Music review: Pet Shop Boys, Hydro, Glasgow

The Pet Shop Boys’ Dreamworld show is a slick, two-hour medley of pop nuggets with barely a breath between songs, writes Fiona Shepherd

Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys

Pet Shop Boys, Hydro, Glasgow ****

You know a band cares about the detail when even the roadies are given costumes. In the Pet Shop Boys’ Dreamworld of greatest hits, the technical crew (almost) seamlessly moved stage sets dressed in hard hats and/or mountaineering gear while Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe skipped effortlessly up their mountain of magnificent hits in Persil white attire, with Lowe’s customary indoor sunglasses even incorporated into their metallic, sculptural Anubis-like masks.

The Dreamworld show is essentially a slick, two-hour medley of pop nuggets with barely a breath between songs. Tennant was in fine voice from the get-go, his affecting, spindly tone communicating the plaintiveness of Suburbia and their other early electro reveries Rent and Love Comes Quickly, but also the stomping tuneage of Can You Forgive Her and the satirical snarl of Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money), written in the greed-is-good Eighties and sadly never irrelevant since. On the flipside, the cautious uplift of It’s Alright always hits home too.

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    Their three-piece band did fine, unobtrusive work behind their keyboards – or as unobtrusive as one could be in sparkling silvery fronds. Glaswegian singer Clare Uchima deputised fluently for Dusty Springfield on What Have I Done To Deserve This?, there was a rare sighting of an acoustic guitar on the whimsical You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk and the lighting design flipped from monochrome angularity to a riot of carnival colour in an instant.

    The setlist was never far from the next burst of fiesta and the party only ramped up in the closing stages with the swagger of Go West and an infernal It's a Sin, with Tennant channelling Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford in his greatcoat and shades, before the reflective encore of West End Girls and fan favourite Being Boring, dedicated on this occasion to the memory of Depeche Mode’s Andy Fletcher.