My name is Jaleen81. I write observations of Pet Shop Boys and Soft Cell/Marc Almond music videos, books, or any art related topics. Since I am an upcoming artist, I love to practice on my writing skills and futhermore, just have fun free writing on what I enjoy. I get inspired everyday.
"What is written without effort is in general read without pleasure." - Samuel Johnson
"When our spelling is perfect, it's invisible. But when it's flawed, it prompts negative associations." - Marilyn vos Savant
The Best of Smash Hits (above) The Best of Smash Hits: The 80's
This is one of
the few items I own that’s beyond Pet Shop Boys’ work. Ironically, the very
first time I heard of Smash Hits was when I was doing some Soft Cell collage
art back in the summer of 2006 and they were on a cover of the issue July 8-21, 1982(which is the same one I own thanks to another artist that sent it to me!
And is the same one I found out years later that it has the interview Neil
Tennant did of Marc Almond!). I was actually looking for cheaper ways of
getting the Smash hits year books that Neil Tennant did between 1982-1984,
reason is because they look pretty artsy to me, so that’s probably the closest
thing I would have from another type of art. They are costly on eBay I manage
to find two available but only for the UK, unfair I think. But I won’t give up on
those. I like to find other art mediums or learn more beyond an artist if
possible and collect it as well. I would say Life in Pop (I’ll do a post on it
soon) is probably one of the best things you can get for both of Neil and Chris
learning about their lives beyond music or behind the scenes type thing.
Anyway, these two books are related to Pet Shop Boys, as you know Neil Tennant
was the assistant editor for the magazine before he joined Chris as Pet Shop Boys
but these were books well the smaller one The Best of Smash Hits was compiled
by him, it’s basically a gathering of six years worth of interviews of several
famous artists and bands, more likely you heard of them if you’re a fan of the
80’s or you was around that time. The Best of Smash Hits: the 80’s was done in
2006, which was the same year of its final issue. I’m not sure if there’s a
90’s one, but this is still a good item for a collection. I guess the reason
they made an 80’s one for sure was because it was its peak then, I can see why,
I mean it’s vibrant, excellent; it’s definitely a magazine I never seen before,
compare to magazines I have seen lately, this actually beats it because of its
creativity. I also even seen the Smash Hits story on YouTube; it was pretty
fascinating of how people reflected about the excitement and looking at photos
of how they were younger and their reactions to it. I kept seeing this book and
I ordered it, the first time I was a bit disappointed because I was expecting a
big, colorful book, but someone on Amazon gave out the wrong book photo. I kept
it because it was intriguing and was put together by Neil so in a way, it’s art
and there was a introduction by John Taylor of Duran Duran. There are photos in
it, but they are black and white and he has some interviews and reviews he did
as well. The next time I ordered it, it was from the US Amazon and it was $5 plus additional tax! It was a good deal because it had two free posters of John Taylor of Duran
Duran and Wham! And additional posters from other artists/bands including The
Human League, A-ha, Rick Astley, Depeche Mode, Frankie Goes to Hollywood to
name a few. It also includes a Foreword by Neil himself and there’s three Pet
Shop Boys related stories in the classic feature section: One is from 1985-1986
where the Boys were on Sunset Boulevard, it’s called Weird Tales from America,
this was when they were at the MTV Video awards where they were nominated "Best
New Band" but lost to A-ha, They were in KROQ where Chris Lowe was disappointed that
they didn’t have any Bee Gees to play the track, and they also took calls from
the listeners. Chris; however chose Soft Cell’s “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” as
one of his classic rock tracks as well as “Eyes Without a Face” by Sir William
Idol, “The Look of Love” by ABC and “Invisible Sun” by The Police. What amazed
me before that paragraph I found out Neil said “I see the Pet Shop Boys as one
of the surviving synth duos like Soft Cell.” That was really awesome to hear,
even though they were already disbanded in 1984, but even still, I thought that
was so awesome to read that! The rest were about their moment at being over
here, well bits from Sunset and West Hollywood. It really confirmed just about
everything I wanted to know. The next one was pretty small it’s called Crikey!
He’s a Pop Star! This was basically when 1985 when Neil ran off to be a Pet
Shop Boy and the writer said it was odd that they were writing about him just a
few months later. Theyhave mini reviews/facts
about “West End Girls”, “Opportunities”, “Love Comes Quickly” and the album
Please. There are also little remarks when he left titled Auf Weidersehen, Pet!
And finally on February 1987 of classic feature was of Neil on his last day of
being a Smash Hits editor, titled Neil Tennant Smash hits editor for a day?! It
have time frames and photos of Neil working as an editor and each had captions
on what he was doing, it was interesting seeing him struggling and being damn
near an hour late for his job. I have to agree that was a classic feature.
Everything else about it was of different artist/bands some drawing ducks,
quizzes, games, little franchises, adverts, stories of other artist, little
facts about what they eat, “do you remember” so much more! And also a list
chronologically done of the magazine issues from 1980-1989 and a little
statistics ofthe appearances on the
Smash Hits cover. For $5 it’s totally worth it, and if you like art, magazines,
80’s,the music of the 80’s, Pet Shop Boys or so, then this is something I highly
suggest as well as the Best of Smash Hits, getting to see how artists/bands
being interview and reviewed and perspectives.
I went shopping on Tuesday again in Amoeba, I was so stoked at finding a rare PSB item, so I thought to try again, again the vinyls are going to be used as decors on my wall. Anyway, they didn't have any but they did have a Soft Cell single box set. I was looking in the Collector's items box they have on display and what do you know they had this, for it to be it's price and out of print, it was not too bad! It was under $100 and the lady on the counter gave me another discount, knowing I'm a fan of the older music! it's too cool! Being young rocks! Yes, folks Soft Cell are known, may not be by others who gotten annoyed by me mentioning them a lot of whatever the case maybe. But they had something like this in the store, I was actually thinking of getting Heat: The remixes but I kept hearing it was a flop, so I didn't bother to get it, so I gotten this instead. It's basically all of Soft Cell's singles from back then on CDs with extra songs of course. I also bought a Linkin Park item but I will post that in my Jaleen81 Favorite Moments blog very soon so stay tuned! The colorful thing you see in the background is my laptop case, it's dark over here so I needed something to make the photo stand out. I guess I am a collector but I like unique items, items you can't find anymore, and so far I have been striking blessings or luck or something! I'm totally grateful too, I honestly didn't think I would find these items anywhere! They are also called 12'' Maxi CD singles too.
After my Business English class was over, I decided to go to
the record store, since my next class was in four hours. I was listening to
some music and when it was time to get off the bus to my destination, the song
“Pet Shop Boys” was playing and the next thing I know, the 12” of the original
“West End Girls” vinyl was there; The same one that’s in a series that was
produced by Bobby Orlando and the record label Epic.! A friend told me it was
the pre frame releases as well and is really rare! I don’t know how it’s
possible, I have been very fortunate with items lately it’s crazy, what
startled me was the fact the song was playing on my iPod. I was talking about
religion in a PSB group, I don’t know was it because of it or pure chance or
the late Watson saw my tribute post about him. I don’t think that’s possible
because of that but thank God that’s all I have to say!It only has two songs the extended mix of the
original “West End Girls” and “Pet Shop Boys”. It was only $10!!! I also found
a single that’s two songs in one CD “Se A Vida é (That’s the Way Life is)" and
“To Step Aside”. It’s the CD5 Maxi Single; it reminded me of my 2x12 remixes
Vinyl with the two different color vinyls inside so I thought why not match it
up!Of course they had some nice Soft
Cell items too one is the single of “The Night” which is a cover of a Frankie
Valli song. Apparently it’s a 2-CD type edition but I only have the first one,
it only have three songs “The Night”, “Perversity” and the Almighty mix of “The
Night”. The single of “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye 91” which have the original
“Numbers” and an extended track of “Torch” and finally Soft Cell vs. Club 69
with “Tainted Love”. I can around a pretty good deal on a day of school! I don’t
know I might make a trip back there soon! Again I’m truly thankful about these
items, I’m still in shock I’m actually owning another rarity!
The first photo I took from my phone while I was waiting for class and the second one is when I just got home.
This past week
some tragic events happened in music history and also anniversaries.
I thought I give
my respects to these artists because they made an impact on my life and several
others and some I got to test out music wise thanks to friends. Also I know a
couple of these artists have a relation to the artists I post about. All facts came from Wikipedia and book
references. Rest in Peace!!!
<< Summer appearance from the show Family Matters.
A tragic week in the Disco era!
LaDonna Adrian Gaines
(December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012),
known by the stage name Donna Summer, was an American singer-songwriter
who gained prominence during the Disco era of the late 1970s. Also known as the
Queen of Disco.
I also remember her as Aunt Oona from Altoona
on the sitcom Family Matters.
I was personally shocked about her death
because I didn’t know she had cancer! It goes to show that your days aren’t
I know Marc Almond was really sad according to
his twitter updates saying a piece of him died. He also collaborated with The
Bronski Beat covering her song “I Feel Love” that was submerged with John
Leyton’s “Johnny Remember Me”.(the link is down below)
I heard that “This Time I Know it’s For Real”
was Chris Lowe's favorites.
Robin Hugh Gibb,
(22 December 1949 - 20 May 2012)
was a singer and songwriter. He is best known as a member of the Bee Gees,
co-founded with his twin brother Maurice
and older brother Barry. He had a brother, Andy Gibb,
who was also a very popular singer.
Also on page 131 on the Best of Smash Hits book, you can see that Chris was a bit pissed that there wasn't any Bee Gees in KROQ, "Wot, no BeeGees! It's, um a tragedy." Ohhh but I think this is even more of a tragedy!
A friend told me that “Saturday Night Fever”
was one of Chris Lowe’s favorites.
about two Disco legends gone in the same week!
I wonder what the Pet Shop Boys must be thinking right now as two Disco legends are gone.
Chuck Brown (August 22, 1936 – May 16, 2012) was a guitarist and singer who is
affectionately called "the Godfather of Go-go.
Mary Richardson Kennedy also passed away this
week from committing suicide; she was Robert Kennedy Jr.'s second wife.
Curtis (15 July 1956
- 18 May 1980) was an English musician, best known as the lead singer and
lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division/Warsaw. Two friends told me about this band, they are indeed a fascination, I already knew about the Joy Division/New Order connection, I thought I took it upon myself to try this band out, still testing them out.
I know this
isn’t a person but this was an event that happened on the same day Ian Curtis
committed suicide and it’s one of my favorite volcanoes: Mount St. Helens is most notorious for its catastrophic eruption on May 18, 1980, at 8:32 am, the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in the
history of the United States. Fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47
bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of
highway were destroyed. A massive debris avalanche
triggered by an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale, caused an
eruption, reducing the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 ft
(2,950 m) to 8,365 ft (2,550 m) and replacing it with a 1 mile
(1.6 km) wide horseshoe-shaped crater. The debris
avalanche was up to 0.7 cubic miles (2.9 km3) in volume. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created to
preserve the volcano and allow for its aftermath to be scientifically studied.
This volcano is well known for its ash
explosions and pyroclastic flows. The last time it erupted was on July 10,
2008 (which is also Neil Tennant’s birthday)
David Byrne from the Talking Heads also had a birthday on May 14,
2012, he’s still living of course.
James Maury "Jim" Henson (September 24, 1936 – May 16, 1990) was an American puppeteer, best known as the creator of The Muppets.
This is my Soft Cell/Marc Almond collection as of now, and like the PSB collection, some fans sent me items, so I'm not stealing credit from no one! Reason you see more than one photo because since my collections grew, they needed more photos, and I also tried to put them in chronological order too. My reasons for the Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret quadriple is because that all of these have different facts and descriptions and some with photos I would like to keep, if they were exactly the same with info, I would have sold them too. I still need to get a chance to read all the books for both artists, it will be awhile on account I'm still in school.
I do have fan art but I haven't added them yet but they are on my other art blog, well most of them anyway.
Most of these will be decors for my room like the vinyls and the Chris Lowe poster. I always mention to people that a collection signifies a person. It's obvious my collection is more on the art side, since I am an artist, you can tell that this is why my collection is the way it is. I'm not just buying items, nor do I worship them!
I deeply apologize for the delay of posts, it's close of finals and end of spring semester for me in college. I am currently working on posts about the tragic events known as Donna Summer's passing, it wouldn't be right If I didn't include her in my blog plus there's relation too, I need to add as well so please stay tuned and then more! I am however, posting my updated collections my Pet Shop Boys collection as well as my Soft Cell/Marc Almond collection. I recently purchased Very Further Listening, a friend of mine Clare told me about it, even though the person who sold this to me didn't tell me the truth about the item, it's not used like new, but they do play and thankfully the booklet was there, for it's price. I love the music, but I also like to read what it's all about too. If you go to my page of my collection, you will see all that others that bought me items you see here. Not all were brought by me, they were shocking gifts by sweet fans!! I never really ask for things, I like to find them on my own. I just thought I do an update you'll also see that some are missing, but I really sold them because I gotten the Further Listenings and trade them in for store credit so whenever I can find some more items! I like to get my money's worth and the enjoyment of art.
Again will post actual posts quite soon, but for now enjoy seeing my collection spam!!
I also tried my best putting them in Chronological order the best way I can, so If they do look a bit off, I truly apologize. But I think I did alright with it.
I don’t really know much about this or there’s fact on the American site for this. I can tell you what I know what people told me about it. This is a rare segment of art during Marc Almond’s college years in Leeds Polytechnic in 1978. It does consist of narration but silent acting and body gestures, so you would have to depict what is trying to be conveyed here of Marc and his friends. You can also see that on the credits, Marc’s name was Mark. He gotten legally changed later on, because one he love Marc Bolan, one of his idols (was with Gloria Jones, the original singer to “Tainted Love”) and then he didn’t want nothing to remind him of his father. The two scenes you see Marc in are basically abstract and surreal in a way. Marc and a woman are slurping on what appears to be a bong or something like it, the music is very fascinating makes you wonder if Art of Noise had a soundtrack to it. The next seen you would see Marc in some woman bondage and squirting liquid on a woman that looks like he was in a hypnotic trance. You probably wonder how Soft Cell gotten their music video art ideas from. You would also see from break periods of the footage where you seen magazine, comic book scraps of women and men, and different colors of art. I would say it could be Pop and Op art since it was already at it’s peak since this was the mid to 70’s here. It’s bizarre but that’s how art can be sometimes, I would definitely watch it, if you’re a Marc Almond/Soft Cell fan and love art. Thankfully the youtuber didn’t delete it, because this is really rare, I don’t know what it’s really about, but I do know it’s art and the title does speak for itself. He only appears in two scenes of this. And if you wonder why Marc pranced about in the 80’s then look no further! If you're the lucky person that have this, cherish it! I would love to own this item one day.
Today I was selling more of my items at Amoeba, they had some more valuables here. I finally gotten Very Relentless and Before CD Maxi Single!! I don't know who is selling these back into the store but my goodness they sure had a nice artsy stash going! I will post up some mini art reviews on these two items real soon!
I have been wanting to see this for quite a while, I saw an excerpt from a clip about Soft Cell, and it was said they were the only band that were at their game and having an appearance from a cooking show, I thought that was so cool! It’s like making history. Again, some like to throw away this band but they are worth it, if you like raw, organic art. If not, then it’s not your type of music of course.
This was taken place called Riverside (almost funny because my previous college was called University of California Riverside, I thought it was awesome!) Anyway, this was back in 1983. Marc Almond and the hostess were making mince pies. Marc was a bit nervous because he never done things like that before. He seems to know what he was doing because it seems like he knew what to do. I love his sweater, very artsy. I think he wanted it off because he was cooking and it was probably hot in the studio and then the hostess took it off of him I guess he doesn’t want to get fuzz from the sweater mixed with the dough mix, smart move I think! It’s quite nice to see things like this, it reveals that Marc has a soft side and he can do other things in the art world. The music sounded like a 60’s show or something. They also had made cakes that look magnificent almost should be in a float and added their creativeness to it. It’s one of Marc’s happiest moments I bet. I guess when Marc doesn’t perform, he can be nervous because that’s out of his element, it was said once before that when he sings he feels different, but other than that, he’s quite nervous. He got better over the years though. This was also during Christmas time as well, it was hilarious he was wearing all black, but that’s Marc for you!
All credit for the upload was Kevm1986, and was glad he gave me permission to post this up and discuss it. I like seeing things like that with artist, now there are probably other artists that done these type of things but I heard it on a video that he was only one that did that and was a big pop star. It goes to prove that not all artists are in for the fame. Thank you again Kevm1986!!
This tour starts off with a animated simulation of different
parts of London and angles of the Arena and each frame or different scene, you
can see a cube formulating and getting larger while “More Than a Dream (magical
dub mix)” submerging to “Heart”. The
designer is Es Devlin, which previously did the Fundamental tour that is also
called Cubism on the DVD. I like the fact that she was on this commentary. I
would have also liked to hear her view on Fundamental as well. I would have to
say that between the two concerts, they practically meet a equilibrium of
colors, art, costumes, and energy and having a newer generation around an old
one. This includes a CD version but it
doesn’t have all the songs on it like the DVD does, the following is not on the
CD: “Jealousy”, “The Way It Used to Be”, ”Building a Wall”, “What Have I Done
to Deserve This”, and “All Over the World”. The DVD extras include: “My Girl”
(Live at the O2), “It Doesn’t Often Snow at Christmas” (live at the O2), “Love, etc”(music video), “All Over the
World”(music video), “Did You See Me Coming”(music video), 2009 BRIT Awards
performance featuring Lady Gaga and Brandon Flowers(The Killers) and an audio
commentary by the Pet Shop Boys and Es Devlin. This is concert is based from their album Yes along with their previous released songs and then some cover songs. This to me is a triumph type of concert because they still around and still make music and having a lot of vintage of their past and so on and the vivid display represents a feel of an excitement of an accomplishment.
I like the uniformity of “Heart” in the performance of it.
The theme with the cubes and even the fact the musicians themselves: Neil and
Chris, which Devlin begged them to wear the boxes on their heads, along with
the two females dancers that are twins. It seems that the projections never
really fail for these guys. I mean they used projections in MCMLXXIX,
Somewhere, Discovery, Montage, and Fundamental, all previous tours. The method that was
used was different and unique because they used fifty cardboard boxes with a
projection reflecting on them.
Especially seeing cubes within cubes almost like optical illusion
really. I like how also too that the two dancers that were on keyboard looking
like they were assisting Chris, and then both were balanced too, color balance
because one was wearing the warm colors and the other was wearing cooler
colors, a very excellent contrast. Now back to the projections, it was suppose
to be a slick trick to make it seem like it was two big screens. Then the
balloons are suppose to be a reference to their Christmas EP according to Neil
in the commentary. Of course he does the signature hand over heart move. Then onwards to “Did You See Me Coming” bit
where Neil sings a line “Every night is Friday night, welcome to my life, every
night is Friday Night” and you see the other two dancers on the cubes and
digitalized and pixelated and vivid: a clash between opposing colors, and they
are doing gestures almost like sign language but with the body while the lyrics
is heard. “Pandemonium” and “Can You Forgive Her” are submerged(making a small
point, Pandemonium is supposedly to sound like Amii Stewart) I like this
visualization here because it’s a bird’s eye view of what’s going on and the
colors really fit the tones, giving some mix of happiness and chaotic. And when the singing starts you can see their
heads, it’s also symbolic in way, but they are oblivious to what’s going on.
Neil and Chris are black and white so that also proves that point too. Then
afterwards you hear a brief welcome by Neil, and then “Love, Etc” plays like
the video was edited for the concert, “Love, Etc” was also had a cut out from
the song. “I believe, we can achieve, love between need, I believe, call me
naïve, love is for free” I agree, it does sound pretty awkward. I also noticed
Devlin pointed out how Neil was standing in the right position, because if he
was slightly off, he would have cast a shadow on the boxes, it really does
reveal how practice and memory are important. And then part where the song ends
and Neil’s hands are stretched out it was right on cue where the pac-man
versions of them were going in opposing directions; art is meant to be taken
seriously, because even the little can make a giant mess. Now you have it where Chris is banging on the
flat drums. I like the greyscale tones he have around him, great usage of
uniformity there. “Building a Wall” and “Integral” are submerged together next
and you see pixelated versions of Neil and Chris on the big screens. I also
forgot to point out, I also see two set of the screens on the left and right
top parts of the arena but they look kind of 3-D, it kind of brings a
reminiscence of the previous concert Cubism,(Fundamental) or the idea of it. I
like how Neil’s voice got robotic during the chorus of “Building a Wall” and I
also like the symmetry of them speaking well the screening part. And then by
Chris banging the drums, it gives it some kind of intensity of the song like
something is about to happen, and he did play the drums before. Then you see
the two dancers in the screen moving and putting blocks to cover the heads up
but they multiply as they putting them on there, I like how they are dressed in
two primary colors. It’s pretty funny to see that the screen version of Neil
and Chris are going away and let the real ones show it it’s done. This mash up
was okay, but I like the previous two better, even though one was just used as
instrumental. Devlin pointed out that the two screens were exactly
proportional to the ones were used back in the Fundamental tour. I like how the
screen tumbled down like a wall, which makes because of the song., and the
lighting gives it more of a feel that it was the one that knocked them down.
Then you see some of the crew members moving the props around, so the dancers
and musicians won’t fall or trip of anything. Then “Go West” begins then you
see Sean Williams and Charlotte Walcott for the first time, the twins’ names
are Sophie and Polly Duniam. Again great lighting and usage of color and using
one of the dancers as part of the visual, but I still have a love hate on the
visual of the music video. But this on here, I’m fine with. This visual was
filmed before the tour, and Sean is wearing a wig, which quite a shock, had no
idea. I like the organization of the movements here, they are exactly like the
visual. I also like to bring up that red, green, blue, and yellow are actually
color are from the original clocks they had back in the day, I used to have
some, so it’s pretty cool it gives off that youthful feel (in my opinion) Then
you can see Charlotte in it too, I like the gender change and the ethnicity,
very cultural. And Neil points out this version of “Go West” have the rhythmic
track of “Paninaro” I didn’t hear it at first until I played it again. Devlin
points out that the boxes are cardboard but reinforced and have to be
flameproof, I never heard of that before, no wonder why they are expensive!
Then when the song change it’s key, then you the two dancers in different
colors on the screen in multiples, and you can here the other two dancers
singers singing in the background, when it’s their cue. Then the dancers that
are on stage moved the boxes around for the next seen, the symbols on the
visual was very good, you have multi-cultural feel, to get the viewers
The second part you here “Two Divided by Zero” and then
submerged with “Why Don’t We Live Together” mind you that the beginning of this
sounds like Shannon’s “Let the Music Play” and you hear a electronic voice saying
“PSB and NYC, and then the count off of one through four” along with the versatile (very vintage because people don’t use
them anymore according to Devlin) and then you hear the original “Two Divided
by Zero” voice. Then you see a digitalized version of New York in the early
80’s , so it kind of brings you back on how they started off recording really
based on what Neil said; very symbolic. Then you Chris with his deadly mirror
shard covered jacket and Neil with his modern nylon jacket from Lexinburg *, it
was sale supposedly, it symbolizes the Run-Dmc look, based on what Neil says.
Chris’ jacket was made by a guy name Jeffrey Bryant and it was done in six
weeks. And crazy thing Chris’ jacket almost put Neil’s eye out too, and then
Chris’ neck too; which is why they have to be in separate areas to change I’m
pretty sure that Chris is keeping that jacket, no one can touch if he wears it!
The vividness of the visual gives it also a midnight metropolis idea. And you see the twin dancers dressed up like
flashy dancers with nice shoes. Devlin points out that It’s a fashion show, the
idea was that Charlotte and Sean went off to New York, they went West, China,
and ended up in New York with nameless fashion people.” So really in a way it’s
telling a story pretty much like Performance was doing. Then you see Sean
dancing with the female fashion dressed dancers, in a different, fashionable
clothes, And again until the next song. This time they dressed up as building
in New York, one I can point out at the moment is the Empire State Building,
and they are made out of cardboard. It’s amazing how something so simple can be
used again and again. The costumes look very comical, then you hear a bit of
“In the Night” I also here bits of
“Opportunities” as well. Then the dancers are doing an iconic dance number inspired
by Madonna’s “Dress You Up” which Chris also dances too. I like the fact he
didn’t leave the commentary room, like he did in Performance, even though he
didn’t see himself dance in here either, but he stayed thankfully. In costume,
I don’t know if it was out of coincidence, but Neil, Chris and the dancers are
on a greyscale in costume-wise which is very symmetrical, and you here a line
from their song “Left to my Own Devices” towards the end of the song. Then you
here “New York City Boy” playing instead of a digital version of New York, you
see actual clips of it, but they are from the videos of “Was It Worth It?” and
“New York City Boy” and you see the singers/dancers dressed up in their
uniformed outfits with more symmetry there only this time in color form. Everything is pretty much balanced and I
noticed they took some bits off on this song too. Then “Always on My Mind”
plays and Neil points out that Chris is reading music on that screen he’s
looking at, and they did it on their last tour, some Chris can’t remember by
memory and some he can, I’m guessing the most used songs he can remember by
heart and then vice versa. The visuals
are a reminiscent of Newcastle and Blackpool, because it’s where they are from
and you occasional cube looking like amplifiers when you audio coming out. This
was also used at the Brits, but was something else at first, more abstract
based on Devlin but they needed something popping out, which she’s right
because you need a contrast of something otherwise it would be a conflict or
conflicting the point was being conveyed. When the dancers are jumping on a
trampoline, it kind of reminded me of New Order’s “True Faith” music video
somehow, I don’t know why. It was interesting that Neil pointed out that this
wasn’t the best crowd they had, I wonder what peoples’ thought were if they
heard this commentary. Sounds pretty disappointing but hey, you can’t please
everyone right? The visual of the cubes matched the lighting, which was cool,
it’s funny how the colors are all bright but the song is cynical, what a
strange irony isn’t it? Then “Closer to Heaven/Left to my Devices” have
started, I like the visual on this because of the Rubix cube comeback and you
see the dancers dancing and getting in position. I like the effect of the falling
boxes (possible explosion bit too) and then you can see it being part of the
screen very 3-D, which is neat. The clock kind of gives him the idea of turning
back time because these are their older songs with the exception of a few of
them, and then you see more objects like cellphones, teapots, balloons, part of
the cubes, etc coming out and the guy made it where it was close to the lyrics.
Then the explosion goes in reverse, almost reminds me of the idea of Soft
Cell’s "Bedsitter" line: ”Start the Nightlife over again” then it goes forward
and slow, it really basically picks up the rhythm of Neil singing really and
the song, and then goes backwards again.
It does bring a musical theater tone. Yeah, I agree with Neil, it’s a
lot of work, that’s why it’s a lot to cover. Since the “Left to my Own Devices”
line was used now he uses names and reverberates lines from it and “Heart”
which makes sense for this because the same guy who did it was the same one who
did the “Heart” visual. The lighting light movements are a rock based idea.
This was indeed color coordinated.
“Do I Have To?/Kings Cross” This is where the only song that
was tracked meaning Chris is actually playing by hand, I like this because it
gives Chris another spotlight moment, and the song gives a romantic dark feel,
but it’s moment where Neil and the girls getting a costume change. But I think
by him wearing the mirror jacket still for this moment was a brilliant idea,
because the lighting was perfect and he glows! It was pretty comedic because
that a short riff and getting costume change it like their clock. Chris calls
it his embarrass look, looks like a bashful look to me, finally seeing him
playing on a keyboard like almost how he was playing on a pipe organ on Life in
Pop. They call it a toilet break, it was pretty funny, then you hear this song
have an extra sound in it. Now you see Neil in a tuxedo top and the twins in
red all over, color coordination here. I actually always thought there would be
a music video for this song because it’s a beautiful song, but it’s the best
you can get from this. This is another vintage moment where you get the 40’s
ballroom hand gesture according to Devlin, and I agree with Neil when he
pointed out the surrealism of the dancers with the cubes and doing something
back in the 40’s, but that’s how art can really be. Devlin gives a nice visualization, but I
won’t say it, it’s up to you to buy the DVD/CD or hear the commentary yourself.
I like the opposing colors of red and green, it gives it a intense passion feel
for it. And speaking of surreal, it’s even more surreal that someone wearing a
mirror jacket is playing on a keyboard to being the 40’s back. Now you have
“Kings Cross” playing then you see light or became bright. You also get another
reminiscent by the late Derek Jarman, a footage of “Kings Cross” (which also
have bits from the “Rent” video in it as well; that was used for Pet Shop Boys’
MCMLXXXIX tour, it’s a well over 20 years old. You also hear the singers in the
I will continue the rest of this concert art review on another post
soon, since this is going to be a long one. Stay Tuned!