The last time I was privileged enough to see Placebo was at a Rugby Union ground on the out-skirts of Bucharest (2012). On that particular evening the temperature was still in the high 30’s and much alcohol was consumed to counter what surely would have become rapid dehydration. Any chance of a gig review that evening became more and more unlikely the further the night went on and I kicked myself in the morning for only remembering certain parts of the set. However, no such mistake this time as an “all-you-can-eat” buffet cleverly offset the 4 pints consumed en-route.
The one thing the gig three years ago and last nights did have in common was that both were completely sold out. In fact, Placebo, after 7 albums, 3 drummers and the culmination of thousands upon thousands of air miles (due to what seems like infinite touring) still have this incredible ability to sell out shows with relative ease, and the reason why is as obvious as Brian Molko’s penchant for all clothes black.
Hammersmith’s ‘Eventim Apollo’ was packed full to the rafters of journeymen fans and new ones alike. All had come to see a band who have slowly but surely built up an impressive back catalogue of music. And while there may have been a couple of obvious omissions from the setlist generally there was enough to keep all happy.
The older material certainly caused more of a stir with fans. ‘Every You Every Me’, ‘Infra-Red’ and ‘Space Monkey’ were as fresh and tantalising as the day they were first performed. The fan-favourite ‘I Know’ stole the show though, as it did three years ago, and clearly continues to gather more friends.
From the 2014 LP ‘Loud Like Love’ it was tracks ‘Rob the Bank’ and ‘Scene of the Crime’ that impressed. Both tracks clearly indicating that Placebo are still very much a band to be reckoned with. Their music continues not only to entertain but more importantly still contains those political and social messages that drew in so many back in 1994.
This was the first of two nights in London for the band and this opener was hugely impressive. Whenever you leave a gig and are frantically searching on your smartphone for a ticket for the following evening you know you’ve seen something special.