Watching the BBC's tripartite documentary on the noughties, specifically the piece on how the redundant-at-birth Dome has been turned into the premier rock venue of the world (no hyperbole, that), reminded me of a concert I attended just before Christmas but failed to mention. Yes, on the 21st of December I went to see Pet Shop Boys live on their UK Christmas Tour.
This was the scene outside as, of course, the 21st was the first really rough day of snowfall in London. Once we'd got inside the venue though, the experience was much the same as the last time I went including the entirely risible practice of removing and disposing of water bottle tops at the gate.
The support was Bad Lieutenant, a third incarnation of New Order/Joy Division. One or two of the audience had clearly come only to hear this act, an anodyne amalgam of old and new pop-rock. I suspect I wasn't alone in being quite pleased to have heard Love Will Tear Us Apart by its original progenitors.
The Pet Shop Boys were, characteristically, bringing more than just a huge back catalogue of classic pop songs and we were treated to a fine stage show, full of dance and simple theatrics, based on a cleverly functional backdrop of white cubes (think Rachel Whiteread and Pink Floyd). This was particualrly well managed in conjunction with bits of video installation projected onto the stage. The high point in this respect was the Han Hoogerbrugge animated Love Etc. video which worked brilliantly in the space; I had always been underwhelmed by it online.
The concert was great fun, with plenty to dance to, although I guess many will have the misfortune of having their shape-throwing published as part of the DVD of the event being issued this year.