Chris Lowe

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For other people named Chris Lowe, see Chris Lowe (disambiguation).
Chris Lowe
Pet shop boys boston concert.jpg
Chris Lowe (left) with Neil Tennant in a Pet Shop Boys concert, Boston, 2006
Background information
Birth name Christopher Sean Lowe
Born (1959-10-04) 4 October 1959 (age 56)
Blackpool, Lancashire, England
Genres Synthpop, dance, IDM, pop, electropop, electronica
Occupation(s) Musician, keyboardist
Instruments Synthesizer, piano, electronic drums, vocals, keyboards
Years active 1981–present
Labels EMI, Parlophone, Spaghetti
Associated acts Pet Shop Boys
Website Official Pet Shop Boys website
Notable instruments
Fairlight CMI
Korg Triton Extreme
Korg M3
Emu Emulator

Christopher Sean "Chris" Lowe (born 4 October 1959[1]) is an English musician, who, with colleague Neil Tennant, makes up the pop duo Pet Shop Boys.

Early life[edit]

Lowe attended Arnold School,[2] an independent school in his home town of Blackpool, Lancashire. He also worked in the Solarium. While there, Lowe played trombone in a seven-piece dance band called One Under the Eight, that played old-time favourites like "Hello Dolly", "La Bamba" and "Moon River".[3] Lowe's grandfather had been a trombonist and was a member of comedy jazz troupe The Nitwits. Lowe also became a skilled pianist.


Lowe studied architecture at the University of Liverpool from 1978 but never fully graduated as he stated various times on television appearances and the Life in Pop documentary due to the formation of the Pet Shop Boys. During a work placement in 1981 at a London architectural practice, he designed a staircase for an industrial estate in Milton Keynes. It was at this time that he met Neil Tennant in a hi-fi shop on the Kings Road in London.


Although Lowe has not been involved in many solo projects, in 1993 he wrote and produced the track "Do the Right Thing" for the footballer Ian Wright (Lowe is a die-hard Arsenal F.C. fan).[4] The song featured backing vocals by the long-time Pet Shop Boys’ backing singer, Sylvia Mason-James, and the single featured remixes by Rollo. In 2004 Lowe was commissioned to do music for an advertisement for the sunscreen 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 at the Trafalgar Studios in Whitehall in 2006.

In 1995, he had a cameo in the Australian soap opera Neighbours.[5] In 1997, his flat was the subject of an in-depth feature in Elle Decoration magazine.

Pet Shop Boys[edit]

Main article: Pet Shop Boys

Stage presence[edit]

After Pet Shop Boys began touring on a regular basis, Lowe became known for his behaviour of standing still while playing keyboards on stage.[6] In 1995, The Guardian commented that he was "possibly more famous for not doing anything than almost anyone else in the history of popular entertainment."[7]


He once stood in for Pete Tong when he was too sick to present the Essential Selection on BBC Radio 1.

In August 1991, Lowe and Tennant were invited to take over Simon Bates' mid-morning show on BBC Radio 1. They chose the playlist, principally dance music. Lowe swore on air. They were invited back to fill the same role in July 1992.[8]

Lowe, along with Tennant, presented a radio cover show at Absolute Radio on 15 March 2009, while DJ Geoff Lloyd was on holiday. They played their own choices as well as some old favourites.

Both Lowe and Tennant appeared on Rob Da Bank and Friends on 16 March 2009, showcasing their A to Z of music.[clarification needed]


  1. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Official Site, History Section". Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  2. ^ "Arnold School website, Distinguished pupils". 1 June 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "Pet Shop Boys Official Site, History Section". Retrieved 28 October 2010. 
  4. ^ "Absolutely Pet Shop Boys Unofficial web site – RADIO 2 CONCERT Literally 30". 7 May 2006. Retrieved 26 July 2009. 
  5. ^ "Chris Lowe (Pet Shop Boys) in Neighbours". YouTube. 2 January 2007. Retrieved 26 July 2009. 
  6. ^ Harrison, Andrew (April 2006), "The Pet Shop Boys talk for Britain", The Word (38): 98–106 
  7. ^ Bracewell, Michael (15 July 1995), "Pop perfection", The Guardian: T012 
  8. ^ "Absolutely Pet Shop Boys Unofficial web site – Profile". 27 May 1991. Retrieved 26 July 2009. 

External links[edit]