The Eighties Matchbox B-Line DisasterEdit this event
The kidz were out tonight. They were out in their smeared eyeliner and torn fishnets to pay homage to their spiritual leader, the angst-filled pixie they know as Brian. Oh, and those two other blokes that always seem to be on stage at the same time (what are they called? wonder the kidz. John? Jack? Bez?) but they’re less pretty and thus are of no interest to the kidz. Eyeliner and sexual ambiguity are what they paid to see, so it’s kinda inevitable that the 80’s Matchbox B-line Disaster ain’t gonna please.
Bless him, the singer tries his best, but it’s hard for the kidz to lust after someone who dresses like he’s just come from Sunday lunch at his granny’s, although considering how _hot’n’sweaty _the writhing mass in front of him were getting in anticipation of the one they really wanted to see, it’s pretty impressive that his neatly pressed shirt didn’t get a drop on it. But apparently I’m the only Placebo fan in the north who was impressed by his deodorant-using skills. Apart from the Chris Evans lookalike at the front (I swear! He was the spitting image!) who thrashed so violently I was mentally rehearsing how to treat someone with whiplash, apathy ruled the room.
The kidz weren’t gonna exert themselves and risk smudged makeup for just anyone, ya know. The older folks at the bar weren’t gonna be torn away from their Carling without a damn good reason. They wanted, nay, needed, Brian to grace them with his iconic presence. And then he appeared, still flanked by the two less attractive ones, and the rise in noise and hormone levels near exploded the hall. Wouldn’t have mattered a damn if he’d been there to play a tribute to novelty hits from the last decade, what was important was that he was there, he was real, he could look into the audience and connect to them.
As it happens he, sorry, they, played a perfectly acceptable set; all the notes were there in all the right places, most of the hits off most the albums were run off the nicely oiled machine that they call Placebo. And it was all very nice. But nice isn’t enough for music. Music needs to played with passion and conviction, it needs to be emotive and convincing, and it’s awfully hard to be convinced about someone who sings about teenage angst with a happy smile on his elfin face. He may be able to stare intimately into a thousand worshippers' eyes all at the same time, but for this night at least he was disconnected from his songs.
Brian’s hit the big three-oh and has managed to outgrow the songs that he built his band upon, which is a shame because some of those songs kicked major ass and that’s precisely why they should be consigned to the basket of classics that aren’t played anymore. Might seem drastic, but the new songs held up tonight as far more true to the band at the moment, so why taint the memory of something so good? Why settle for nice, when Brian & Co. can give so much better? Why be reduced to drumming out that you don’t feel anymore and being little more that a popular tribute band?