Placebo

Carling Apollo, Manchester on Wednesday 3 March 2004

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So with all the speculation that pop has curled up and shuffled off this mortal coils, what's happened to the teeny boppers? On the light of this gig from Placebo they have become teeny-indies.

Although there was the usual smattering of varied types of concert goer, the majority looked to be aged between 14 and 18 and greeted Brian Molko and the band with the same enthusiastic fervour as their teeny bopper ancestors.

And what of Placebo themselves?

After a tour of smaller venues to promote last years Sleeping With Ghosts album, they rose to the elevation in stature with great aplomb. The elaborate video backdrops, and the opening white screen proved that this was more of a show than a run of the mill rock gig. The opening build up whipped the crowd into a frenzy, ensuring a rapturous welcome once the print-screen cover dropped and the band were revealed.

Placebo

Brian Molko was at his enigmatic best. There were none of the histrionics that have been evident at past Placebo gigs. Indeed, he invited the throng to get out their illicit cameras and mobile phones during ‘This Picture’.

His description of the band as soft southern puffs delighted the audience. The teeny indies could barely control their glee when Brian launched himself into the crowd. Flinging his arms towards them he looked like a demented priest blessing his flock.

Aside from the showmanship, the songs proved their worth. ‘The Bitter End’ gained anthemic status. Classics such as ‘Pure Morning’, and ‘Special K’ were all belted out to perfection. The vibes of singalong indie infected even the most cynical ear. Finishing with The Pixies ‘Where Is My Mind’ ensured most of those gathered forgave the once more absent ‘Nancy Boy’.

Placebo

The promotion from venues such as Manchester Academy to the Apollo was done with such ease that you wonder whether the even loftier rise to arena gigs is all that far away. After a storming performance like this, surely Placebo must be in line for a festival slot.

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article by: Luke Seagrave

photos by: Luke Seagrave

published: 11/03/2004 13:20