Saturday, 19 September 2009

NME-Europe Live: MTV Murcia Night

Some might wonder why NME-E has waited three months to comment on this event. This delay has nothing to do with not having time - this site has practically been taunted into writing something and MTV and Placebo are both to blame. Let me put you in the picture:

The 26th July should have been a night to remember for the Region of Murcia. The first of 3 programmed concerts, contracted by the local government at no small cost, saw MTV arrive in Cartagena to offer its MTV Night with a line up seldom seen in these parts; local - and increasingly national - heroes, Second; national stars, Amaral; and internationally famed, Placebo all set to delight an estimated 30,000 fans.

Appearing in front of their biggest crowd ever (probably), local group Second had the opportunity to show the world what they are capable of and did themselves proud. Their set, with top tracks 'Rincón Exquisito' (see video), 'Más Suerte' and the outstanding 'Rodamos' should have been the perfect warm up for international stars Placebo, who somewhat strangely appeared before Amaral.

Amidst mild hysteria, Brian Molko and Co swaggered on to the stage and broke into 'Kitty Litter' with a sound which soon had spectators going wild. A 'pequeño problema' held up the start of their second track, 'Ashtray Heart' but the faithful fans were more than happy to continue bouncing around the place - no one suspecting anything at this stage.

Six tracks in and a few moments of technical crew meddling in bewtween, Molko storms off stage and the rest of the band scurry off behind him. Moments later, an MTV presenter has the unpleasant task of explaining how these things happen at live events but Amaral would be out in next to no time.

'Amaral? Where the f%$k are Placebo?' was the general reaction from an increasingly anxious crowd (the beer had also run out in the tents, bad news). This must be some sort of a mistake. Placebo, the night's main attraction, are only going to play 6 tracks? 'All this for just 30 minutes', complained the bloke next to me having gone on a 600km round trip to see his beloved Goths. Much to our bemusement, later disgust, it was true; Placebo were no more to be seen and the vast majority of the punters trundled off home in disappointment, leaving Amaral to take stage to an understandably annoyed mob.

NME-E, amazed and extremely peeved by goings-on, promptly wrote to Placebo demanding an explanation as to why they could treat fans with such disrespect. Nobody had even noticed the supposed 'technical hitch' which had led to the disappearance, which meant that most were as displeased as I was. Naturally, I didn't receive a reply. What did appear the following day was an official statement on Placebo's website claiming that they'd had to call time on the gig early due to technical difficulties they'd never had before and which meant they couldn't offer the quality they wanted or their 'fans deserved'. They also promised to make it up to us as soon as they could - needless to say nothing has come of this.

As days went by, NME-E's disappointment level waned - mainly as I decided to think about the positives, Second, rather than dwell on the negative. Indeed, I'd almost forgotten about this until last night, when I stumbled across the MTV World Stage programme during a bout of zapping.

Much to my disbelief, I saw Placebo on stage in Murcia, recorded on July 26 2009!!!! The show which was unilaterally cut short due to technical difficulties was blasting out of my TV speakers, Brian Molko all smiles. What a sound, what a voice, what a bloody con!

How can a band fail to carry on with a gig because they are unable to offer their beloved fans a quality show yet allow the first five songs to be broadcast as if nothing was wrong? Is that any way to show respect? Personally, I think not and thus this post is written.

Not that anything will come of my rant, but at least people, Brian Molko and his cronies this time - but who knows who'll be next, should reflect on how Joe Public, dutifully represented by NME-Europe, pays the price for the ego-centric melodramactic carry-ons that certain prima donnas display.

Always look on the bright side of life, though, so here's Second's opener 'Rincón Exquisito'. Technical problems indeed...