In 2006, Pet Shop Boys released Concrete, a live album with orchestra and guest vocalists, to prove that their songs were not set in stone. For Pandemonium (recorded live at the O2 in December 2009), they’ve gone back to basics to revel in their back catalogue as we – and they – know and love it. There are no clever reworkings of the classic tracks here; rather the surprises come from the segues that intertwine old and new songs as if they were always meant to be together. The CD is a joy, but the DVD is even better.
Emerging with coloured boxes on their heads and backed by dancing skyscrapers (think funky Wizbit), the Boys reel off old favourites and singles from their last studio album, Yes. The exuberance of recent single Love, Etc permeates everything and, when Neil Tennant takes on Coldplay’s When I Ruled The World (wearing a crown and cape), there’s no denying the stately confidence of the band.
The DVD running order reinstates several tracks missing from the CD, while the extras include It Doesn’t Often Snow At Christmas, an unexpected take on Madness’ My Girl, and the band’s 2009 BRIT Awards performance.