Myself and a close friend took two weeks break in Paris very recently and as well as the Bastille day festivities which spawned many local amateur music festivals, the mighty Pet Shop Boys also rolled into town and as a treat, we both got to see one of my favourite groups in action again.

The last time I saw Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe was at the Impact Arena in August 2002 in Bangkok when 9,000 Thai and expat fans cheered them to the finish of their Release tour. Two tours and albums later and they still draw crowds wherever they choose to play.

With pints of beer at 7 Euros, our serious drinking was kept to a minimum until after the show, when we found a local bar serving a happy hour til midnight at 3 Euros a pint.

The tour, called ''Pandemonium'' after a track off the latest album ''Yes'', promised a more divers selection of songs and they duly obliged with a set list to please everyone from the business types in attendance on their way home from work to the couples and odd family who occupied the safety of the upper tiers rather than the sweaty cramped but pleasant floor below where we were.

Warm up was a semi-well known French DJ playing some relaxing housey kinda stuff, not too obtrusive on the ear, then at 9.05pm it was time. The lights dimmed.

Set list was very mixed, old and new:

01. Intro (More Than A Dream - Dub)
02. Heart
03. Did You See Me Coming
04. Pandemonium (with elements of Can You Forgive Her?)
05. Love Comes Quickly
06. Love etc.
07. Building A Wall (with elements of Integral)
08. Go West

instrumental break

09. 2 Divided By Zero
10. Why Don't We Live Together
11. Always On My Mind
12. Closer To Devices

instr. break

13. Do I Have To?
14. Kings Cross
15. The Way It Used To Be
16. Jealousy

instr. break

17. Suburbia
18. All Over The World
19. Se A Vida (with elements of Discoteca/Domino Dancing)

20. Viva La Vida
21. It's A Sin

22. Being Boring
23. West End Girls


The Paris Olympia, essentially an opera venue with the seats removed is acoustically one of the best places to see and of course hear a gig, anyone, that is. Intimate, 2000 people, I knew it was going to be great after the complaints of sound from friends who'd been to the O2 Arena and T in the Park festivals before the boys hit France.

There were pleasant surprises in some of the songs and a banging house version of Coldplay's ''Vida La Vida'' really rocked the house near the end, which came 1 hour and 45 minutes after the start. A great night out at 39 Euros per ticket.

Anyway a selection of pictures here:





Pre show beer...




Two divided by zero!