I’m a big fan of the band Placebo. Not in the typical sense; I have only ever bought one album, don’t know hardly any of their songs and when my friend was looking to sell her ticket to their sold out Brixton Academy show I didn’t bite her hand off.
But when my son was about seven (20+ years ago) we decided I would paint his room. He chose the colour from a piece of deep sea blue card one of his drawings had been mounted on at school and I got the colour mixed to match. Whilst my son was at school I played the first Placebo album over and over whilst I did the painting. At night whilst he was asleep I stencilled little fish on the walls, using what I had to hand; polypocket wallets as stencils, acrylic paint and mixed up glitter left over from making Christmas cards.
Also during this period I was into doing a Rosemary Conley exercise video. Once I’d got used to it I didn’t need to listen to the instructions (or the awful soundtrack) so I used to turn the sound down and listen to Placebo instead.
Also, as if to cement it into a special place in my heart, the front cover of the album was a photograph of a little boy who bore a passing resemblance to my son.
This is my favourite song from that album:
One of the things I really love about Placebo, and this is quite childish I know, is that the lyrics can be so catchy and singalong and at the same time so inappropriate to sing at work or in the supermarket carpark. I often make myself laugh by finding myself singing I’m a fool/ whose tool is small/it’s so miniscule it’s no tool at all/two rubbers two lubes and a silver rocket or this from one of the songs I am obsessively listening to at the moment: no hesitation no delay/you come on just like Special K/just like I swallowed half my stash and never ever wanna crash.
I also completely love this:
In the comments someone points out how this was in the days before camera phones with everyone just focussed on being totally there. So much energy, so much unadulterated joy… and that’s just me in my sitting room…
A few weeks ago my husband bought me the Placebo album Black Market Music from the charity shop and I have since been listening to track 3 (Special K) and track 8 (more on that in a moment) over and over again in the car. I’ve had the album for a few weeks but only just started playing it: Timing is everything; it wouldn’t have meant so much even just a few weeks back. The song mentions ‘Maggie’s farm’, I don’t totally know what that means, I assume it’s like ‘The Man’ and then yesterday evening with the ipod on shuffle out of four and a half thousand songs it could have played it plays Bob Dylan: Maggie’s Farm. Did I say timing is all?
Just before we gave up, for the moment at least, listening to other people giving us spiritual advice, my husband found some youtube videos all about the importance of language, where words come from and phonetics. I was only mildly interested, but for five minutes I did play around with the phonetics of some of my favourute blog titles. I looked at ‘amazing’. I wondered what ‘ing’ was supposed to mean, but I couldn’t be bothered to look it up. I wasn’t even all that struck by A Maze. As I said, timing is everything.
Track 8 of Black Market Music:
So even though I’m switched off from spiritual gurus for the moment, it seems I’ll make an exception for Brian Molko
Run away from all your boredom/all it takes is one decision/a lot of guts and a little vision/to wave your worries and cares goodbye/it’s a maze, a maze for rats to try/it’s a race, a race for rats to die/run away, run away
So, so perfect for right now*. Thank you.
*This album actually came out in 2000 but there’s no such thing as time, right? It’s only ever right now.