Pet Shop Boys Tennant says OVO Hydro will be great but West End Girls delivered disappointment

BRITAIN’S best-selling pop duo are back with their 15th studio album and will head to Scotland next week for what promises to be a spectacular concert.

But synth legends Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have revealed some of their most memorable times in Scotland were for the wrong reasons.

The Pet Shop Boys kick off their UK Dreamworld Greatest Hits Live tour on June 4 at Glasgow’s Hydro venue.

The date comes 40 years after the release of their debut single West End Girls and their Hydro show will be a far cry from Neil’s break at another Scottish Hydro – at which he discovered the song had spectacularly flopped.

Neil, 69, said: “It's almost embarrassing to think it’s been 40 years but a lot has happened in that time.

“But of course when the first version of the single came out it was a big flop.

“I remember being with my family on holiday Crieff Hydro in Scotland.

“The single had been released the previous week and I phoned up the record company from a phone box in the basement to see what the chart position was.

“It was number 133.

“At least it was recorded number, but I think I was disappointed.

Neil did get the last laugh, however, when he and Chris re-recorded a version of the song which was released the following year.

The 1985 version hit No1 in the UK and US and led to a Best Single trophy at the BRIT awards as well as an Ivor Novello award for Best International Hit.

20 years after its release it was also awarded Song of The Decade between the years 1985 and 1994 by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters.

Having played their first ever live concerts at an arena in Hong Kong, a trio of Budokan shows in Tokyo and at Wembley Arena, the band played arena shows in Scotland before two headline slots at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay castle on the castle esplanade.

Though their first attempt to play the New Year’s Eve event was blown off course.

Neil said: “The one Scottish gig that stands out is unfortunately the negative one.

“The first time we did or as it turned out didn’t headline Hogmanay in Edinburgh was 2006 going into 2007.

“We did the soundcheck below the castle and everything. It was all fine.

“We were staying in different hotels.

“Chris was staying in a hotel on Princes Street and he phoned me up and said, ‘Well, well this gig is not going to happen because a dustbin has just flown past my window and I'm on the second floor’.”

Storms including winds of 70mph forced the cancellation of Edinburgh’s official Hogmanay celebrations that year spoiling things for more than 100,000 people who had expected to take part in the event on Princes Street revelry.

Just three hours before the bells, Edinburgh's Hogmanay party, was pulled on safety grounds because of the stormy weather and torrential rain.

Chris added: “A taxi driver had already told me on the way from the airport that it wasn’t happening but we didn’t find out officially until hours after that the gig was cancelled.”

Despite the disappointment, they admitted they would jump at the chance of another shot at bringing in the bells north of the border.

Neil said: “That was a shame. We triumphed in the end because we did it twice after that.

“Both times have been really fantastic.

“They're very memorable playing below the castle.

“It's a great setting with the fireworks in the middle and I wouldn't be surprised if we end up doing it again at some point but we always really really enjoy that gig.”

With 70 hit singles spanning five decades, they’ve also won both BRIT and Ivor Novello awards for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.

Now, with in excess of 50 million record sales, the Pet Shop Boys are back with another album, Nonetheless.

But not everything has gone swimmingly, including an attempt to represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Neil said: Neil said: “I am old enough to remember Lulu saying that she hated the song Boom Bang-A-Bang.

“At the time there was a contest that was called A Song For Europe and Lulu did one song for six weeks on Saturday night on the Lulu show.

“She had a song she really liked and it didn't win really so she was really annoyed.

“But Boom Bang-a-Bang is an absolute classic Eurovision song.

“We wrote a song we thought would be good for Eurovision once but the people who organised the competition changed hands and nothing was done about it.”

Meanwhile, the duo believe it is only a matter of time before people start listening to music made through artificial intelligence.

Neil said: “When synth music was happening in the 1980s people said it was cold.

“But will anyone care when listening to music whether it has been made by AI or not. I don’t think so.”

Neil, who used to edit the Smash Hits pop magazine before becoming a pop star in his own right has one other claim to fame — former Time Lord David Tennant is named after him.

The Scots actor, who was born David McDonald, chose the name because another David McDonald was already in the actors’ union Equity.

He said: “He’s named not after Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys, but Neil Tennant, the Smash Hits journalist because he saw my name in the magazine.

“We met at the London show Cabaret. At the interval we had a drink and he said it was like meeting his father.”

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