was absolutely urgent, oh it was, I had to be in London that evening for the opening night of Inner Sanctum, 2 hours 15 minutes late I set off and arrived in 29 degree heat in London. I had hoped to be able to squeeze onto a backstage tour at the Royal Opera House but this delay meant that was impossible, so I headed to my hotel taking in the sights and sounds of our capital city. The sight of the ROH put a spring in my step and a quick nosey at a programme in the shop was done before I took some photos of this grand building. Later I found the stage door and hovered about, it really was a hive of activity with a large number of people heading in and out. I noticed a couple of men having a smoke who just looked like they were part of the show in some way so went to have a quick chat and they both worked at the ROH in the lighting team. They said the show looked and sounded absolutely amazing, Neil and Chris had done a full run through from about 12 till 2. I amused them by showing them some photos I’ve been lucky enough to get over the years with them, one of me aged 15 back in 1989 with Chris is very special (no sunglasses either!) Suddenly one of them asked if I’d like a copy of the set list……bloody hell, are you kidding was pretty much my response. The set list, for the opening night of the residency preceding a world tour, just wow…..before I knew it one of the men headed inside to find one, while the other handed me his lighting script, a few pages long, listing the 4 acts and songs, I couldn’t resist a quick scan through! Then the man returned from indoors, and handed me a well worn set list complete with lots of handwritten notes about the costume changes etc, and another lighting script. I was absolutely made up to have such brilliant souvenirs, and the best bit of my day was yet to come.
I queued patiently before managing to rush in when the inner doors opened to get in the centre of the front row of the orchestra pit and with a beating heart turned to take in the opulent surroundings. I had been warned that the stage was high and being in the front of the pit wouldn’t give me the best view, but I’d have it no other way. Others have already posted brilliant reviews about the set list in great detail, suffice to say I was jumping about and dancing arms aloft at all the dance numbers, In the night, Burn and Vocal being some highlights. I got plenty of smiles from Neil and the occasional few song lyrics sung to me too, after almost 30 years of being a fan I never tire of the euphoria I feel from this and being at their concerts. I've also never felt such emotion from so many concert goers, and whenever I turned round, the sight of so many fans on their feet with arms waving made me beam with pride. Imagine how incredible it must be for Neil and Chris to look out to an audience like that! The laser light show bouncing back off the audience and venue will also have given them something enjoyable to look at, more so I expect than a fancier stage performance as in tours gone by, I can understand their move towards this new style of show and have no complaints. My view of the inflatable suits was of one row of dancers, I was amazed when looking through You Tube videos to see 32 on stage, and the full effect of the light show, breathtaking.
Soon after the show I found myself waiting with about 100 others back at the stage door, the highest number for many a year. I managed a quick chat with Dame Barbara Windsor before she was driven away with David Walliams, and those in attendance gradually drifted away until I too resigned myself to the fact that Neil and Chris had headed out via another entrance. Nevertheless, what an absolutely thrilling experience, and one that will be replayed many times in my mind in the years to come.
Thanks to Remark I have a photo of me and the boys on stage, and I've spotted myself on some of the You Tube videos, much to the amusement of my children. I have booked a ticket for Glasgow in the end (I was reluctant initially as it's only seated, but I chose a side aisle a few rows from the front so I can dance to my hearts content without disturbing anyone!) and I should get to witness more of the show this time, I can't wait.