Pet Shop Boys provide block rocking beats at Glasto

Devendra Banhart, Beach House play Saturday

Pet Shop Boys provide block rocking beats at Glasto

Photographer:Sara Bowrey

Kai Jones, Dan Davies - 27 June 2010

A slimmed down version of their current stage tour, tonight’s performance almost exactly copies their previous Latitude set. It’s to be expected though, the stage consists of built and dismantled cubes and there’s a narrative arc of sorts: blockhead dancers seemingly involved in a repressive future dystopic society are ultimately freed by the power of disco.

Although the opening consisted of daringly new tracks it was stormers such as ‘Go West’, ‘It’s A Sin’ and ‘Domino Dancing’ (mashed with Coldplay’s ‘If I Ruled The World’) that get the biggest cheers. And typically PSB, they also manage to reduce us to tears with Jealousy with passionate performances of two core dancers who physically drag us through their love/hate relationship. With the heart shredding ‘Being Boring’ and driving ‘West End Girls’ finishing their performance there’s no doubt that PSB continue to make a dramatic impact.
 
It’s one of those gigs that you have to double check the programme a few times as art school drop out Devendra Banhart has gone through a bit of an image change.

Maybe Banhart has been hanging around Gorillaz guest Lou Reed this festival? His usual Californian star child folk look, has been replaced with drainpipe jeans, Ray Bans and a slight quiff. The only difference between Reed and Banhart being that the former Velvets front man took himself seriously. Banhart’s new ‘straight’ look is undercut by the fact that he’s wearing an MC Hammer t-shirt.

His untreated guitar sound has a Strokes sound to it. The songs are certainly more angular and New York style, and he pelts through his back catalogue with scarcely a chance to catch his breath. But then he launches into previous single ‘16th & Valencia Roxy Music’ and his warble becomes more Brian Ferry like. The final curve ball is delivered with a cover of Taylor Dane’s ‘Tell It To My Heart’. Devendra is always playing with your perceptions.

If you've ever spotted the melancholy in some of Abba's material then you'll appreciate Beach House's slow wave charm. This is ‘Mazzy Star’ stripped down to the bare bones of desert blues, 45rpm pop songs slowed down to 33rpm and whispered through the smokey haze that hugs the lazy Saturday afternoon Park Stage. So exquisite, comforting and enchanting they should be in the Green Fields.


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