Week 5/2024: Dreamworld

Week of 29 January 2024

I had a couple of fun nights out this week. Here’s the story of one of them.

Pet Shop Boys

I have loved Pet Shop Boys since I first saw them on Countdown in 1986. (Might actually have been the original release of ‘Opportunities’ in 1985 but was more likely the re-release of ‘West End Girls’ in 1986. Perhaps a rock historian can help?)

They’re in my Top 5 artists of all time (there is no order to these, by the way). I own all of their studio albums along with a few other random bits and pieces including some live performances.
I’d love to see them live, and in 2019 when I filled out my Bucket List journal, “see Pet Shop Boys live” was number 73.

However, years have passed and things have changed. Since I’ve developed hyperacusis, loud music is very difficult for me to tolerate, and since covid, my dislike of large crowds (aka more than two people) has dramatically intensified.

So big concerts are out.

But last month I became aware of a cinema release of Pet Shop Boys’ current tour, Dreamworld, filmed at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen last year.

Multicoloured words "Dreamworld" - above an image of a rock concert in front of a crowd

Dreamworld is their ‘Greatest Hits’ tour, which was supposed have taken place in 2019-20. But we all know what happened around that time and what happened to live shows and concert. So the tour was postponed and eventually took place in 2022-23, with new dates recently having been added for this year.

Not in Australia, however.

Fulfilling a bucket list item (kinda sorta)

I figured I could handle a cinema version of a live show so I booked a ticket.

First mistake: Misreading the time and thinking it started at 7.30. By the time I got to the cinema at 7.10, it was well underway!


After I set aside that disappointment (by telling myself I’d buy the inevitable DVD and could watch it again at home), I settled in to enjoy the show. I know this kind of cinema release of a concert is common now, but it’s the first one I’ve attended so I wasn’t sure if people would dress up, dance in the aisles, sing along or what. For the most part they didn’t, though there was a bit of cheering and clapping every now and then.

I thought it was fabulous (absolutely) but did later hear complaints, including from people sitting near me and from many other screenings, about the sound quality and volume. For me it wasn’t a problem. I’d taken earplugs just in case it triggered my noise intolerance but it was fine, which says there probably was an issue with the sound!

I loved it! Okay, so Neil Tennant is nearly 70 and I may have been heard in the past making uncomplimentary remarks about old rock stars who keep on going and going and going . . . so I’ll stop doing that. Old people rock! And he’s nowhere near ready to quit.

I hope I have the voice and stamina to be able to perform at massive arena concerts when I’m 70!

There wasn’t too much banter from Neil. I’m not into banter so that was good, though I did like hearing the story behind the song ‘Jealousy‘ which is one of my very favourite tracks. I’d had no idea it was the first song Chris and Neil had written together.

And, as you’d expect, there was no banter from Chris.

Chris was Chris. Excellent. He’s wonderful.

The backing band—Africa Green, Clare Uchima and Simon Tellier—was shit hot and maybe I want to learn drums now?

I had a great night and am really glad I went. I’ve been listening to my old albums on high rotation since then, and made a playlist of the studio versions of the set list. And I’m looking forward to their new album that will be released later this year.

Week 5 summary

Habit tracker

  • 9.30 shutdown: 2/7 days
  • 8,000 steps: 6/7 days
  • 25 minute timer setting: Still working out how to track this one

What was the best thing about this week?

A Very Good Thing was seeing the concert.

Another Very Good Thing was going to a book launch, which I’ll tell you about later

What did I notice this week?

An echidna (the same one as last time maybe) in the back yard.

The back end of an echidna hiding under a large terracotta pot
The echidna is back!

What did I learn this week?

I learned ‘Jealousy’ was the first song Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe wrote together. Chris wrote the music at his parent’s home in 1982 and sent it to Neil. Neil thought it sounded like something Edith Piaf might have sung, so he wrote ‘similarly grandiose lyrics’ that suited her style.

The song didn’t appear until the 1990 release of the album Behaviour.

I also learned that Chris studied architecture but never finished the course, because joining a band was a more attractive option. During his story he designed a staircase in an industrial building in Milton Keynes that apparently still exists.

What I’m reading this week

  • The Woman’s Voice by Patsy Rodenburg
Share this