“I’ve been a loser, paid my dues, I fought my way up from the ground…”
Although not as high-profile as they used to be, it’s heartening to know that the Pet Shop Boys are still around and releasing new material with at least some level of consistency. Elysium, their eleventh album and first in three years, is set for release this September and the duo have just dropped the first single from it. The song is nice enough, with some of Neil Tennant‘s typically laconic vocal delivery and some pretty arrangements. It’s the video, however, that manages to send this one into an entirely new stratosphere. This is unquestionably their best video since 2006’s brilliant collaboration with Matt Lucas and David Walliams, I’m with Stupid.
Set in a roller derby in the UK, the video focuses specifically on a team known as the London Rollergirls. After introducing some of the key players, we’re introduced to their newest recruit, Dirty Diana. DD is slightly different to the rest of her teammates, in that she was not born a woman and is still going through the gender reassignment phase. Rather than feel alienated within the group, however, she comes to thrive. It’s what she is passionate about and it’s where she feels welcome. I can’t quite detail how many times this video made me smile so much that my face hurt. It’s sweet and inspirational – and, at a time when Olympic fever is set to take over, it takes a lot for those words to mean something, as opposed to just being tacked on phrases. I fucking adore this video. I may, in fact, have a new front-runner for VOTY. We’ll see, but for now I can’t emphasise just how much I loved this clip. Those Boys have still got the magic.