Birmingham Academy

Sunday Mercury, Apr'03

Return To The Good Old Days


by Lee Gibson

IN these nu-metal times of endless identikit bands with spiky hair, baggy jeans and dangling chains, Placebo prove that there's still some individuality in rock. One of the few truly pigeonhole-defying bands to emerge during the past decade, Brian Molko's oddball trio proved that they had not lost their edge.

And neither has the androgynous frontman lost his mysterious appeal if the delighted shrieks of his female, and possibly some male, followers were anything to go by. But it isn't all about ego for the enigmatic Molko. The music matters, too, and there was real conviction in his exultation that his followers had turned up for 'a rock'n'roll show, not a talk show'. That's exactly what they got.

Energy levels went off the scale on and off the stage as Molko and Co blasted through hits old and new and frenzied fans crowd-surfed seemingly non-stop for nearly an hour and a half. Molko couldn't, however, resist a little 'talk', in particular about his opposition to the current Iraq conflict. Pleas for 'George and Tony to clear up the mess they just made' were met with loud approval as was a bit of lyrical alteration which branded our esteemed PM as Bush's 'bitch'. Hey, rock and roll with political comment... it's just like the good old days.