Gig review: Pet Shop Boys (Edinburgh Hogmanay)

Neil Tennant

Neil Tennant

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Taking to the Princes Street Gardens stage seven years after their Edinburgh New Year debut was cancelled due to high winds, the Pet Shop Boys made anything but heavy weather of a hit-packed Hogmanay set.

A set of two halves was split by fireworks ushering in 2014, and even the casual viewer could not fail to have been impressed by the audio and visual banquet served up by the duo.

Launching with ‘It’s A Sin’ Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe were resplendent in spiky rubber suits - just the first of a series of deliciously outlandish outfits.

Human mirror balls, horned helmets and cube masks combined with a dazzling laser show and a troupe of dancers to create an arresting spectacular.

The first half alone saw outings for a series of crowd pleasers, including ‘Opportunities’, ‘Rent’, ‘Suburbia’ and ‘Left to My Own Devices’. There’s also the chance to hear a freshly crowned and gowned Tennant tear into Coldplay’s ‘ Viva La Vida’ with a passion Chris Martin could only dream of.

Part two upstaged even the thousands of rockets spewing from the parapets of Edinburgh Castle, with a huge singalong of ‘Go West’ signalling another torrent of bona fide classics.

The main set ended with a spine-tingling ‘Always on My Mind’, with Dusty Springfield projected onto the big screen to provide vocals from the great beyond.

A truly career-spanning encore of ‘Being Boring’, ‘West End Girls’ and ‘Vocal’ finished things off with a pounding beat and ever-present arch sense of humour.