Watch the Pet Shop Boys perform ‘It’s A Sin’ live at the Royal Albert Hall

The Pet Shop Boys wowed the audience at last night’s Royal Albert Hall Teenage Cancer Trust concert, when the performed a gem-filled set with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra and Johnny Marr. SDE was there and managed to capture the show-closer, It’s A Sin. Watch it below.

The full set list was as follows

Left To My Own Devices
Tonight is Forever
This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave
Later Tonight
New York City Boy
The Survivors


Hold On
It Couldn’t Happen Here
For All of Us
Can You Forgive Her?
Breathing Space
He Dreamed of Machines
Requiem in Denim and Leopardskin
Indefinite Leave to Remain
West End Girls
It’s Alright
It’s A Sin

63 responses to Watch the Pet Shop Boys perform ‘It’s A Sin’ live at the Royal Albert Hall

  1. Andrew says:

    It was a great gig, sound fine in the upper stalls. I would have liked to see “Patience of a Saint ” from Electronic but it is hard to criticise when they have so many great songs l thought “indefinite leave to remain” was wonderful.
    I think the argument was to do with people going in and out during the show which is my bugbear. When did we become a nation of people who can’t sit still for an hour? I saw Jean Michel Jarre at the o2 and it was constant going in and out

    • gwynogue says:

      It’s a bugbear with me too – recently went to an outdoor gig (Blondie/Cyndi Lauper double – awesome concert), it seemed most of the people around us were more interested in socialising than watching the show! Chatting, drinking wine, looking at their dumb-phones, going for a smoke (and asking you to keep an eye on their stuff while they do it!)…quite distracting. Especially when they start packing up to leave before the show is even finished! Considering the price of concert tickets nowadays, I can think of MUCH cheaper ways to socialise, lol.

      Completely agree 100% with Neil Kelly’s comment: “God i hate people like that f*** off to the pub and talk all you like”

      Hear, hear! (or is it ‘here, here!’? I’ve never been sure of the spelling…)

  2. It was such a magnificent show – I do have a soft spot for their orchestral stuff, especially ‘This must be the place I waited years to leave’ and ‘It couldn’t happen here’ were incredibly moving.

    I think no one has mentioned yet that Neil’s voice was in top-form, too, and free from any of the usual double-tracking-trickery that they use live of recently. His BBC Radio 2 performance was quite hit and miss in places, but impeccable here at the Royal Albert Hall!

    Sound quality downstairs was fine too, sorry to hear about the upstairs areas…

    Also, lovely to finally being able to thank you in person for this blog, Paul, even if it was briefly in the hallway. Tis blog is a daily read for me over here in Amsterdam and even though I hardly participate, I am nothing short of a FAN!

  3. Derek says:

    Was at the show in lower tier seats, enjoyed the night even though i don’t have intimate knowledge of the PSB back catalogue. There was an issue in one block of seats, evidently there were some people talking through the first part of the show which ended in some shouting during the interval.

  4. JR says:

    The sound quality in the ‘upper’ seats was absolutely shockingly bad. As soon as it started, Left to my Own started, we all looked at each other with a ‘oh dear’ look. Was shockingly bad – trust me. It’s as though there were no speakers pointing at the circle and all we heard was echo from the stall seat speakers.

    In part two, it improved somewhat – people had clearly had words – but it was really a disappointing first concert to take my children too. Even my eldest said “why does it sound so awful”.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I simply down bother with the Albert Hall if it means being in the gods. Saw a-ha there when they did their first two album in full and the sound was terrible, so high up.

      • Neil Kelly says:

        Me too i got standing tickets and never knew i’d be standing there. Planes were flying into Heathrow giving better views and sound…

  5. Deano says:

    Hopefully this link works, but there’s some other great footage of the night getting posted at the moment.

  6. Michael says:

    Update !
    From Official site : Full details of reissues later this month.

  7. Michael says:

    The reissues will be out later in the year, plans are bring finalized. Their first 6 albums will also be reissued. And a complete box containing all their Parlophone albums will also be released.

  8. Deano says:

    Great video – thanks for sharing Paul.

    As aside, do we have any update on the planned deluxe reissues for 2017? I thought some of these releases were imminent but heard nothing.

    I also received my copy of the new PSB annually book the other day. Available via their website. Have not looked at the book in detail yet, but the bonus CD is great – particularly the Tuff City Kids remix of Undertow and the Stuart Price remix of Left to My Own Devices.

    Annoyingly, these are not exclusive to the CD as are set for digital release in April.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Not sure what the issue is but as you say the reissues were supposed to be put out this month. Those tracks aren’t exclusive to the CD but aren’t available on CD anywhere else (as far as I’m aware).

  9. Mark Reed says:

    It wasn’t as good as everyone makes out – the song choices were predictable, the pacing was erratic, the sound mix was a bit muddy, and some of the songs were not very good at all. “Hold On” should never have been written, let alone recorded, released, or performed live! Definitely a unique show though.

    • EW99 says:

      Ha ha ha ha ha… Obviously we all have our own most and least favourites but they hardly ever coincide. My own second least favourite PSB song is mentioned by someone above as one that should have been in the show. I thought the show was fantastic with a very few reservations. The fact that you didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean “everyone” is wrong.

    • JR says:

      I’m with you on this – it was all a bit “easy going” an the sound in the upper decks was shockingly bad. Headache inducing.

  10. martin farnworth says:

    maybe they thought the Super songs don’t lend them themselves well to orchestral arrangements. although IMO its far from their best work.

  11. Steven Robertson says:

    I was there too. 6 rows from the front. I hated the no pictures rule, but can understand why.

    So glad they let you for the last couple though.

    I think they missed a trick not playing Numb though.

    Highlight was Jealousy for me.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Somehow I missed the ‘no pictures’ rule… so took a few without feeling guilty in the first half! I think realised and respected it in the second half, apart from the last song, when the rulebook went out the window!

      • EW99 says:

        I missed the no pictures rule completely. How was it supposedly conveyed to us?

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          Not sure, but if no one tells you then you can’t be blamed. I was a bit surprised when they started with Left To My Own Devices how few phones went in the air!

  12. Dave H says:

    Did Neil Tennant join Johnny Marr when he was playing his set?
    I saw Johnny Marr at Hyde Park and he played ‘Getting Away With It’ as part of his set.

  13. James C says:

    I was also there and it was a special night, there was no way I was going to miss this gig as it’s exactly the kind of thing I’ve wanted from them for years. The set list contains no surprises for me – when tickets went on sale Neil stated it would be a tweaked version of their Salford BBC concert from 2012 which was broadcast on Radio 2 (hence all the Elysium tracks), the rest of it was plundered from the BBC Radio Theatre concert from 2006 which makes up the Concrete album and Rent, Later Tonight and He Dreamed Of Machines were all part of the 2014 BBC prom. So everything was from existing arrangements but they are in the middle of a world tour consisting of entirely different material in a different style so that’s hardly surprising. Great, memorable night though, even though a fight almost broke out near me, never thought I’d see that at a PSB gig, especially one in such a prestigious venue and for a charity.

    • Richard says:

      What caused the argument? There was a hugely annoying guy at the Opera House gig I attended who insisted on shouting “wooh” at the top of his lungs every 30 seconds and bouncing into everyone for the entire show. It completely killed the gig for everyone around him. Glad I wasn’t near him again as this was definitely a top 5 best gig for me.

  14. bob says:

    I just want to add that I also read that Guardian ‘Ten Of The Best’ article and it is fantastic.
    Damn the no edit button

  15. bob says:

    Gutted I missed this given everyone’s comment’s. I too have wondered/marvelled at their decades old commitment to It’s Alright, I do like the song but I would have rather they performed Being Boring. Not that I was there anyway of course lol.

  16. Martijn says:

    Pleasantly surprised with the number of songs from Elysium. I love that album. Seems I shouldn’t expect a DVD or Blu-Ray release, but hope at least the audio gets a release.

  17. Dom says:

    Great concert. Could have done with a couple of more uptempo tracks but great they did a few rarely performed numbers. Enjoyed being in a box. Shame that’s not an option for every concert. Wonderful venue as well

  18. tim says:

    A good chunk of the set list resembles the orchestral BBC concert they did a few years back.

  19. Mirko says:

    I was there – a great performance! From all!!

  20. Darren says:

    Agree with the comments about the 2nd act. Bit indulgent but the opening 5 songs were as good as any gig I’ve been too.

    Was that Juliet “Caught in the middle” Roberts on backing vocals?

    • Ern says:

      Yes, that was Juliet Roberts or Julia Roberts as what Neil introduced her as in the first half and corrected himself in the second half :)

      • Chris Squires says:

        THE Juliet Roberts? Backing Vocalist on the best of Stephen Tin Tin Duffy’s early singles… which was of course “Icing on the cake”…. THAT Juliet Roberts?

  21. EW99 says:

    Ooh, you had a *much* better seat than me. A bit jealous… Agree the whole night was just amazing.

    As Super is electric only it would probably have been a bit of a stretch to knock up orchestral arrangements for songs off that specially for this event.

    Really looking forward to the electric counterpart to this when I see them in September.

  22. Phil G. says:

    Surprised to see no Go West – usually a staple of their sets.

    I saw them recently and the SUPER album tracks went down very well – Pop Kids is a great song, up with their classics IMHO.

  23. Bruce Levenstein says:

    Anyone know if this was recorded for a fire release?

  24. Dave W says:

    Thanks for the video! To be honest Paul, whilst I thought the first act was one of the best concerts I’d ever had the privilege to see, I was a little disappointed with the second act. Thought they tried to be a bit too clever. Wouldn’t have missed “He Dreamed of Machines”, “For All Of Us” and “Requiem in Denim & Leopardskin” if they’d been replaced with “Numb”, “Integral” and “Closer to Heaven”. As for Johnny Marr, his contributions were outstanding. “This Must Be The Place I’ve Waited Years to Leave” never sounded better. But, where was “Getting Away With It”? Surely a missed opportunity?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I couldn’t believe how good the first few songs were. Tonight Is Forever and Later Tonight sounded SO good. Wish they’d done the whole of the second side of Please. Do sort of agree with you. No Love Comes Quickly or Suburbia, for example. They made up with it (more or less) with a strong ending, although their loyalty to “It’s Alright” makes me smile. It’s not really that good, but their dogged determination has made it sound like a bit of a classic!

      • EW99 says:

        It’s much more than a “bit” of a classic imo, it’s one of my top PSB songs I think. Horses etc.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          I do like it… but it’s a cover, which to me means it can’t be in the top tier of other PSB classics. To put things in perspective though, I still bought the DJ International remix 12-inch and limited 10-inch version and the CD single when it came out.

  25. Jay Senese says:

    Thanks for this! Did Johnny Marr play just this one song, or the entire set? He certainly didn’t have much to do on this particular song …

    … big Johnny Marr fan here!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      He came on for “This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave” and from that point on played on various (but not all) songs. I saw him chuckling away when the audience went mad for Can You Forgive Her? (which he wasn’t playing on).

  26. CJ says:

    I love that they really put together crowd-pleasing set-lists–a bit of the new, a helping of the classics, and some deep rarities. If I had the money and time, I would follow PSB like some people followed the Grateful Dead.

  27. Ern says:

    Great chatting with you. Hope you and mum enjoyed the concert. I was fifth row which was nice and loud enough to drown out the guy who was chatting to his partner :)

  28. Wolf says:

    Where was Chris Lowe @It’s A Sin?

  29. Jezk says:

    Third track of the set (and first with Johnny Marr on stage I think) was This Must Be The Place I Waited Years To Leave. Whole night was fantastic.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Indeed it was. Apologies, not sure how that got left off. A highlight for me, since I’ve always loved that song and Behaviour.

  30. Rickbear says:

    I think Super is a good record. But I’m fine with this set list. They have over 200 songs to pick from.. this was a nice selection.

  31. Ern says:

    It Couldn’t Happen Here was phenomenal with the orchestra backing them. Very happy with the choice of songs as they rarely play some of them on their tours.

  32. Rickjapan says:

    Everything I ever do…

    Every SuperDeluxeEdition entry I read..

    Every expanded CD I buy..

    Every ultra deluxe box set I leave…

    Thanks Paul!

  33. tim says:

    Great set list – nothing from (Not) Super.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I know, that’s amazing isn’t it. I was happy though since I haven’t really listened to that album much.

      • Neil Kelly says:

        Wow really you two? ‘Super’ is really good, my favs being Undertow, Inner sanctum and Pazzo! Their last few albums have been awesome it really is time for people to catch up and admit they’ve lost nothing. Late 90’s / early 00’s was only patchy part of the career for me…

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