PLACEBO showcased a selection of songs from their forthcoming third album, `BLACK MARKET MUSIC’, at a secret fanclub-only gig at OXFORD ZODIAC last night (July 20th), nme.com can reveal.
Faced with a partisan crowd Brian Molko was in a buoyant mood for the gig, the band’s first for ten months, although he did ask the audience to dedicate `You Don’t Care About Us’ to “Their favourite music magazine”, a less than subtle reference to his recent run-in with NME.
Much of the new material on show saw a shift in sound towards harder, groove-based songs like set-opener `Black Knight’ and the keyboard-heavy `Slave To The Wage’, which seemed to owe a debt to Six By Seven, a band Molko has recently expressed admiration for. The latter was announced as Placebo‘s next single after `Taste In Men’, and was inspired by and dedicated to Scott Piering, the renowned radio plugger who died of cancer earlier this year.
Other new songs, like `Special K’ and `Days Before You Came’ (about “falling in love, coming off drugs or discovering a macrobiotic diet”, apparently) signified a more short, sharp and simple punk-pop direction from `Without You I’m Nothing’, although the sparse, spaced-out `Narcoleptic’ and the softer, more contemplative ‘Passive/Aggressive’ suggest the new album, due out in October, will be a diverse affair.
Beyond the new songs, Placebo experimented with older material, delivering a piano and vocal-only version of `Teenage Angst’ and an almost a capella version of `Every You Every Me’ before climaxing with `Nancy Boy’ and `Pure Morning’.