Rockers Placebo are inconceivable without androgynous lead singer Brian Molko.
And so it proved when they took to the stage in Sheffield for a sell-out show at the city’s 02 Academy
The city centre venue was a 2,000 sell-out for the band’s first gig in the city for a number of years to mark their 20th anniversary, on the back of seventh studio album, 2013’s Loud Like Love.
And they were given a warm welcome by an expectant crowd.
However, it was a show for the purists only, as the band ignored 1996 debut album Placebo – and its hits including Nancy Boy, Teenage Angst and Bruise Pristine – which brought them national attention and only included one song, top 20 hit Every You Every Me, from their second album, 1998’s Without You I’m Nothing.
To be fair, Placebo have enough hit singles to afford to leave some out of a two-hour set, but to almost completely ignore the albums which launched them at a 20th anniversary show seemed an odd choice.
Instead, fans were treated to tracks predominantly from Loud Like Love and 2006’s Meds.
Molko has an excellent voice. However, take away the 42-year-old’s stunning vocals and you were left with just a wall of noise, almost indeterminable from song to song.
There were a few highlights, including Rob the Bank and a cover of Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill, but there were too few and far between.
Fans had been waiting a long time to see Placebo in Sheffield. I’m not sure they will be rushing back quickly.