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This is a site dedicated to the Libertines and their offspring. News, interviews, reviews, articles, pictures, videos and exclusives right here from the troubled world of the Babyshambles and Dirty Pretty Things (and, why not, Yeti).
Believe me... it's genuine.
Friday, 30 January 2009
A Friday night gathering in Worrall, a small suburb on a hill overlooking Sheffield, and the assembled guests are chatting away happily, quaffing wine and reaching for the occasional crudité. But this low-key gathering of friends is about to be radically transformed with the arrival of two of Britain's leading musicians, making good on a promise that, they hope, could, in turn, help revolutionise the spirit of political debate among this country's music-listening classes.
Jon McClure, lead singer of Reverend and the Makers, has made the short drive across his home city for the latest in a series of guerrilla gigs that he has been staging in people's front rooms, kitchens and gardens as part of his crusade to inject what he sees as a much-needed sense of radicalism into the nation's young.
The strikingly tall, Mohican-sporting frontman, who that day has learned his band is to support Oasis this summer, is tonight accompanied by friend and fellow agitprop enthusiast Drew McConnell, bass guitarist from indie band Babyshambles.
After a quick beer, a crafty smoke in the garden and a round of smalltalk with their delighted hosts, McClure and McConnell let rip with a set of intense and impassioned acoustic performances right there in the kitchen of this suburban home."I never doubted he would come," says Kate Senter, a 27-year-old marketing executive and loyal Reverend and the Makers fan who is "made up" at sharing her homemade humus dips with her favourite singer. "But it is all about making inaccessible people accessible, and that is the spirit of Instigate Debate."
For those who have yet to have heard of Instigate Debate, welcome to a unique experiment in the ongoing and, some cynics might say, thankless task of persuading music fans to engage with some of the great issues of the day.
Drawing on the power of the internet, McClure is urging ordinary people to break down the barriers between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, by striking up a political discourse with a celebrity, whether they be in the world of music, fashion, the media and, of course, politics.
At the heart of McClure's scheme is a prize – a gig such as tonight's – played for you and your friends in the comfort of your own home. That is, of course, only if you have the bottle to confront a passing luminary with a few tricky questions. Recommended posers designed to cut through the usual banalities include: "Do we need a change in our laws so any one person cannot own so much of our media? Or: "Is it inevitable that we will bomb Iran and how much say do you think you'll be given in that decision? But it does not stop there. To qualify for this unforgettable night in, ersatz Paxmans are required to film the answers on their mobile phones and then upload the footage to the internet at www.instigate debate.com for others to share.
Senter is enjoying her reward after she collared local MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg and asked him about immigration. McClure believes that Clegg's participation has now thrown down the gauntlet to the two other party leaders who are both preparing to be "instigated", albeit at a time and place of their choosing.
But McClure and McConnell are not working alone. They have the backing of former Libertine Carl Barat of Dirty Pretty Things and Tom Clarke of The Enemy, while pop mogul Alan McGee has also lent support.
And a browse through the Instigate website or YouTube reveals newsreader Jon Snow discussing the advantages of a bicycling monarchy, Sadie Frost on the virtues of citizenship rather than subjecthood, and Alexa Chung holding forth on the dilemma facing ethical fashionistas who find they can't live without Topshop.
But McClure acknowledges that turning the youth of today on to politics is an uphill struggle. "It suits the Government's purpose to keep people stupid," he says. "That is why, when a new Prime Minister is elected, the first person they go to see is not the Queen but Rupert Murdoch."
McClure is both loquacious and impassioned, a veteran of the Love Music Hate Racism movement, and he has been in the vanguard of the campaign against the controversial Form 696 (which demands that venue licensees must provide police with a bewildering array of detail about musicians playing and their potential audience or face possible imprisonment).
Having earned the name The Reverend for his habit of airing his strident views, McClure is rock royalty in Sheffield. He used to share a flat with Alex Turner and his brother Chris was the smoking man on the cover of Arctic Monkeys' debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not. But his ambitions extend beyond the confines of the Steel City, and he now plans to make an album, with his new dub/hip-hop project Mongrel, with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
But it is the economic crisis closer to home and its potential to bring about radical change that is getting him particularly excited. "The next three years are going to be the most tumultuous in history. It is going to be incredible," he predicts with undisguised relish at the prospect of the coming storm.
Yet the level of ignorance is startling, he says. "Some people don't even seem to know they actually have a constituency MP and that they can just go up and ask them a question."
As for the digital-age music-business, McClure appears uncharacteristically downbeat. "There is a small amount of musicians who are prepared to take a stance but most are just into making money and fame and fans are just not into politics at all.
"The average music fan has just been fed a load of bullshit for the last 25 years. A lot of people thought I was some kind of nutter going on about the things that I do but now the world is doing the work for me and they think I'm some kind of visionary," he laughs.
McClure hopes that Instigate will take on a life of its own without him – there is already interest in Spain, Mexico and the United States. "It is not about any one person doing it, it is about trying to get everyone to have an opinion," he says. However, McClure has little time for veteran campaigning rock behemoths such as Bono who, he believes, are only too happy to clamber on board with the political establishment. "It baffles me that so many people don't have anything to say about dropping phosphorous on kids and who don't want to get involved when it's not a cuddly issue."
"We had a fantastic time," said Senter after rocking out to an eclectic set list that took in bravura performances of the Reverend track "Hidden Persuaders", "Kilimangiro" by Babyshambles and a generous raiding of the Bob Marley and Beatles back catalogues. "My friends absolutely loved it. All the pictures are whizzing round Facebook now. Everyone was completely gobsmacked," she added.
Here's another snippet from Jon and Drew's private gig: the lovely Drew plays Beg Steal or Borrow.
The Last Shadow Puppets
Best International Band supported by 4music
Kings Of Leon
Best Solo Artist
Best New Band supported by Bench
Late Of The Pier
Best Live Band supported by Red Stripe
Kings Of Leon
Best Album supported by HMV
Bloc Party – 'Intimacy'
Glasvegas – 'Glasvegas'
The Killers – 'Day & Age'
Kings Of Leon – 'Only By The Night'
Oasis – 'Dig Out Your Soul'
Best Track supported by NME Radio
Kings Of Leon – 'Sex On Fire'
The Last Shadow Puppets – 'The Age Of The Understatement'
MGMT – 'Time To Pretend'
The Ting Tings – 'That's Not My Name'
Vampire Weekend – 'A-Punk'
Best Video supported by NME TV
The Last Shadow Puppets – 'My Mistakes Were Made For You'
Late Of The Pier – 'Heartbreak'
Oasis – 'The Shock Of The Lightning'
Radiohead – 'House Of Cards'
Vampire Weekend – 'A-Punk'
Best Live Event
Isle Of Wight
Reading and Leeds
T In The Park
Best TV Show
Gavin & Stacey
The IT Crowd
The Mighty Boosh
Never Mind The Buzzcocks
The Dark Knight
Quantum Of Solace
Bloc Party – 'Mercury'
Crystal Castles – 'Courtship Dating'
Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris – 'Dance Wiv Me'
Friendly Fires – 'Paris'
Late Of The Pier – 'Bathroom Gurgle'
Arctic Monkeys – 'At The Apollo'
Foo Fighters – 'Live At Wembley Stadium'
Kaiser Chiefs – 'Live At Elland Road'
Muse – 'HAARP'
The Rolling Stones – 'Shine A Light'
Hero Of The Year
Villain Of The Year
Britney Spears – 'Circus'
Coldplay – 'Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends'
Jonas Brothers – 'A Little Bit Longer'
Razorlight – 'Slipway Fires'
Scouting For Girls – 'Scouting For Girls'
Fall Out Boy
Scouting for Girls
London O2 Arena
Best Album Artwork
The Cure – '4:13 Dream'
Guillemots – 'Red'
The Killers – 'Day & Age'
Muse – 'HAARP'
We Are Scientists – 'Brain Thrust Mastery'
Best Band Blog
Steve Harris is on Xfm Monday to Thursday from 7pm.
Video by Nearerdark (Never Certain + Brass Winter).
Photos (Pat only) by happy_in_my_dust_and_gloom.
A kind hearted soul (namely Niobid) transcribed this mumbling interview with Carl Barat and James Allan (thanks a lot for your patience)
James: This is Carl Barat
Carl: This is James Allan
James: I was starting out a band called Glasvegas, when I met Carl he was in a band called Dirty Pretty Things. When I met Carl I was unemployed, I was on the dole. I will say this man, when I was with him and he tried to tell me anything I knew by looking in his eyes that he cared about me. I meet some people and I care about them, I care about them you know. I know we’re sitting here so it’s quite like, one of the things that, I care about you.
Carl: I consider James a fine fellow, there’s not a lot of them about. I think when I first met Glasvegas you were definitely a bunch of rebels, it was a whole different thing, I mean all bands go through their wilderness and their training and er... they were sort of rockabilly rebels at the time.
James: I think the main thing has probably been that I’ve no’ really got any pals, he’s no’ got any pals so... we’re pals, you know what I mean. Or have you got other friends on the side that you’ve not told me about?
Carl: Got a couple
James: How do they measure up to myself?
Carl: You’ve probably got the best hair
Carl: But it’s funny how I can talk to you about things now that I couldn’t really talk to you about before, sort of the ways of life and stuff.
James: I know, but that’s quite a natural dynamic in any relationship, friendship, boyfriend girlfriend, you know what I mean? Not that we’ve in anyway explored those er... activities, but erm.. But the night’s young you know?
Carl: Don’t know how many more nights I’ve got left in me to be honest
James: Too many of them man (looking at drink), .... *mumbles*
James: The longest we’ve stayed up with each other is not through erm... it’s through outside influences, so I’ve had to go, or he’s had to go, play a gig or something
Carl: I came to your gig with my, my hair was full of shaving foam, and it was into like a quiff, like a teddyboy
James: Aye you done a quiff din’ you?
Carl: Yeah I did
James: I was supposed to come up to erm.. Somewhere you were Djing the next night after that, remember?
Carl: Yeah you were, you were supposed to some to er.. Oh I forgot...
James: It was somewhere in Scotland anyhow
Carl: Oh yeah that’s it yeah, yeah
James: That was quite heavy metal that you made that that day, that was fucking pretty amazing man
Carl: Yeah I was pretty ruined though
James: We, we played a gig in London, we stayed up, you know, and after that I was supposed to get a visa to go to America to play my first gigs ever in America, one of them was supporting Echo and the Bunnymen, and I missed the embassy. I dunno, I mean everybody made quite a big deal if that, it was like we missed this... you know
Carl: Did you miss a gig
James: Aye, we had to cancel gigs, aye
Carl: Oh well, live and learn eh?
James: I think Ian Mccullough went in the morning, he was saying where’s James, I think he was maybe, he was annoyed because I wisnae there and he was there, just the same was as like, Carl was late for me today, do you know what I mean, it’s a rock and roll heirarchy and all that crap, so ... I was gonna stay in there but you never turned up, I was gonna go outside and wait for you to get here
Carl: Was I late?
James: So, that... you were late, aye
Carl: Oh, soz
James: Go to America with each other, with Glasvegas, and Carl’s gonna play some shows like solo, I guess this is the first time you’ve done that innit? ‘Cept for, well first time you’ve done it like this innit?
Carl: Yeah, it’s a bit of a milestone for me actually, not quite sure what to expect from it but it’s er.. It’ll certainly be a first.
James: I really don’t know what to expect either man
Carl: Quite a challenge
James: Have you ever done solo...
Carl: Yeah I did one gig at Glastonbury once, solo, and that was probably the most petrifying thing I’ve ever done, and everyone says nerves are good, but they’re not always good, I couldn’t remember the song, I had to stop halfway through, really pull myself together
Carl: So hopefully that won’t happen this time. You know what, I should do a couple of practice gigs, I know it’s petrifying, but then I’m scared of everything so...
James: But, why’s it scary, why’s it, why?
Carl: Dunno, it’s just er.. It’s just inbuilt, do you not get stage fright?
James: I never get stage fright, ever
James: I sometimes need to check for a pulse man, but, no I get excited, I always get excited, I think I’m, er, I don’t know if I’m just too dumb, or something’s lacking there, but I think I should be getting nervous but I never do. But I guess I always think that there’s nothing really that bad that’s gonna happen really
James: No matter what happens out there man...
Carl: I suppose
James: Erm there’s really nothing bad that can happen
Carl: That must be bright as a button then
James: It’s got to be mental, it’s got to be mental. Every night I’m going to have that hot, that hot er...water bottle waiting for you getting home, er to the tourbus, and that electric blanket.. It’s going to be mental, an er, I’m going to tuck you in every night bud, make sure you’re fine
Carl: I bet you are
Carl: Well I’ll you know, I’ll show you round a few places myself actually, got a few things in store for you
James: Have you?
James: Er.. There’s a few guys waiting for you at the airport wi’ rubber gloves n all that
Carl: Yeah, I’ve met them before
James: Aye, there’s only so many fists so many artists can handle (?!) But you, you’ll be fine.
Carl: Have our roles reversed a bit now then, are you kind of the, sort of guiding father figure? That used to sort of be my job.
James: Er do you feel that’s the way that the roles are right now?
James: What makes you feel that?
Carl: Well maybe you’re just extending this sort of paternal comfort towards me, which, you know, I’m quite happy about that, I can live with that
James: Aye. Arite give us a pint man!
- IMPORTANT: Grace/Wasteland can now be pre-ordered at Play.com (here). The special edition is also available. Of course the photo you see in the page is not the album sleeve.
- The sweet Adam was forced to cancel his Cardiff gig last night due to a throat infection. He should be back on his feet tonight for the gig at the 12 Bar (London). Remember, Pat Walden will be there too!
- Adrian has started a Facebook page for Peter's solo tour. You can join here.
22 Feb 2009 20:00 Shepherds Bush 02 Empire (NME Awards Show) London
24 Feb 2009 20:00 Glasgow Barrowlands (NME Awards Show) Glasgow
13 Mar 2009 20:00 Cardiff University Great Hall Cardiff
15 Mar 2009 20:00 Southampton Guildhall Southampton
16 Mar 2009 20:00 Norwich UEA Norwich
17 Mar 2009 20:00 Lincoln Engine Shed Lincoln
18 Mar 2009 20:00 Nottingham Rock City Nottingham
19 Mar 2009 20:00 Brighton Dome Brighton
20 Mar 2009 20:00 Folkestone Lees Cliff Hall Folkestone
23 Mar 2009 20:00 Leeds 02 Academy Leeds
24 Mar 2009 20:00 Grimsby Auditorium Grimsby
25 Mar 2009 20:00 Birmingham 02 Academy Birmingham
26 Mar 2009 20:00 Newcastle 02 Academy Newcastle
27 Mar 2009 20:00 Edinburgh Picture House Edinburgh
Report by my fellow blogger Brianna (who's nearly as crazy a moz-fan as I am) with candid piccies taken at the Amoeba store.
Another photo gallery by Rachel Carr.
Another nice bloggie from Portland (Desmond from Lost???).
Snippet at Critical Failures.
Review from Oregon Live.
A very crap mooded reviewer from the Portland Mercury.
All in all the adventure seems to have gone well. Now pick up your guitar Biggles and write something. We'll be waiting here, right? Cheers.
Funny people, Italians. As Prime Minister we have a bloke who used to entertain cruisers on love boats. We’re drenched in rubbish, debts and camorra. We pretend to be pious, religious people but forget to say our only true god is Money. And basically we hate each other. But! We were also the first to see (drumroll) “Pete Doherty in 24 hours”, MTV’s reality show featuring our very own hero.
The show was aired last night on MTV Brand NEW (Italy’s MTV2) at 10 pm (CET) and ended after 50 minutes (with two commercial breaks). It’s not any different from the other various MTV “Diaries” and stuff, but rather than Rihanna or Beyonce we have Pizza. The camera follows the man in his country mansion the day before the fashion show at the Prince of Wales (mid-September of last year) with some interludes showing the organizers’ despair at the impossibility to find real models for the show. Peter takes us around his house, does a bit of comedy here and there, runs and jumps in the garden like a little boy and coos his kittens. And he’s always so funny and charming and lovely and sweet and adorable (fangirlie moment). Eventually his staff manages to pin him down and drag him to London through a horrific traffic jam. The gig starts, some girls do the catwalk, and Peter climbs on a small stage where he’s joined by Mik and later by a Carl Barat coming out from nowhere to sing Don’t look back into the sun and Oasis’ Don’t look back in anger. The two embrace and the show ends.
“Pete Doherty in 24 hours” will be repeated tomorrow (Saturday) at 11 pm and Sunday at 8 pm.
Exciting news for all the buffs who still miss the great Patrick Walden:
Babyshambles play one-off gig with Roger Daltrey
Speaking to NME.COM before the gig, bassist Drew McConnell said he wasn't entirely confident the gig would be a success. "We did one rehearsal," he said. "It could go tits up tonight. It could always go tits up with us, but tonight especially. If we play well, then brilliant. But if we fuck it up massively, then at least it's gonna be a laugh! I think that would be fun to watch anyway."
After playing a series of Babyshambles and Libertines songs, including 'Pipedown' and 'Time For Heroes', Doherty introduced Daltrey onto the stage.
Wearing specs and a large scarf, The Who singer sang ten songs in total, backed for the most part by Babyshambles and Simon Townshend (Pete Townshend's younger brother).
Before kicking into The Who classic 'A Legal Matter', Daltrey joked that the song was "an ironic choice", considering Doherty's near-constant battles with the authorities.
Referencing the Moonfest cancellation last year where police claimed Babyshambles' set might inspire violence, which saw organisers struggle to repay fans' ticket fares, Daltrey declared: "I'm also here tonight because of some poxy council who cancelled a festival. It reminds me of the sort of things we [The Who] had to put up with."
Doherty and Daltrey traded lead vocals throughout the set. During an impassioned version of 'Magic Bus', Doherty screamed Pete Townshend's backing vocals, while 'I Can't Explain' saw the Babyshambles man sing Daltrey's lead parts, with The Who singer backing him up.
After finishing the song, Daltrey performed 'Behind Blue Eyes', backed only by Townshend, while the rest of Babyshambles watched from the side of the stage.
As Daltrey then teased the audience by playing the opening chords to Johnny Cash's 'I Got Stripes', an animated Doherty rushed onto the stage and played along on the drums.
The somewhat unplanned Cash love-in continued, as Daltrey then launched into 'Ring Of Fire', to great cheers from the audience. Doherty grabbed a microphone, only to fluff the song's lyrics and shy away from singing the rest of the track. "You fall too easily, mate, that's your problem," Daltrey joked.
The Who singer then left the stage, although he continued to watch the remainder of Babyshambles' set from the wings.
He later rejoined the band for a raucous version of The Who's classic, 'My Generation'.
'Beg, Steal And Borrow'
'There She Goes (A Little Heartache)'
'Time For Heroes'
'A Legal Matter' (with Roger Daltrey)
'Substitute' (with Roger Daltrey)
'Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere' (with Roger Daltrey)
'The Kids Are Alright' (with Roger Daltrey)
'Magic Bus' (with Roger Daltrey)
'I Can't Explain' (with Roger Daltrey)
'Behind Blue Eyes (Roger Daltrey solo)
'I Got Stripes' (with Roger Daltrey)
'Ring Of Fire' (with Roger Daltrey)
'Side Of The Road'
'My Generation' (with Roger Daltrey)
Plus! Graham Coxon talks about his collaboration with Peter at the Blur's official forum (thanks to Joelena for the tip):
"I actually like pete as a person a lot. he is very funny, warm and charming. he has rough press and not surprisingly so.. he is also very impressionable, quite vulnerable, rather too trusting and needlessly gets himself into some difficulties- basically and unfortunately for him, he is a scumbag magnet. i would not have entertained the idea of playing on his record if i had not heard such alot of promise when listening to the demos. I really do think its easy to think pete is a waster...i also have been more than a little angry with him at times for pissing his talent up the wall on too many occasions...but i think when he sees thru the murk at what opputunities are there for him he can really come up with the goods... well i think he did with these songs anyway. some songs here touched me quite deep to be honest... and lyrically i think hes bang on with this record...".
The album, the title of which the Babyshambles man is yet to decide on, will be released on March 9. A single, 'Last Of The English Roses', will be released on March 2.
The album, which Doherty speaks about in the new issue of NME, out tomorrow (January 14), was recorded with producer Stephen Street in London's Olympic Studios in autumn last year. Blur guitarist Graham Coxon plays guitar on all songs apart from 'Broken Love Song'.
Singer Dot Allison performs co-vocals on 'Sheepskin Tearaway', while Doherty's bandmates Mik Whitnall, Adam Ficek and Drew McConnell also play on the album.
The tracklisting of Pete Doherty's solo album is:
'Last Of The English Roses'
'A Little Death Around The Eyes'
'Through The Looking Glass'
'Sweet By And By'
'Palace Of Bone'
'Broken Love Song'
'New Love Grows On Trees'
'Lady, Don't Fall Backwards'
And this is the track-by-track guide!
Plus see the new NME, out nationwide tomorrow, for an exclusive Albums Of 2009 preview issue including an interview with Doherty.
The gig, performed to raise awareness of Teenage Cancer Trust and raise money for Moonfest, saw Daltrey share vocal duties with Pete Doherty on a number of Who classics including 'Substitute' and 'Magic Bus'.
The two vocalists were backed by Doherty's Babyshambles bandmates throughout the gig, and the collective also performed a series of ad-hoc Johnny Cash covers part way through.
Both Daltrey and Doherty dedicated the gig to the memory of Daniel Squires, a 16-year-old cancer sufferer who had struck up a friendship with the two singers before his death last year. From the stage, Daltrey called Squires "a special lad", drawing a huge ovation from the crowd, who included his parents and sister".
"BABYSHAMBLES frontman PETE DOHERTY and THE WHO legend ROGER DALTREY thrilled rock fans after joining forces at a one-off charity gig on Monday night (12Jan09).
The unlikely collaborators took to the stage at the O2 Academy in Bristol, England as part of a tribute to teenage cancer sufferer Daniel Squires - who died from the illness last year (08) after befriending the stars.
Doherty stepped into the shoes of Daltrey's bandmate Pete Townshend, playing guitar while the singer performed a selection of classic The Who songs.
The gig is to raise awareness for Daltrey's Teenage Cancer Trust foundation.
Daltrey reportedly approached the troubled musician after he was impressed by Doherty's decision to sing at Squires' funeral in July (08)."
The entertainment channel will run print, radio, outdoor and online activity to promote the 60-minute documentary “Pete Doherty In 24 Hours” which it claims will have “unlimited access” to the singer.
The online campaign will focus on music sites including NME, Rock Louder and Click Music as well as entertainment sites like Heatworld, ASOS and Sun Online. Additional advertising will be carried on MySpace and Facebook.
MTV UK will also host a preview screening in central London for bloggers to “generate advance interest on key sites” before the show premiers on 25 January.
"Opening the show was a pleasant surprise. Carl Barat of Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things did a solo set of just him and an electric guitar. He played a handful of Libertines songs that a got everybody singing along to him. I think he may have done one or two new songs as well. You would probably get a better review of his set from one of the many women front and center singing along to every one of his songs. I realized this night the women dig Carl Barat. Why not, he’s a good looking dangerous kind of guy in a Jud Nelson, Breakfast Club kind of way. After his set all the women at the front left. I though that Barat might reappear for a song or two in the Glasvegas set like he did a last week in Glasgow, but no such luck".
As much as I hate this "tombeur des femmes" reputation that follows Carlos everywhere (he's such a talented bloke and yet he only seems to be appreciated cause he's got blue eyes and a nice bum) I think the "West Coast Girls" (the Pet Shop Boys didn't write that did they?) are doing a great job supporting the Mighty Carlos over there. Actually he even asked a "favor" to the people who're going to see him in L.A. So says our friend Alice: "In Seattle, Carl asked us if we knew of 'anyone who likes him' who's coming to LA. He said if we did, could we ask them to come to the front and make a lot of noise. I assume this means cheering rather than heckling, but we thought we might just pass on his request".
Of course Alice also wrote another one of her beautiful reports:
"Seattle, like San Fransisco is a city built on hills with a grid-system of roads that seem to go in steps, creating that amazing network of steep streets punctuated by platforms where the junctions on the cross-hatching lie. I'd never been there before, and it seems an interesting place... less affluent than SF, but with the same marvellous setting of water and mountains... and drizzle. Made me feel quite at home.
The venue, the unauspiciously named, 'Chop Suey' was out of the centre of the city in a district well populated by tattoos and piercings as well as the requisite pizza-parlours and bars. In contrast to San Fransisco, they let us in fairly promptly at 8pm, leaving a bedraggled bevy of teenage girls denied admission on account of not yet being 21 stranded on the street. We gave them big hugs, regretting that we couldn't smuggle them in under our coats, and feeling pleased that Carl had come out earlier and had a good chat with them. Stupid legislation.
Chop Suey was smaller than Popscene, a welcoming space with a small stage, a long raised bar area and a compact space that probably held about 300 people. We'd greeted stateside friends, got our drinks and managed not to twitch too much while we waited. A mere hour or so after we'd come in, Carl emerged on stage. The set was similar to the one he played in San Fransisco, with the substitution of 'Can't Stand Me Now' for 'Time for Heroes' as the closer. As in San Fransisco, he was uncharacteristically chatty. He dedicated 'France' to 'all the French people' (where, in the world, or there at the club, we wondered). He commented at one point, 'if you have trouble understanding me, you're going to be fucked with Glasvegas,' to which the quick reply came from the crowd, 'pardon?'
The mood was much lighter than in San Fransisco - as a result, I think, of both Carl being more relaxed and the crowd itself being more interactive, with more people in the audience interested in him... knowing the words, cheering and so on. Indeed, his greater confidence was palpable, and a delight to see, although I would say that overall his singing was slightly less sweet than on Thursday, this most likely due to a slight sore throat he'd complained about before the show. But the increased confidence made a big difference, everything seemed more sure, less hesitant, and this was particularly apparent in his guitar playing.
As in San Fransisco, it was hard to see him putting down his guitar after so short a time - the price of the support slot - but absolutely wonderful to hear him publicly reclaiming material that he's not been playing since 2004. I know that he's said that his plan is to create new material, and, I would imagine, eventually to tour that. But in the meantime, I hope he will allow himself - and us - the indulgence of more shows where some great musical gems get dusted off and aired in public".
Few people in crowd: Errr, yeah.
Peter (fiddling with his hat and looking a bit sheepish): Errr, yeah. Sorry about that.
Report by Alice:
He was nervous. He’d said it enough and so one had to believe him. We were cold and tired. We’d spent bloody ages waiting out in the cold to get into Popscene in San Fransisco… nearly as long as one might wait in the dingy Commercial Road for admittance to the ‘126’ Club, but in this instance it was simply that we all had hoped that the 9pm on the e-ticket meant that was when the bands would come on, not when they would decide to let us in. A little place, long and narrow, probably with a capacity of about 400, we positioned ourselves near the front for another long wait. Very reminiscent of the Rhythm Factory, where we might have been had we not made the daft decision to be in California instead. But less scuzzy, this being the back streets of San Fransisco rather than Whitechapel. An exchange of texts with friends in London brought the sudden awareness that the gig in London would be long over… we’re 8 hours behind here, so whilst we were fidgeting at 8pm, our RF bound comrades would be well tucked in bed at 4am.
Finally, about half ten, Carl emerged onto the little stage. People cheered, and a small group of hardcore fans hooted a welcome. ‘I’m not really on tour,’ he said, ‘just hanging about with some mates for a laugh.’ And then he played the opening chords of ‘What a Waster’. If Carl himself had doubted his ability to carry a solo slot, none of us did, and by the end of the set, hopefully, he was convinced too. It was bloody wonderful. He chatted and apologised, and showed us his set list scribbled on the back of a phone bill envelope. He confessed later that he’d ‘forgotten’ to practise. But the informality of it rather added to the atmosphere, in my opinion. He fumbled the guitar on ‘Man Who Would be King’ and shuffled some of the lyrics of ‘Time for Heroes’ but the set was an unadulterated delight… hearing a collection of songs, mostly drawn from the Libertines era played as they should be, and sung beautifully. ‘You’ll have to indulge me,’ he said, ‘I really like playing the Libertines songs, so here’s another’. He’d said this before, towards the end of the DPT run when the band added in ‘I Get Along’ to the repetoire. And last night it was evident… and completely fitting, that Carl should finally be able to reclaim some of that marvellous material and make it his own.
He’s played a few things in the past year or so… three songs in Twickenham in April, two with Drew McConnell at the Carnival aftershow also in April, a short solo set at Glastonbury, and most recently, two songs with Kyle Falconer and Drew McConnell at the Boston Arms. But unlike any of those shows, including Glastonbury, when he was accompanied by Kieran Leonard and Billy Bragg, last night he was really on his own, and he did himself proud. He played (to the best of my memory), What a Waster, Man Who Would be King, France, BURMA, Doctors and Dealers, Deadwood, Ballad of Grimaldi, Music When the Lights Go Out and Time for Heroes. Ballad of Grimaldi was the highlight for me, a personal favourite anyway, and the only one of the lot that I’d never heard him play before. The crowd were a bit funny, seemingly more familiar with Deadwood than TfH, and rather subdued (aside from the small cheering committee around us), but none of that mattered, really. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so very glad he’s done it. And if his chirpy mood afterwards is anything to go by, so was he. Roll on Seattle tomorrow.
On the Pacific side, Carlos played it safe introducing Glasvegas at San Francisco's Popscene, with a setlist formed by old Liberines songs and 3 DPT oldies (thanks to Penny for the info):
What a Waster
Man Who Would Be King
Ballad of Grimaldi
Music When the Lights Go Out
Time For Heroes
This video shows Carl playing the end of Bloodthirsty Bastards and The Ballad of Grimaldi.
"Babyshambles and The Vaults shindig, think it was a favour for a mate - the guys who own the club. Apparently the boys didn't know they were playing till yesterday afternoon, Adam drove down from Nottingham after his RKC gig and joined the band half way through (The Vaults drummer played up to then). Pete was on top form (they all where) amazing set, Pete spraying champagne (of course), walking off half way to get changed into no shirt and jacket, sparking up fags, singing happy birthday to someone called Daniella.
Set list (not in order just from memory)
Albion, Kilamangiro, There She Goes, West End Girls (Petshop boys), I wish, Delivery,Fuck Forever, janie Jones, Pipedown, UnBiloTitled, ended on twist and shout. went on for about 90minsish.
Pete was charming as ever. Crowd weren't the best though...lots of blonde hair, fake tan and high heels.. wish more fans had been there".
Pictures from Popsugar and Gigwise.
Plus! The January issue of Clash magazine is out and Peter is on the cover. Read the interview here.
So, why this venture away from Babyshambles?
I suppose it’s quite subjective, the good thing when I started writing songs was that I didn’t think about it, it came out naturally. They’re all quite personal, and maybe people can’t relate to them. It’s only with the ambiguity of parts of the songs that people can really relate to them.Now, you’ve got bands that are singing about such direct things – going to this nightclub, taking this drug, driving a Ford Mondeo – there’s no ambiguity there. This is how it is. And I like that romance. Even with the older bands – The Beatles, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans are quite ambiguous with their wording, and you can read into it what you want. It’s quite a journey.
Yeah, and I think at the moment we’re coming out of it. I think a lot of this direct lyric writing doesn’t come from the heart, it’s just about recounting an experience, and I can’t really connect with a lot of it. Lyrically I just like to keep it really ambiguous.
So what’s next, apart from a hell of a lot of hard work and self-promoting?
Interview: Mike Didymus
Roses, Kings, Castles are on tour throughout the UK this month.