Neil Tennant: ‘Sometimes I think, where’s the art, the poetry in all this?’

With his collection of Pet Shop Boys lyrics about to be published, the musician talks about songwriting through the Thatcher era, the Aids crisis and the age of Brexit On a street in east London lies the Pet Shop Boys’ studio; a pile of rubbish is dumped outside. One room is full of synthesizers; the other has mid-century modern furniture and art by Scott King depicting tower blocks amid Technicolor waves. Here, Neil Tennant is talking about Brexit. “I think everything comes down to social media really, and social media promotes emotional illogicality in all its forms: racism, prejudice and of course nationalism.” He warms to his theme. “Any multinational empire is going to have an irritating bureaucracy – it’s just a fact. Why is it better for that to be a lot of supposed nation states? When I was at North London Poly in the early 70s, I wrote a defence of the Austro-Hungarian empire. I still think I was right. Stability is very easy to find boring, but afterwards you can appreciate it. I like Joseph Roth, who was a Jewish writer who wrote The Radetzky March, and in his books he sees the Habsburg monarchy as the defenders of all the minorities, including the Jewish minority …” Continue reading… [hmp_player]