LIVE: Placebo @ O2 Apollo, Manchester (12/03/2015)

Date: March 12th, 2015
Venue: O2 Apollo, Manchester
Support: The Mirror Trap


With almost 20 years under their belt since the release of their debut self-titled album, British rockers Placebo have certainly been a band who have managed to stay consistent in the scene without pushing through the boundaries to exploding heights, or equally crashing down into a state of near obscurity and being referred to as that band who “sang that song about friends with weed being better”. Still riding on the attention of their latest release, ‘Loud Like Love’, the band kick off their 2015 with a tour across the UK.

The one and only support act on this tour package are Scottish outfit The Mirror Trap (***), who definitely set the tone for the evening’s headliner. Sounding like a somewhat earlier Bloc Party but a bit more ballsy, the quintet may not have their mainstream success as a lot of their contemporaries, but they’ve definitely got the song writing chops. Sadly, Gary ‘The Panther’ Moore‘s vocals occasionally get a little drowned and muddy within the mix, but when everything is going right they definitely sound like a promising up-and-comer.

Accompanied with a backing live band to help enrich their set and really maximise the live experience, Placebo (****) are on top form this evening. A man of very few words, Brain Molko‘s voice sounds even stronger than it does on record and, as always, very distinct. Following the recent departure of Steve Forrest, fresh faced drummer Matt Lunn is only a touring drummer for the time being, but steps up to the challenge and fills Forrest‘s boots fantastically given the situation.

The London trio are clearly very fond and proud of their latest work, composing almost half of their set with cuts from ‘Loud Like Love’, but sadly this means the omission of a good handful of classic Placebo favourites. The likes of ‘Taste In Men’, ‘Nancy Boy’, ‘This Picture’ and even ‘Pure Morning’ get shoved to the way-side, and instead we’re granted with fresher cuts like ‘Rob The Bank’ and ‘Exit Wounds’.

They decide to close things off with ‘Infra-Red’, a big single for the band but an odd choice to close off. With a 20th anniversary around the corner, however, there may be a time to celebrate all of their flagship offerings sooner than we think. Until then, with a strong snapshot of the Placebo of 2015, the London trio are still fighting fit.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)