Placebo – Hammersmith Apollo

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Why this gig?

I have the Placebo compilation album, Once More With Feeling, which I really enjoy listening to every once in a while. I think I inherited a couple more of their CDs when my stepdaughter moved out, but I don’t remember listening to them very often. Anyway, it’s interesting music and I thought it would be fun to see them live.


A band called The Mirror Trap. A lot of the audience seemed to know who they were. I didn’t. Pretty standard shouty, angry indie rock as far as I can tell. Nothing special. Of course, if they get a record deal and the right producer they could be the one in a thousand standard shouty indie rock band to break though, in which case I’ll feel pretty stupid.


Placebo take the stage to a remix of their song “Pure Morning”. Which is a bit of a shame as it’s one of the songs I was particularly looking forward to hearing them play.

The first few songs are ones I don’t know. At this point I realise two things. Firstly, I haven’t listened to anything that Placebo have recorded in the last ten years. And secondly, a lot of Placebo songs sound very similar if you don’t know them well.

So I spend most of the show failing to distinguish between recent songs that the crowd obviously love. There are a few songs that I know – “Every Me Every You”, “Special Needs”, but there’s a lot of newer (and really rather samey) stuff too.

I’m not saying it was a bad gig at all. The band were on pretty good form and the fans were obviously loving it. And I clearly can’t expect every band I see to pander to my requirements and only play the songs that I know well. But I was disappointed not to hear “English Summer Rain” or “Taste In Men”.

Obviously, things get better-known towards the end. The set ends with “Special K” and “The Bitter End” – both of which I enjoy massively. The encore is four songs long and includes a real treat – a cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” (a song that I saw performed by Kate Bush on the same stage just last year).

I think that Placebo put on a good show. It’s not their fault that it wasn’t quite the show I wanted to see.

The set list is on

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