Placebo share video for ‘Surrounded By Spies’ and announce UK and Ireland tour

The song was inspired by frontman Brian Molko discovering his neighbours were spying on him

Placebo have shared the video for new song ‘Surrounded By Spies’, plus announced details of a UK and Ireland tour.

The longstanding band released their first single in five years in the form of ‘Beautiful James’ in September.

Now, they’ve followed it up with ‘Surrounded By Spies’, which frontman Brian Molko said was inspired by discovering his neighbours were spying on him “on behalf of parties with a nefarious agenda”.


“I then began to ponder the countless ways in which our privacy has been eroded and stolen since the introduction of worldwide CCTV cameras that now employ racist facial recognition technologies; the rise of the internet and the cellphone, which has turned practically every user into a paparazzo and spectators in their own lives, and how we have mostly all offered up personal information to enormous multinationals whose sole intent is to exploit us,” he said.

As you’d expect, the video is filled with a sense of ominous paranoia and shot using hidden cameras. Watch it below:

The lyrics were written using the “cut-up technique” that William S Burroughs came up with and was at one time used by David Bowie. “It’s a true story told through a lens of paranoia, complete disgust for modern society’s values and the deification of surveillance capitalism,” Molko added. “The narrator is at the end of their tether, hopeless and afraid, completely at odds with our newfound progress and the god of money.”

‘Surrounded By Spies’ will feature on Placebo’s eighth studio album ‘Never Let Me Go’, which will be released on March 25, 2022. See the album’s tracklist below:

‘Forever Chemicals’
‘Beautiful James’
‘Happy Birthday In The Sky’
‘The Prodigal’
‘Surrounded By Spies’
‘Try Better Next Time’
‘Sad White Reggae’
‘Twin Demons’
‘This Is What You Wanted’
‘Went Missing’
‘Fix Yourself’


The band will take the album on a tour of the UK and Ireland in November and December 2022, including two dates at London’s O2 Academy Brixton. The tour dates are as follows:

November 2022

18 – Portsmouth, Guildhall
19 – Brighton, Centre
21 – Liverpool, Eventim Olympia
22 – Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse
24 – Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena
26 – London, O2 Academy Brixton
27 – London, O2 Academy Brixton
29 – Leicester, De Montfort Hall
30 – Leeds, O2 Academy

December 2022

2 – Newcastle, O2 City Hall
3 – Glasgow, O2 Academy
5 – Dublin, 3 Arena
7 – Cambridge, Corn Exchange
8 – Birmingham, O2 Academy

Tickets are onsale now.

Speaking to NME in September, Molko explained that the band had finished work on their new album before the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020. “We had a lot of get-up-and-go, and then everything that happened, happened, so everything is sort of delayed by about two years now,” he said.

“I know it was frustrating for the fans. It was certainly very frustrating for us as well, the interminable wait to put out new music, but at least it was there. We knew we had it.”

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