Placebo blues – Ramblings of a modern druidess

What exactly is Placebo blues? Well, it certainly doesn’t involve Placebo making a blues album (now that would be something!) and I’m not talking about some fake blues either.

No. Lately I’ve been in a bit of a slump when it comes to my favourite band. I’ve always liked Placebo’s music, but it wasn’t until Battle for the Sun that they changed my life. Their lyircs provided me with so much inspiration, I wrote an entire book. Then came Loud Like Love and I was just ecstatic. My second book had enough fuel to go on, though I’m still in the process of writing that one. It’s still Placebo, but instead of just embracing the dark, they now also embraced the light. It made me happy.
Then Steve Forrest left the band. At first, after the initial shock, I thought it wouldn’t be so bad. And to be expected, really, when you think about it. Steve is young, talented. It was only a matter of time he spread his wings and took off on his own. By the way, his new Planes album Hotfoot, is absolutely awesome! A real must have.
But I can’t help but wonder if it’s a coincidence that my book took form only after the release of Battle of the Sun or if it had something to do with the energy, those three combined, created. Brian and Stefan seemed…. happier. I’m sure there were vexations and the urge to stuff each other behind the wallpaper, but in general… Yes, they seemed happy.
So my Placebo blues comes from a feeling of uncertainty. Uncertainty about how the new album is going to sound. Uncertainty whether or not they’re going to perform in The Netherlands (so far a big no) and a slightly bad taste in my mouth about the break-up. They’re being very professional about it. All members, Steve included and the management. Not a peep and only well wishes for Steve’s solo career. But I’m not an idiot. The UK tour was just around the corner and it would have been the perfect moment to say his goodbyes, symbolically hand over the drum sticks to the new drummer and have a smashing farewell party in London. It did not go like this. So something happened. Something not right. And it is not my place, nor should it be my concern, to make presumptions about what happened. But it leaves me feeling blue, just a bit.
Funnily enough I think Steve is going to make it just fine. Planes is a great band with a solid sound. I do wonder, however, if Stefan and Brian will continue on for long. Stefan is busy with his own projects. Brian released a lyric book and was quite clear about a few songs on Loud Like Love being his own, before putting them through the Placebo roller-coaster. So things are shifting. What it will hold for the future? I can only guess.
I hope to hear many, many more songs. Brian is still and will always be my muze. His lyrics will be there forever. But Placebo during the Battle for the Sun and Loud Like Love era? That was just pure light, full-colour, the hills are alive with the sounds of Placebo. I wonder if they will still have that. I hope so. They need of bit of Light. And their own personal sunshine has left the building.

Ramblings of a modern druidess

Music. It has always been a part of my life. Sometimes as a listener, sometimes profesionally. I have loved the music industry, I have hated it. Eventually there came a point it became too much about another M, money. It wasn’t about the band anymore, it was about the brand and it almost killed my passion for music. I even stopped playing.

That’s when I got into social services, working with troubled youngsters mainly. Later in life I quitted the working floor and became a manager. Advicing on drug abuse, loverboys and human trafficking were some of my later projects and I found them very interesting, though highly frustrating at times as we only made baby steps when it came to any actual progress.

When working as a manager, some of my team were also in a band. At first I was rather sceptical, but after listening to their music, I realised they were actually pretty good and the old flame stirred inside me.

I didn’t want that to happen, I think a part of me still wanted to stay disillusioned, it was saver, quieter. But they dragged me along their road of enthousiasm and I started to experience the fun side of the music business again.
I even took up playing again and eventually switched from the piano to the harp.

This particular story did not have a happy ending, but that’s not the point. They gave me back my love for music and up till this day, I’m very grateful for that. This Friday, the 13th no less, will be another end of an era, which made me think about this.

I don’t think I will ever step back into the music business, my life is going in a different direction now, one of writing. But music is part of my life again, lovingly.

I still have some issues. I don’t like to go backstage, I still sigh when I hear the word ‘soundcheck’ and the monopoly position of some still bothers the freak out of me, but that’s okay. Nobody’s forcing me to be part of that again.

My weekend was filled with music. First with Depeche Mode and then with my favourite band, Placebo. As I was walking through the Ziggodome, the thought came to me there could be another me in another Universe, running this place, enjoying her work, enjoying her life. As I saw that vision take shape, I smiled. Well, good for her! Me? I’d rather go crazy in the crowd. Which, trust me, I most certainly did!

Until next week peeps. Remember those old passions and see if you can get them back. One way or another.


Ramblings of a modern druidess

Well, not on Wednesday or Thursday, but at least there’s a blog people! I have not forgotten you.

This week I had to change my opinion about something. You know how you’ve come to consider yourself as a so and so person? You like blue for example, but you’ve never liked red. You’re a Beatles person instead of a Rolling Stones one or vice versa. You like all sorts of music, but you’ve always hated metal for example.

Well, something along those lines happened to me this week. I got tickets to a piano concert. They were expensive tickets which I practically got for nothing, so it would be foolish to throw them away, but the pianist that would be performing never rocked my world, not ever. Until now.

The Laurenskerk in Rotterdam.

Wibi Soerjadi is a classical pianist and composer, he has been for many years. I always found his playing perfect, yet lacking something way more substancial to me, emotion. To me, it were just compositions well played, it didn’t touch my heart.

But apparantly your own taste changes and people change as well of course. Mr. Soerjadi has gone through a loss of hearing a couple of years ago, which must have been horrible for the man. During those days he composed Amor and Psyche. It has nine movements and he performed three of them night, it brought tears to my eyes and I found myself wishing some choreographer would use this piece for a ballet about Amor and Psyche. It was just magical!

He also played Chopin, my favorite composer and I was blown away by the pure emotion he put into the piece.

So I have to change my worldview to one where it includes Mr. Soerjadi and take my hat of to him, because really people, that man has fingers touched by the Angels!

Until next week peeps! Go and try some music you normally don’t listen to, you might be surprised! 🙂

Wibi Soerjadi performing.

Ramblings of a modern druidess

First things first, happy new year! May 2013 bring you peace of mind, love in your heart and magic in your soul.

The year of the Serpent, which above all, represents transformation, shedding the old skin to progress to the new, it all sounds great to me and a bit scary perhaps, but a good kind of scary.

Today I went to visit friends of mine in Utrecht. Her other half is Japanese by birth, but lives in England, so he was over for the holidays. Spending time with these people is always like spending time outside of time. It seems to go on for hours and at the same time it ends way too soon.

I got a new years’ tea ceremony made of green tea crushed into powder. There’s a whole serious business with the turning of the ceremonial cup, as a guest I must recieve it with the most pretty side turned to me. When you finish your tea, you turn it again and admire the cup. It’s really grounding and energizing.

As Kuma is a professional musician, I made sure to bring along my harp. I think if I turn up without it, they won’t let me into the house 😉

What I love about him is that he takes my song and then tears it apart completely. Then he’s encouraging me to play it a different way and it always works! As a druid we learn to let go of structure, control, but it’s not always easy. It’s something we do almost automatically. He pushes me to my limits and I have to admit, I lost feeling in the tips of my fingers for like an hour, but it was worth it!

I would love to visit them in London, as you know, my favorite city in the world, to play with them and eat Japanese food, but getting my harp there is just murder. It would be easier to buy one second hand in London and leave it there.

Who knows, maybe someday. For now, I wish you great thoughts for your mind, passionate feelings to fuel your heart and music, heavenly music to heal your soul.

Until next week peeps!