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Placebo's Brian Molko Said Kings of Leon are "Like Cardboard Cutouts"

Quick, sound the Extremely Unexpected Beef klaxon.

by Lauren O'Neill
Aug 23 2017, 1:57pm

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Bang the gong and microwave the popcorn, for rich music beef is once more afoot. This time it's actually an extremely weird beef in that it feels very much like it's happening ten years ago (like, both of the bands involved were on the bill when I went to Reading Festival in 2009 when I was 15, but perhaps it's the case that you just always beef amongst your own.

The bands in question are Placebo and Kings of Leon, which, OK. Basically, Placebo were recently interviewed by Australian website The Music, and when promising that they'd have an excellent show for their Australian fans on their upcoming dates there, they dragged Kings of Leon's not-actually-that-good name through the damn mud:

Some bands walk on and they phone it in and just get it done—have you ever seen the fucking Kings Of Leon? Jesus, you might as well be watching cardboard cut-outs on a stage and play the record. But we're up there and we give a shit, and this connection with the audience feeds our soul, so we're always putting everything we have into the live show. No complacency—complacency is forbidden in Placebo world.

In all fairness Molko is not wrong—right when they hit their mainstream peak, Kings of Leon were notorious for giving half-arsed live performances, generally not talking to audiences/acknowledging them at all, and just playing some bloody tunes. But, this was some years ago. I am forced to ask: why now? Why has Molko chosen to bring this beef into 2017?

It's certainly not to for relevance: Molko is a bonafide legend and Kings of Leon—despite making a few really great rock records—have seemingly faded into the background a bit, though they've been consistently releasing new material since most of their early fans ages out of it. So it's not like Molko wants or needs to attach himself to them for any sort of credence. It only leaves the conclusion that Brian Molko, a superlative performer, just really cares about giving the people what they want (read: not Kings of Leon circa 2008), and for that we must laud him. Behold another one of many beeves 2017 has granted us all.

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