Thursday, July 26, 2012

girls and boys

It has been complete madness here at So Hip It Hurts HQ! Long days in the studio, DJ gigs in far flung places and quite a bit of travel. While we have a moment, let's chat about the video for "Winner" by Pet Shop Boys which hit the interwebs a few days ago.

The song has been given a cold shoulder even from many hardcore fans. Clearly, the tie in with the Olympics was a given. Sadly, it remains one of their weakest singles and is not nearly in a league with their best. It's pleasant enough. And I'm sure it will sit along with the other tracks on their forthcoming album, "Elysium", quite nicely. But it certainly doesn't sound like a lead single from a brand new PSB longplayer. Not to my ears.

The video, however, is another bag of donuts altogether. Tackling the issue of the transgender community is a bold move and done with ver Boys' usual penchant for clever twists and intelligent subtlety told through the story of Dirty Diana, a member of the London Rollergirls. The subtext of struggle is palpable and the beautiful tale of friendship is moving. Absolutely brilliant!

Let's have a peek.

Furthermore, if I'm not mistaken, this is the first video from Chris and Neil in which neither of them are featured. Their appearance in it might have lessened the impact of the video's important message.

The promotional clip is very timely and, hopefully, will empower a segment of the population who have felt invisible for far too long.


  1. Again, I don't have any disappoinment with Winner. The video reinforces the tenor and intent which I got from the lyrics the first time I heard it. If Mr. Boyle has chosen to include it in the Olympics closing ceremony then he is an even greater director/creator than I have previously believed.
    In fact I think this song really does belong as part of the Ceremonies. Look at the very serious subtext Danny Boyle is including as part of his theme - struggle, futurism, empowerment. It may not be a success - the PSB single and the Opening/Closing Ceremonies, but it can't be denid that the creators went for it!

  2. Hmm. It's not unusual for pop bands of a certain age not to be included in their own videos these days. Let's hope that Sir Vinny's take on that issue is the right one.

  3. All I can say is that I completely agree with your analysis, Vinny. "Winner" is a nice enough song, but in terms of the PSB quality we've grown accustomed to, it falls way short. It's beneath them, quite frankly.

    As for the video, I really wish it had been an actual documentary and not just some concocted story...but, I'm glad they did it.

  4. After we saw this video I immediately sent a letter to PSB thanking them for the video. Being trans,this really struck us deeply. I know it wasn't a docu- and just a story, but the trans community is loaded with documentaries,we like feel good stories too :)


  5. I don't know if I should be surprised or not by the fact that 'Winner' is not showing up in the UK charts (with the physical ep and the remixes bundle)...

    Hope it's the worst song on the new album. (and I love the PSB's).