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History

March 2018

On March 10, the first American production of the Pet Shop Boys’ ballet The Most Incredible Thing premieres at the Knight Theater, Charlotte, North Carolina, performed by the Charlotte Ballet. This premiere is originally scheduled for one day earlier, but is delayed when a truss snaps during the afternoon dress rehearsal. For this new production, the Pet Shop Boys’ recorded score, mixed live, is used instead of a live orchestra, and the competition at the centre of the story is now staged through shadow-play. Neil attends. “In my opinion it was an improvement on the original,” he says. “I thought it was brilliant.”

November 2018

On November 1, a book by Neil, One Hundred Lyrics and a Poem, is published in Britain by Faber & Faber. (Neil had past history with Faber & Faber: “In the late Seventies and early Eighties I used to do freelance work for them as a copy-editor and sometimes as a proof-reader. Then in the mid-Eighties I sold a book, Like Punk Never Happened by Dave Rimmer, to them, and edited it. That was the last thing I ever did in the world of book-publishing.”) He selected the lyrics during train journeys between London and Durham, choosing those he thought would read best in this form. One reason for also including a poem was “to point out that the lyrics aren’t poems, they’re lyrics”. He also wrote an introduction and added annotations to the lyrics. “It is kind of like an autobiography, really,” he says. “Surprisingly, I think it’s quite revealing. More so than I normally would be.”

On this day

2000

An article in Billboard reports that the Pet Shop Boys are working on several new tracks for a ‘best of’ collection, scheduled for release in the fall. They will later postpone plans for this album, putting it off until 2003.

2007

Back in the U.K. following a couple of shows on the continent, the Boys perform at the Eden Project in Cornwall.

2011

PSB and Take That perform this evening in Hamburg, Germany.

2013

Neil is one of more than a hundred internationally known musicians who have signed an open letter posted today by Amnesty International calling for the release from prison of the members of the band Pussy Riot, who had been found guilty and jailed a year earlier for an act of protest in a Russian cathedral.

2016

This evening: the third ‘Inner Sanctum’ show at the Royal Opera House.

2017

The Pet Shop Boys perform at the Tall Ships Races Music Festival in Turku, Finland.

2019

The first rehearsal for Musik.