Watch the video for ‘West End Girls' by Pet Shop Boys
‘West End Girls’ - Pet Shop Boys (1984)
The Pet Shop Boys’ timeless ode to the nightlife of W1
‘ “West End Girls” is a song that’s very specifically about London. I’ve lived in London since 1972, continuously, and the great thing about London is that people come from all over the world live here, even from Newcastle! When I was a kid in Newcastle I always dreamed of moving down to London.
The first song on the Pet Shop Boys album is about running away to London. When I first moved down to London, we used to get all dressed up in our David Bowie imitation clothes, and clatter down the staircase at Seven Sisters tube station, the brand new Victoria Line, and go down to Shadowramas on Neal Street. And that whole thing of being a northerner and coming down to London, I always had that feeling, and still do, of escaping into the West End.
I don’t even know why really, but it’s the difference between day and night – people go mad at night, and they go mad in Soho. For me, Soho symbolizes that, although it’s a much tidier place these days. And I’ve always loved that escaping into the night in a big city. I love London and inspired by it, it’s what we write songs about, like “West End Girls” for example, ha ha!’ Neil Tennant