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O n stage, Being boring was announced by Neil in several different ways, from simple:
    “This song is called Being boring.” (Atlanta 1999)

to more and more detailed:
    “This is a song about friendship, it’s called Being boring.” (Barcelona, Los Angeles and Paris 1999)
    “This next song is a song about friendship, about loss, it’s called Being Boring.” (Equality Rocks 2000)
    “This next song is about growing up in Newcastle, in North England, moving down to London to find my fame and fortune... it’s called Being boring.” (Osaka 2000)

In 1991, at Heaven Nightclub in London, Neil introduced Being boring as:
    “This is our very favourite song we wrote, Being boring.”

But the most hilarious announcement was made at Creamfields Festival in 1999, where Neil started with:
    “This is a new song we’ve written with Mr. David Morales, it’s called New York City boy. It’s disco!”

and a couple of seconds later, hearing somewhat different rhythm and shouting fans suggesting a mistake, quickly corrected himself:
    “It’s not, it’s Being boring.”


A fter the Los Angeles show in March, 1991, Axl Rose of Guns ‘N Roses came backstage and said the show was “gorgeous,” despite his favourite song of theirs, Being boring, hasn’t been played. The Pet Shop Boys versus America book gives us more insight:

    They prepare to meet the gathering in the hospitality area. (...) Outside—to the sound of Erasure, which is someone’s idea of suitable music for Pet Shop Boys party—they walk straight into Axl Rose, who turns out to be unfailingly friendly and sweet. They had assumed that he couldn’t have known much about them, but the first thing he says is, “Gorgeous show—why didn’t you do Being boring?”

    (...)

    He proceeds to rave about the show—“that was so cool, My October symphony, when they don’t ever sing”—and says that liking them is becoming a shared secret in his world. “I phoned up the singer of Nine Inch Nails and I said, ‘What’s that you’re listening to?’ and he said, ‘Oh, er, it’s the Pet Shop Boys.’” He tells me he plays Behaviour in the car and his friends say, “What are you trying to make me like now...?” Then he tells me that there’s something in common between My October symphony and this song he’s struggling with in the studio at the moment, a song called November rain. But his favourite song on Behaviour is Being boring. “That bit about the seventies and the nineties. I can certainly relate to that, because I left home too...”

In fact, Axl wasn’t the only one requesting Being boring, as evidenced on another page of the book:

    On the bus to Detroit Katie has been asking them to watch a video of her pop duo Puck.
    “I hope it’s good,” says Chris as Ivan puts it on.
    It ends.
    “Well...” says Chris and changes the subject. “Guess what Andreas said to me last night: ‘Why don’t you do Being boring?’”



I n Literally 14, there is a Discovery tour’s diary, and one entry on show in Adelaide on 7th November, 1990 deals with Neil’s and other people reactions to performing Being boring live:

    And then when I was singing Being boring I suddenly felt quite... almost tearful, singing the bit about “all the people I was kissing, some are here and some are missing” because of course Rosemary was in the audience. Actually I always find that song... actually Katie Kissoon said afterwards “that song always makes me want to cry,” and Abbey says that she’s always nearly in tears listening to it from the lighting desk. But that night, for some reason, because Rosemary was there... It made me think of Christopher being dead and... I don’t know, I find it very sad, singing it.



T here’s a similar diary printed in Literally 21, dealing with American leg of Nightlife tour, and in an TV interview on 10th November, 1999, the new version of Being boring is mentioned:

    “Shall we play Being boring?”, suggests Neil.

    “Let’s,” Chris agrees.

    “That’s in the show,” Neil points out, “in a controversial new version.”

    “It’s a pretty song,” she says.

    “It was a pretty song,” Chris says. “We’ve done it in the style of Limp Bizkit.”

    She looks somewhat surprised.

    “No, we haven’t really,” he adds.



A nother issue of the magazine, Literally 23, there’s a small snippet of discussion whether Being boring should be played at Glastonbury Festival in UK (it was eventually removed from setlist):

    Backstage, before encores, they discuss whether they should perform Being boring.

    “We don’t want to do Being boring, do we?” Chris persuades Neil. “Leave them on a high.”

    Neil agrees. Instead, they do West End girls. Then Neil says: “When we came here tonight we were Glastonbury virgins, so we want to thank you for being kind to us. This song is called Go West.” Which, quite triumphantly, it is.



W ith two hundred live performances of Being boring to date, it was to be expected that some sort of glitch would eventually occur. This happened in Osaka in 2000, where Neil mistakenly skipped some lyrics during second verse. That was actually a pretty touching moment, with momentarily lost Neil muttering “wrong words” and the audience filling in with “in the nineteen-seventees.”



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