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Placebo announce new single and UK headline tour (2017)


Story by Jack Foley

PLACEBO will be returning to the UK to play a run of dates in October 2017. To celebrate, they’ve also announced a new single.

Life’s What You Make It is a cover version of a 1986 song by Talk Talk. It was chosen by the band because the song’s message of making the best of circumstances strikes a particular chord in the challenging era in which we live.

“We covered Talk Talk’s Life’s What You Make It because it is a song from the 80s that we still liked, and wondered if we could replicate Gwen Stefani’s global smash hit with her band’s cover of It’s My Life. That remains to be seen…” Brian Molko says.

Molko wanted something different for the film to accompany their song. He had a concept in mind that was loosely based around the original 1986 Talk Talk video that was shot at night on London’s Wimbledon Common.

It featured the band surrounded by nature, complete with, as Molko puts it, “little beasties crawling over leaves”.

Brian felt that there could be an updated version, where “the band would be robots playing instruments and that e-waste would replace nature, as it appears to be doing only a few decades after the song’s original release”.

The brief that the band put out to prospective directors was short, simple and open to interpretation: “e-waste, please!”

It’s not that Placebo were inundated with appropriate responses. Brian continues, “The only director who actually came back to us with a treatment about e-waste was Sasha Rainbow. I called her up to sound her out and discovered that I was speaking to a very brave and passionate woman.”

Rainbow’s accompanying film for Life’s What You Make It was shot in Agbogbloshie, a former wetland in the heart of Accra, in Ghana, which is home to one of the world’s largest electronic waste dumps.

It sets an apocalyptic backdrop of first-world waste against the daily lives of those who inhabit this thoroughly otherworldly space.

“I told her that she had balls of steel for actually daring to go film on location in Ghana and that, no, we would not be coming, since we were timid little souls,” Molko says.

“The two boys in the film live in this extraordinary place,” Rainbow says. “Which for me, highlights a human’s ability to adapt with incredible strength, resilience, and humanity.”

It is a compelling look into a world that few know exists: “I hoped to capture the environment in a dreamily meditative way that would at once juxtapose and yet synergise with the theme of the song, and glimpse at part of the repercussions of our current technological revolution. On the one hand, technology is enabling us to create things beyond our wildest imagination, and yet little discussion has been had about what to do with all our discarded e-waste.”

The tour dates take place throughout October, commencing in Edinburgh on October 7 and finishing at London’s Brixton Academy on October 23.

Fans have the opportunity to get tickets in a special 48 hour pre-sale that begins at 9am on Wednesday, June 7 via this link

General sale begins at 9am on Friday, June 9.

The UK tour dates are (all October 2017)

7 – Edinburgh Usher Hall
8 – Dundee Caird Hall
10 – Doncaster Dome
11 – Blackpool Empress Ballroom
13 Reading Rivermead
14 – Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
16 – Portsmouth Guildhall
17 – Swindon Oasis
20 – Plymouth Pavilions
21 – Wolverhampton Civic Hall
23 – London O2 Brixton Academy