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Random Jukebox: The Hotrats‘ Turn Ons

It’s funny because as incongruous as it sounds there are scores of rock musicians who are confirmed admirers of the electronic pop duo that call themselves Pet Shop Boys. 

Axl Rose, Brandon Flowers, Trent Reznor and that bloke from Keane are the famous ones, but I had no idea until recently that you could add two of Oxford baggies Supergrass into the mix too.

In a clear measure of with how much fond respect a certain white hip-hop hybrid has been remembered over time, in sessions for their sole LP as Hotrats, the David Bowie’s Pinups inspired Turn Ons (2010), Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey chose to reinterpret West End Girls alongside well-known rock classics by the likes of The Beatles, Doors, Kinks, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Roxy Music, and the Sex Pistols. While the song selection doesn’t reveal anything we didn’t already know about Coombes and Goffey – they will always be dedicated pop scholars mining the historical classic-rock continuum, from Ray Davies and Syd Barrett to Bowie and the Cure, all of whom have signature tracks featured here.

Whether you like their thrashy guitar-heavy rendition of the 1986 chart-topper or not could there be any greater confirmation that Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe have come to be regarded as songwriters par excellence on the same hallowed stage as the very cream of the rock establishment?

Oh, and from one West End Girl to another, happy birthday Chris.

Steve Pafford

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