"When our spelling is perfect, it's invisible. But when it's flawed, it prompts negative associations." - Marilyn vos Savant

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

MCMLXXXIX/Highlights tour art review

 Pet Shop Boys MCMLXXXIX/Highlights tour on VHS
Date: 29 June-21 July 1989
Director and film projections: Derek Jarman
photographer: Lawerence Watson

I had ordered this concert on VHS. This was something very interesting, I love the visuals and the performance. Even though it was only approximately thirty-three minutes of it, I thought it was worth watching. Only eight songs can be shown and out of those eight I like: "The Sound of the Atom Splitting", "Shopping", "Loves Comes Quickly", "Domino Dancing", "Kings Cross" and "It's Alright." I only wish there was more but I think something was about the process and the development I forgot. Will edit when I watch more of it on YouTube, since that's the only source I know where it's located.

I like how this piece considered more than one type of art which was singing, dancing, somewhat acting I think, projections and the costumes, and the lighting, very vivid. It also had a different approach of symbolism contrast to Performance(some of the costumes didn't add up to me) but in MCMLXXXIX, the costumes matched or reflected. "'The costumes we designed reflect the themes in the film,' said Jarman...The staging is quite difficult to arrange because unlike in a theatre there's no real bricks and mortar....They asked for a theatrical concert and that's what we're doing. I suppose some people think pop music and theater shouldn't mix but I think pop music is theatre....There's two ways of doing it: you either just sit there and sing on a stool and do it the simple way or you go for it.'" (Catalogue p. 116)  I have to concur with Jarman's statement, he sees any form of art, just art and just because some art probably don't work well with others, sometimes you make the simplest things with something incompatible. "' Before we hadn't toured because we didn't see any reason for us to tour in a naturalistic way...[It] was an attempt to get around that by putting on a film media show...We wanted to put on a theatrical event, Chris said.'" It was interesting to hear Chris say something like that because he was the type to be one of the crowd and from what I see is that him and Neil wanted to be one of the few to stand out, which was I believe a slight change in personality, maybe I'm taking it the wrong way but that's how I see it. "'That was our motivation. And actually I think that some of the costumes in that show were some of the best ones we ever had - not the ones we wore but the ones that the extras wore. The costumes for 'it's a sin' of the seven deadly sins, combined with the films and the dancers from New York and the way we were doing music, was a triumph. I think the version of 'it's a sin' on that tour is the best live thing we ever we've ever done, Neil added. It had to be said, the starting point for all of our tours has been the fact that the way we make music means you don't have to have the stage full of musicians, as we have computers playing live, so you could do whatever you wanted on stage.'" (Catalogue p. 116) Basically from what Neil says in Catalogue, he basically points out technically when you're an artist, you can do just about anything you want and execute the idea, and not always doing the tradition style all the time. I personally like how just about any artists that can execute something because of trying something different, even doing such daring moves such as this. On a side note, the same outfit Neil wears in the "It's A Sin" of this piece can also be found on the Discovery Tour. I just love the way the concert looked on VHS, I mean it's something worth taking a look at.

Just additional facts: The tour program was designed by Mark Farrow, This tour was filmed the Wembley Stadium, influences were David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust tour, Derek Jarman's film based on Benjamin Britten's "War Reqiuem" and it was performed in Hong Kong, Japan and Britain.

More facts can be found in Catalogue on pages 116-121

Overall, having the concert on VHS even though is about thirty-three minutes of it, it's worth purchasing especially if you adore art as much as I do. I hope to see it on DVD one day if they have one published.

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