Placebo at O2 Academy Brixton, London

Placebo played two nights at London’s O2 Academy Brixton on November 26 and 27, supporting their long-awaited eighth studio album, Never Let Me Go.

I went along on Sunday evening to photograph the band for Highwire Magazine, which was an honor to do, especially as Placebo made a big deal on this tour of asking audience members to put their phones away and not take photos or videos during the concert. 

Before the show even started, signs were everywhere, and the stage backdrop read the band’s requests and reasons for that decision. The decision had been big news and threatened to overshadow the live performance, with fans divided in their opinions. I must say, personally, as I love photography and having memories to look back on, it was still nice to stand in a crowd not lit up with mobile screens, but boy, I would miss taking photos of my favorite band if that was me in the audience.

Only a little chat came from lead vocalist Brian Molko and bassist Stefan Olsdal. Still, they did cram in a lot to the set list, heavy with tracks from the new album and some of their hits from the past 26 years (some may say with a couple of their most “famous” ones missing.) They even had an encore, including their spin on popular covers.

From what I saw of the fans, they loved every minute of the set played, and most managed to keep their phones away. Still, there were exceptions, and security coming down hard on the audience must have been annoying for those following the rules and maybe even more distracting than a mobile phone would have usually been. Nevertheless, Placebo live was no disappointment to me; I have not seen them live since the 90s, and their music has retained their incredible, unmistakable sound.

View the full photo gallery here.


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