It seems that every international band who play Melbourne’s Margaret Court Arena feel the need to speak out against the tennis icon since her most recent tirade against marriage equality, as if they’re embarrassed to be playing a venue that bears her name.
The latest is Placebo, who have followed in the footsteps of outfits like Sigur Ros, LCD Soundsystem and Grinspoon in slamming the unpopular sporting icon ahead of their Australian tour this September.
“To come out and basically demonise children because of the way they’re born — which is essentially what this woman has done — it’s pretty outrageous, and I think it’s offensive. I can’t really tolerate it, to be honest,” bassist Stefan Olsdal has told Music Feeds.
“I know perfectly well that we’re playing a venue with her name to it — and she was an amazing tennis player, there’s no taking away from that — but I’m still thinking about exactly what we’re going to do about it.”
“I know Sigur Rós played there recently and they raised funds for marriage equality in Australia,” he continued.
“And what I do every night — I’ve got a rainbow-coloured bass that I had sprayed for when we played Russia, because Russia’s got some pretty backwards views about LGBT rights as well. So every night I’m up there standing for what I believe in, and Australia’s going to be no different.
“As a country it’s amazingly accepting and very welcoming, and it’s very open-minded in that sense, so politically I think it’s going to follow suit very quickly, because I think most people in Australia do want equal rights for everyone… sometimes legislation just takes a while.
“I’m still working on the best way to send out our response to playing at that venue in Melbourne.”
Placebo’s latest single, ‘Life’s What You Make It’
Placebo may take some pointers from Grinspoon, who lead the charge by releasing special anti-Margaret Court merch at their recent Melbourne show, or Sigur Ros, who released similar merch and went on to end their show with a strong appeal for marriage equality.
Or they may just go the LCD Soundsystem route of simply slamming her in front of the crowd.
“I’m not one to get in old people’s faces for being ignorant, but when you come after my family, my friends… you can go fuck yourself,” Murphy told the audience at the band’s Melbourne sideshow.
“This seems like a really nice place to play so let’s have us come back next year, and let’s rename this place.”
Pressure continues to mount on the arena as its name continues to be a hot topic for visiting musicians, drawing attention to Australia’s regressive stance on marriage equality. In that, at least, it’s achieving some good.
’20 Years Of Placebo’ 2017 Australian tour dates
Supported by Deaf Havana
Monday, 4th September – Perth Arena, Perth
Wednesday 6th September – Adelaide Entertainment Centre Theatre, Adelaide
Friday 8th September – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne
Saturday 9th September – Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney
Monday 11th September – Brisbane Convention Centre, Brisbane
Tuesday 12th September – Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Newcastle
Thursday 14th September – AIS Arena, Canberra