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Dirty Pretty Things can only get better

Very good show last night at the London Astoria for Carl Barat's combo (yeah yeah shoot me, DPT are four people, they are a tight band, yadda yadda yadda, whatever, loads of bollocks). Although I've been slightly puzzled by their recent output, I'm still convinced this band can put up one of the best live shows in the world at the moment (well... in Europe). And of course the greatest credits go to their leader/singer/axeman. When he's on form Carl is a very good performer and an exciting frontman, and when I say on form I don't mean sober, quite the other way around. BUT. I don't hang around backstage doors once a gig is over and I don't have photos taken with my fave musicians (I did that with Moz once but hey I was a teen and fucking hell it was Morrissey) so I can only tell about the gig. The band played well, the best I have seen them in a long time (to be clear: forget last year's Glastonbury) and the crowd for once was both responsive and collaborative. I only hate when fangirlies shriek Deadwood's chorus into my fucking ears but I actually I hate everything fangirlies do (thank God there weren't too many by my side). Carl, as I've said, was on form. Even the new songs were played well and I almost enjoyed half of Hippy Son (which is a top compliment).

Now read this review from This is London:
At its best, The Libertines’ music could be explosive. In comparison, Pete Doherty’s and Carl Barat’s initial post-split songs were largely damp squibs destined to be overshadowed by their erstwhile partnership. However, Babyshambles’ autumn comeback suggested Doherty hadn’t entirely lost his way. Perhaps it spurred on Barat, who led a confident and combustible Dirty Pretty Things performance including half a dozen new songs. Their second album, Romance at Short Notice, is released on 30 June and this set showed a move away from the obvious ramshackle rock of their debut. Barat’s influences haven’t changed too much, though, judging by the opening post-punk clatter of Buzzards and Crows. There were also shades of The Kinks on the new single Tired of England, a supremely tuneful effort with lyrics about the “Queen of England” and “bingo cards”. Bassist Didz Hammond and guitarist Anthony Rossomando joined in on vocals throughout and the friendly jostling on stage during another new song, Chinese Dogs, gave the impression of a close-knit gang. The crowd responded noisily, especially during old favourites such as Deadwood, and Barat had to dodge an excitable fan’s white trainer whose flight narrowly missed his head. Dirty Pretty Things’ debut album was a top three success but, crucially, at the Astoria they sounded like themselves rather than merely an alternative Libertines. The combination of growling, sweaty rock and cooing harmonies on Hippy Son was compelling, while Plastic Hearts had a simple, singalong chorus worthy of Chas & Dave. Of course, Dirty Pretty Things are still a noisy indie-rock band, so the appearance of a keyboard in the encore was about as experimental as it got. Nevertheless, this was a convincing return with an emphatic finale: Barat diving into the crowd during a frantic, raucous version of their signature anthem Bang Bang You’re Dead.

While the Mighty Carlos was working his ass off at the Astoria, his pal Pete Doherty was entertaining a small crowd at the Brixton Mass for the second night. I'm told Dot Allison joined this time too, and they played Don't look back into the sun together. Sigh. Besides, Peter sang France and dedicated it to "my old mucker Carl". Resigh. It seems Peter even dragged his kittens on the stage!!! The cute wanker!

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