Chris Lowe
Chris Lowe is an English musician, who, with colleague Neil Tennant
Neil Tennant
Neil Francis Tennant is an English musician, singer and songwriter, who, with bandmate Chris Lowe, makes up the successful electronic dance music duo Pet Shop Boys.-Childhood:...

, makes up the pop duo
Duet (music)
A duet is a musical composition for two performers. In classical music, the term is most often used for a composition for two singers or pianists; with other instruments, the word duo is also often used. A piece performed by two pianists performing together on the same piano is referred to as...

 Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic dance music duo, consisting of Neil Tennant, who provides main vocals, keyboards and occasional guitar, and Chris Lowe on keyboards....



Lowe attended Arnold School
Arnold School
Arnold School is an independent school located in Blackpool, Lancashire, England on the Fylde coast. It is in the United Church Schools Trust group of schools and is a member of HMC.-History:Arnold School was founded by Frank Truswell Pennington on 4 May 1896...

, an independent school
Independent school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations, nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the...

 in his home town of Blackpool
Blackpool is a borough, seaside town, and unitary authority area of Lancashire, in North West England. It is situated along England's west coast by the Irish Sea, between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries, northwest of Preston, north of Liverpool, and northwest of Manchester...

, Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

. He also worked in the Solarium. While there, Lowe played trombone
The trombone is a musical instrument in the brass family. Like all brass instruments, sound is produced when the player’s vibrating lips cause the air column inside the instrument to vibrate...

 in a seven-piece dance band called One Under the Eight, that played old-time favourites like "Hello Dolly
Hello, Dolly! (song)
"Hello, Dolly!" is the title song of the popular 1964 musical of the same name. Louis Armstrong's version was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001....

", "La Bamba
La Bamba (song)
"La Bamba" is a Mexican folk song, originally from the state of Veracruz, best known from a 1958 adaptation by Ritchie Valens, a top 40 hit in the U.S. charts and one of early rock and roll's best-known songs...

" and "Moon River
Moon River
"Moon River" is a song composed by Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini in 1961, for whom it won that year's Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was originally sung in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's by Audrey Hepburn, although it has been covered by many other artists...

". Lowe's grandfather had been a trombonist and was a member of comedy jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

 troupe The Nitwits. Lowe also became a skilled pianist.

Later life

Lowe studied architecture at the University of Liverpool
University of Liverpool
The University of Liverpool is a teaching and research university in the city of Liverpool, England. It is a member of the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities and the N8 Group for research collaboration. Founded in 1881 , it is also one of the six original "red brick" civic...

 from 1978. During a work placement in 1981 at a London architectural practice, he designed a staircase
Stairway, staircase, stairwell, flight of stairs, or simply stairs are names for a construction designed to bridge a large vertical distance by dividing it into smaller vertical distances, called steps...

 for an industrial estate
Industrial park
An industrial park is an area zoned and planned for the purpose of industrial development...

 in Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes , sometimes abbreviated MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, in the south east of England, about north-west of London. It is the administrative centre of the Borough of Milton Keynes...

. It was at this time that he met Neil Tennant
Neil Tennant
Neil Francis Tennant is an English musician, singer and songwriter, who, with bandmate Chris Lowe, makes up the successful electronic dance music duo Pet Shop Boys.-Childhood:...

 in a hi-fi shop on the Kings Road
Kings Road
King's Road or Kings Road, known popularly as The King's Road or The KR, is a major, well-known street stretching through Chelsea and Fulham, both in west London, England...

 in London.

Although Lowe has not been involved in many solo projects, in 1993 he wrote
A songwriter is an individual who writes both the lyrics and music to a song. Someone who solely writes lyrics may be called a lyricist, and someone who only writes music may be called a composer...

 and produced the track "Do the Right Thing" for the footballer, Ian Wright
Ian Wright
Ian Edward Wright, MBE is a retired English footballer turned television and radio personality.Wright enjoyed success with London clubs Crystal Palace and Arsenal, spending six years with the former and seven years with the latter. With Arsenal he has lifted the Premier League title and both major...

 (Lowe is a die-hard Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal F.C.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional English Premier League football club based in North London. One of the most successful clubs in English football, it has won 13 First Division and Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups...

 fan). The song featured backing vocals by the long-time Pet Shop Boys’ backing singer, Sylvia Mason-James
Sylvia Mason-James
Sylvia Mason-James born in 1959 is a British singer who has worked extensively as a backing vocalist and solo artist.She started her career with the disco band Voyage in 1977....

, and the single featured remixes by Rollo
Rollo Armstrong
Rollo Armstrong is one half of the music producers/remixers team Rollo and Sister Bliss and is a founding member of the electronic music group Faithless.-Early life:...

. In 2004 Lowe was commissioned to do music for an advertisement for the sunscreen
Sunblock is a lotion, spray, gel or other topical product that absorbs or reflects some of the sun's ultraviolet radiation on the skin exposed to sunlight and thus helps protect against sunburn...

 brand Blockhead. The song ended up in a remixed version on a "Café Mambo" chill-out compilation. He has also written the music for the song "Streets of Berlin", featured in the revival of Bent
Bent (play)
Bent is a 1979 play by Martin Sherman. It revolves around the persecution of gays in Nazi Germany, and takes place during and after the Night of the Long Knives....

at the Trafalgar Studios in Whitehall
Whitehall is a road in Westminster, in London, England. It is the main artery running north from Parliament Square, towards Charing Cross at the southern end of Trafalgar Square...

 in 2006.

In 1995, he had a cameo
Cameo appearance
A cameo role or cameo appearance is a brief appearance of a known person in a work of the performing arts, such as plays, films, video games and television...

 in the Australian soap opera Neighbours
Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera first broadcast on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. It was created by TV executive Reg Watson, who proposed the idea of making a show that focused on realistic stories and portrayed adults and teenagers who talk openly and solve their problems...

. In 1997, his flat was the subject of an in-depth feature in Elle Decoration magazine.

Stage presence

After Pet Shop Boys began touring on a regular basis, Lowe became known for his behaviour of standing still while playing keyboards on stage. In 1995, The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

commented that he was "possibly more famous for not doing anything than almost anyone else in the history of popular entertainment."


He once stood in for Pete Tong
Pete Tong
Peter "Pete" Tong is an English DJ who works for BBC Radio 1. He is known worldwide by fans of electronic music for hosting programmes such as Essential Mix and Essential Selection on the radio service, which can be heard through Internet radio streams, for his record label FFRR Records, and for...

 when he was too sick to present the Essential Selection
Essential Selection
The Essential Selection was a radio show on Friday evenings on BBC Radio 1, hosted by Pete Tong. It started in early 1991 and showcased the latest electronic dance music, with an emphasis on house...

on BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...


In August 1991, Lowe and Tennant were invited to take over Simon Bates
Simon Bates
Simon Bates is a UK disc jockey and radio presenter. Between 1976 and 1993 he worked at BBC Radio 1, presenting the station's weekday mid-morning show for most of this period. He later became a regular presenter on Classic FM...

' mid-morning show on BBC Radio 1. They chose the playlist, principally dance music. Lowe swore on air once, but despite this they were still invited back to fill the same role in July 1992.

Lowe along with Tennant presented a radio cover show at Absolute Radio on 15 March 2009, while DJ Geoff Lloyd
Geoff Lloyd
Geoff Lloyd is a British radio presenter. Lloyd presents Geoff Lloyd's Hometime Show, Monday-Friday, 5pm-8pm on Absolute Radio...

 was on holiday. They played their own choices as well as some old favourites.

Both Lowe and Tennant appeared on Rob Da Bank
Rob da Bank
Robert John Gorham, known by the pseudonym Rob da Bank, is a British disc jockey. He presents a Friday-night/Saturday-morning show, Rob da Bank, on BBC Radio 1 from 5am-7am, focused on promoting new left field music...

 and Friends on 16 March 2009, showcasing their A to Z of music.

Lowe was interviewed by Gaydar Radio
Gaydar Radio
GaydarRadio is a British digital radio station for gay men, lesbians and gay friendly people. It is available on DAB multiplexes in London and Brighton and also online. It broadcasts 24 hours a day, with live programming from 5am to midnight during the week, 7am to midnight at weekends.-Format:The...

 presenter Simon Le Vans. The interview was transmitted on 19 March 2009.

External links

  • Official Pet Shop Boys Site
  • Chris Lowe discography at Discogs
    Discogs, short for discographies, is a website and database of information about audio recordings, including commercial releases, promotional releases, and bootleg or off-label releases. The Discogs servers, currently hosted under the domain name, are owned by Zink Media, Inc., and are...

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