10 minutes with the Pet Shop Boys before Sonar Cape Town kicks off

2014-12-15 14:28

Cape Town – It’s a sunny summer morning in Cape Town and while the rest of the world is going about their business something extraordinary is happening in our cool air-conditioned offices.

While vacationers are filling up the city and catching sun on the beach I’m sitting in a conference room in the office talking over the phone to Neil.

In a relaxed tone he chats about his walk on the Promenade in Sea Point, the food in the Mother City and of course the good wine.

It might seem like a very standard conversation you would have with a tourist in Cape Town. Only there’s nothing standard about it.

I’m on the phone with Neil. Neil Tennant. Neil from the Pet Shop Boys.

No hoo-has or frills. Just a super friendly chilled guy sharing thoughts on his first trip ever to Africa.

(Neil in Sea Point. Facebook)

“It’s actually a very historic moment for the Pet Shop Boys,” he says. “It’s the first time we’ve ever performed in Africa,” he adds referring to the Taste of Sonar gig they had on Friday night in Johannesburg.

“It’s never been possible for us to come here in the past, but Sonar made it happen.”

The Pet Shop Boys have sold over 50-million records worldwide, have achieved an overwhelming twelve top 10 studio albums, 40 top 20 singles, four number one records, received three Brit Awards and seven Grammy nominations.

They’re considered to be the most successful duo in UK music history and have a massive local fan base and have sold over 300 000 albums in South Africa alone.

“Next up is Sonar Cape Town. Sonar is originally from Barcelona, Spain and it’s great to have it in South Africa now. There are a lot of similarities between the Barcelona event and the one in Cape Town. It’s going to be amazing.”

Apart from their never-ending list of hit songs the Pet Shop Boys will also be wowing the crowd with their uber extravagant outfits.

“One of the outfits we will be wearing is made up of 3000 drinking straws. Our costume designer, Jeffrey Bryant, is an absolute genius when it comes to designing these things. Sometimes he sits backstage putting something together.

“He likes to go to those cheap bargain shops and buy random stuff and put it together to create something absolutely unexpected. He once made 4 headpieces that cost less than £1,” Neil adds when asked about the magic that is the Pet Shop Boys’ stage outfits.

“Listen it’s going to be amazing tonight. We’re bringing the whole show.”

(Photo supplied)

As part of his pre-show ritual Neil likes to do a few warm-up singing exercises while Chris takes a nap. “I don’t have a lot of rituals. I’ll probably be shaving by 18:00 tonight and getting ready for the show.”

Before my 10 minutes with Neil comes to an end I get to ask him one last question; “What’s the one thing you never go on tour without?”

“These days it’s my iPhone. But I also like to take a good book with me. This time I packed in Bleak House by Charles Dickens. It comes highly recommended.”

Buy your tickets now!

More info about Sonar Cape Town here.

Read more on:    music

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