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Peter makes grand return to the stage

A few snippets from the press and from fans.

From Dotmusic: Pete Doherty was greeted with a roaring reception when he returned to the stage after spending 29 days in prison. The troubled star and his band Babyshambles wowed fans at The Forum in Kentish Town, north London - and Doherty appeared sober and back on form. The band raced through their hits including crowd-pleasers Delivery and Kilimangiro, with the crowd singing along to every word. Doherty began the show by thanking "everyone who wrote a letter over the last month" before the band opened with 'Pipe Down'.
Doherty, 29, who wore a suit and his trademark trilby hat, told the audience he was "a bit rusty" after his spell in jail. The singer also told fans how much he was looking forward to the show but joked that he had developed a "massive spot" on his face. Fans were in an excitable mood throughout the show, which saw Babyshambles mix new songs with hits from their previous two albums. At one stage he was joined on stage by another notorious musician, Pogues singer Shane MacGowan, for a version of folk legend Ewan MacColl's Dirty Old Town.
Paul Roundhill, Doherty's self-styled literary agent, who made headlines by selling some of Doherty's "blood paintings", watched the gig and said it was good to see the singer back in action.

From The Times: Say what you like about Pete Doherty, he knows how to make a dramatic entrance. Fresh out of jail for the umpteenth time, Britain’s most sybaritic singer played a rowdy sell-out show. In Rat Pack suit and dapper trilby, Doherty appeared in rude health and good spirits. The overall mood of the evening was celebratory, even during the minor bout of booing that punctuated the cheers. In theory, all is going swimmingly for Babyshambles. Their second album, Shotter’s Nation, was favourably reviewed, their arena shows were the best received of their career, and Doherty has finally kicked his drug addiction, or so he claims. Of course, this louche literary lout has cried Virginia Woolf many times before, so any boasts about a clean bill of health come with a health warning of their own. All the same, he gave an energetic performance last night, rattling through ramshackle crowd-pleasers including Pipedown, Delivery and Kilimangiro. To his champions, Doherty is a guttersnipe sage and icon of dissolute cool. To his detractors he is an overhyped mockney Artful Dodger, a third division talent with a premier league profile. To agnostics like this reviewer, the singer has hit the occasional peak in a mostly underwhelming career. This show only confirmed that Doherty is still more reliant on charisma than musical talent. When he hauled the ex-Pogues singer Shane MacGowan up to sing Dirty Old Town, the gravel- throated old gargoyle effortlessly exposed the younger singer’s feeble voice and scrappy songwriting. Doherty may be more Shane Richie than Shane MacGowan, but he is clearly not a pop emperor entirely without clothes. The Albion of his lyrics and journals is a rich literary landscape incorporating everyone from Charles Dickens to Chas and Dave, Thomas de Quincey to Tony Hancock, William Blake to Blakey from On The Buses. Unfortunately, too much of this richness gets lost in translation from page to stage. There was plenty of excitement at this show, but too much of it was generated by the crowd. For a band who draw on such an ambitious range of inspirations, Babyshambles spent too much of their set sounding like pub-rock amateurs. After a dozen soundalike plodders their low-rent charm began to wear very thin indeed. His Albion may look magnificent if you are pumped full of chemicals, but it feels a little threadbare and grubby to those sober enough to stand up straight.

From French Dog Writtler Alicepooh: Due to come on at 9:15, we stood near the front and waited to see the recently jail-sprung Doherty celebrate with his band his regained freedom. Being on time didn’t seem to be one of the things that incarceration brought. Perhaps, we wondered, they were putting the final touches on the songs they had apparently been working on over the past week. After about fifteen minutes, to huge cheers, they took the stage. Peter was clearly delighted to be there, in front of an audience, and was very chatty. He thanked everyone for coming and people who’d sent him letters when he’d been in jail, and told us they’d be playing some new songs. ‘You know when you’re really excited about something and you get up in the morning and you’ve got a really big spot on your face. I borrowed some of Mik’s girlfriend’s make up but it doesn’t really work.’ He added, ‘I’m really bricking it.’ And then the music started. Eighteen songs, by our count, performed with exuberance. The audience was as glad to see him back as he was to be performing again. Pushy, bouncy, but good natured, singing along, jumping up and down, with a lot of crowd surfing and numerous stage invaders. Peter held firmly onto his hat every time someone arrived on stage – clearly didn’t want to lose this hat. He struggled with his braces throughout, eventually hoiking the offending side with it’s loose clip over the other shoulder, ending the gig with both braces on one side. We’ve done an approximation of the set list… Pipedown – wonderful opener, got us all going, Beg Steal or Borrow Delivery – beginning with Peter going over to the drum rise and saying ‘Adam, I don’t remember the first chord to this one’ New One – including the lyric, ‘it’s not a monkey it’s a gibbon’ – quite dark, but still bounce-able to, sounding nice. Carry on Up the Morning Unbilotitled Shane McGowan – Dirty Old Town – Peter announced ‘it’s Shane McGowan’ and bounced across the stage, clearly very excited. I Wish – Peter announced that he wanted to dedicate a song to his son who’s four, said he lived nearby and said ruefully that it’d probably mean Astile would end up being an Arsenal supporter. He nattered on for a bit, trying to decide what song would be appropriate, someone shouted out ‘Fuck Forever’ and he responded ‘his mother’s in the audience’. A shambolic rendition of Cool for Cats – with Peter and Drew trying to work out how it goes, and not really managing to remember, so they sang part of it. Side of the Road Stone Roses Song – sang a bit of it and tried to get us to sing along, and then launched into Maybelline – informing us that ‘this is going to be a hit’ Baddie’s Boogie – Mik said he taught him this song and Peter couldn’t even play guitar, in response to which Peter did little ‘cat claws’ and recited ‘lousy life with a washed up wife and a permanently plastered pissed off bastard’ before actually playing it. Killamanjiro – an extended version with lots of ad lib lyrics. New One – not many words Crumb Begging Baghead Then they disappeared for a fag-length break. Returning, Peter came on with a cigarette on stage, and Adrian darted over, tapped Peter on the shoulder and plucked it out of his mouth. The audience booed and threw cigarettes onto the stage. Peter then took out another cigarette and lit it, and picked one up off the floor and lit that and chucked his original cigarette into the audience. Albion – As Peter and Mik played the introduction, Luca and Drew waltzed by the side of the drum rise – Luca played keyboards – flag waving, made Drew be the bull as in bullfighting. Despite the antics, it was a rather piecemeal version of the song, Peter started half way into the first chorus, and it never quite caught its own momentum. Back from the Dead – the longest extended version ever – actually stopped in the middle before they continued with the ending. Fuck Forever – a totally amazing ten minute version – absolutely wild – during it one of the early stage invaders, a guy in a suit, managed to get on the stage for a second time. As the guy was scrum-tackled by a hoard of bouncers, Peter observed, ‘it’s you again’ and opened a tin of Red Stripe beer and from the height of the drum rise poured it over the stage invader – who seemed to quite enjoy the whole experience. Part chaos, part unbridled joy, a delighted band, a tipsy and charming front-man. The sound quality wasn’t brilliant, but the gig certainly was.
There's also a video of Maybelline (by TheGizzard)
Thanks to everybody! I'm jetting off to London in a few hours. See you tomorrow.

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