Winter? Storms? What winter?

Thank you to all who participated in our giveaway for a pair of tix to the Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival! It was great to hear from all of you and find so many of our fellow Pet Shop Boys fans out there. Check back for future contests and giveaways in the weeks to come. 

For everyone who entered, here is a rarely-before-seen live photo of Neil Tennant (with Chris Lowe in the background) taken on a stop in Toronto, Canada, with Pet Shop Boys in 2013, by our own Dave MacIntyre.

Neil Tennant / Pet Shop Boys, Toronto, 2013. Photo by Dave MacIntyre
Neil Tennant / Pet Shop Boys, Toronto, 2013. Photo by Dave MacIntyre

The winner of our Neil Tennant trivia question is Kez from Toronto. Kez has won 2 tickets worth at total of $50 to the Winter Craft Beer Festival. Congratulations Kez! We’ll see you there!

(January 31st, at Roundhouse Park, Toronto, ON. Outside! We the NORTH, etc.)

Click here for more details about the beer festival. Thank you Steam Whistle Brewery!

To all of our contest entrants: if you haven’t already, please like us at our Facebook page StepOnMagazine and/or follow us on Twitter @StepOnMagTO for advance notification about future giveaways and prize packs. (We promise not to spam you.)

What an amazing couple of different careers Neil Tennant has had. This is one artist who’s a real symbol that it’s never too late to chase your dreams, and even to change your dreams along the way.

As an editor and writer for Smash Hits* Tennant influenced all of the 80’s kids who read the magazine, and he had a strong editorial eye, voice and influence on the content, something we can appreciate again thanks to the good people unsung heroes who have saved their magazines and now scan them for the world to see/revisit online.

Neil Tennant in his early days with Smash Hits
Neil Tennant in his early days with Smash Hits

Neil Tennant would go on to cover the magazine several times when The Pet Shops Boys made it. This had to have been a surreal and gratifying experience for someone to leap from behind the computer to centre stage. Transformations of this kind, which must happen largely imperceptibly, are fascinating, as an artist chucks the old ID and goes forth into something that matches their insides. Something like this:

“Being Boring”

I bolted through a closing door

I would never find myself being bored

I never dreamt that I would get to be
the creature that I always meant to be
but I thought in spite of dreams
you’d be sitting somewhere here with me

There are artists who are still very close to the street who write their way out of it, bringing the grit with them into the music. The Pet Shop Boys are different- they have a certain experience, maturity and healthy detachment from the past by the time they become musicians that they infuse their music with a context that gives this electronic music a writerly quality and a real poignancy, something rosy at the edges, nostalgic maybe, but always firm in the resolve that the leap was worth the risk.


* We also accepted answers about Neil Tennant’s time as editor for Marvel comics UK and his other work editing and writing.