Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Pets Win Prizes

This month the UK’s most successful musical duo of all time celebrate 30 years since the release of their first album with a brand new single and new album. Matthew Todd speaks to Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, the Pet Shop Boys
Neil wears jacket by Philipp Plein, polo neck top by Rick Owens, jeans by Acne, boots by Christian Louboutin Chris wears jacket by Adidas, polo neck top by Topman, sunglasses, jeans, boots, hat all Chris’ own
Neil wears jacket by Acne, polo top by Rick Owens, jeans by Acne

Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe are in a very ‘up’ mood. They are back with a brand new album, Super, their 13th and the first since their widely seen as a return to form – and the dancefloor – 2013 effort Electric, recorded with recent live collaborator Stuart Price of Madonna’s Confessions on a Dance Floor fame. Like that record, Super is bangier, dancier, more electronic, more like what you really loved about the Pet Shop Boys in the first place. The day after our shoot the first single goes to radio. ‘The Pop Kids’ is about a young guy and girl who move to London to be part of the music scene and spend their lives ‘quoting the best bits’. The internet loves it. “It’s my life,” says one breathy Tweeter. And so it is. The Pet Shop Boys are not just a band for gay people – it might be hard to have had 42 UK top thirty singles and four UK numbers ones if they were – but there is a very specific gay sensibility and narrative in their work which comes simply from Neil Tennant expressing his life experience and with Chris Lowe’s club-driven sound.

In the north London studio we are shooting in today, various assistants bring in familiar looking outfits – caps for Chris, long coats for Neil, the sort of shiny things one associates with the quirkiest duo in pop, not to mention the most successful. 2016 marks 30 years since ‘West End Girls’ hit number one around the world and their first album, Please, was released. 50 million records later, the Pet Shop Boys are still relentless. Understandably so. Driven, so it seems, by the sheer undiluted joy of making pop music.

How does it feel to be 30?

NEIL: 30 years since the first album? It’s something you don’t give that much thought to but 30 years is a long period of time. It just doesn’t seem that long because it’s been continuous ever since and before that actually, making records and videos. We didn’t start touring properly until 1999.

You didn’t tour for a very long time…

NEIL: Now we tour all the time. We were always interested in doing the theatrical tour thing. We booked a tour in 1986 and then we saw the figures and realised we couldn’t afford to do it. We booked the same tour the next year, we still couldn’t afford to do it. Then, in 1991, we finally did that tour. Before that we did a short tour directed by Derek Jarman. We’ve really followed that sort of ethos of presenting a show ever since; working with directors and designers. That used to be very unusual, but now it’s become commonplace really.

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Attitude - 268
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - 268
Or 499 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 1.54 per issue
Or 1999 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 2.76 per issue
Or 299 points

View Issues

About Attitude

Celebrating 30 years in the music industry, as they release their new album Super, the Pet Shop Boys cover the new issue of Attitude. Inside, we have the gay Booker Prize winner Marlon James, hunky teacher/model Pietro Boselli, musical theatre star Ben Forster, and a preview of the BFI Flare film festival. There’s a feature on the history of punk, and gay readers introduce us to their mums (ah!) Elsewhere in this Style issue, get up to date on the best of the high street, and what’s on trend this spring/summer.