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Sunday, May 18, 2008

It's Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys!

Sitting Tennant
And he's wearing Rick Astley's suit. Black suits with black ties are obviously more fashionable than I realised. Unless they both have the same dead friend.

Anyhoo, that's the sitting Tennant on the right. The ginger one picking his nose on the left is Michael Bracewell the famous novelist. No, I've never heard of him either.

Back in the 80s, the Pet Shop Boys famously said that they'd only perform live if Bananarama did, so after Thursday night I suppose it was inevitable that Neil Tennant would be on the bill at the Brighton Festival. Fortunately he wasn't singing. We actually paid £7.50 to hear him "in conversation". You could probably achieve the same effect by standing outside his house with an ear trumpet, but I don't know where he lives, so this seemed like the easier option. And I have to say, it was very interesting.

We heard a number of intriguing tales, including the fact that Chris Lowe's grandfather used to play the trombone in a comedy jazz band called The Nitwits. And to prove that you can find anything on YouTube, here they are. Apparently when the Pet Shop Boys met Liza Minnelli, she mentioned that as a small child in Las Vegas, sitting around all day while her mother trod the boards, she'd become a huge fan of The Nitwits. Which is not surprising - she went on to marry a few. She also asked Neil and Chris if they'd record a song called 'Pink Christmas' with her. They politely declined.

Michael Bracewell did mention the Pet Shop Boys' reluctance to play live in the 80s, and Neil said that in fact they did play a small early gig at a club called The Fridge in Brixton. I only mention that, because I went there in 1992 to see Petra (not the Blue Peter dog) with my brother. I'd never been anywhere so dodgy until a few weeks ago when I visited the Bank Holiday Market at the race course.

Anyhoo, if you're wondering what's next on the agenda for Neil Tennant, I can exclusively reveal that he's writing a ballet. Book early to avoid disappointment. Next on the agenda for me and Lisa, however, is an afternoon of advanced neuroscience at the Corn Exchange. I'm planning to take up brain surgery in my spare time.