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).


Peter wants you!

Adrian writes:

I'm Looking For Talent To Appear On The [upcoming solo] Tour.
If you think you have a special talent you wish to share with us please get in touch. We are looking for talented individuals from the towns on the tour to wow the crowd between the support bands. We're looking for plate spinners, psychics, tap dancers, burlesque ladies (and gents), interpretive dancers, mimes, acrobats, escapologists, jugglers, sword swallowers, light operatic singers, contortionists etc etc .... people with an individual talent which would have lit up a variety stage back in the good old days.
For your 15 minutes of fame e mail for an online audition. No-time wasters or people who are not prepared to have things thrown at them. Musicians need not apply unless it's a very special instrument.

Believe me... it's genuine.
I could apply but windsurfing in a theatre is a bit uneasy... and I'm not prepared to have things thrown at me. So, I pass.
Good luck to the all the brave ones!

Politics starts at home

Interesting article on Instigate Debate today on The Independent:

It is a novel way of encouraging music fans to engage with politics. Collar an MP, party leader or newsreader, and you get a gig played in your home by leading indie stars. Jonathan Brown reports from a sofa in Sheffield.

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 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.


Tomorrow at 126 alert!

Tomorrow (30th January) new gig at 126 Commercial Road. £20 on the door.
Details to follow.

Keep in touch!!!


The hottest record in the world

Zane Lowe aired The Last of the English Roses last night during his Radio 1 show, proclaiming it "The Hottest Record in the World". He also aired a phone interview with Peter. You can hear both in the "video" above.


Drew McConnell - Albion

Drusillo sings Albion at a private party for Instigate Debate, a few days ago. You can also spot Jon McClure. Pity Carlos wasn't there.
Thanks to KJG81 for putting it up.


NME Awards nominations - just in

Best British Band supported by Shockwaves
Bloc Party
The Last Shadow Puppets

Best International Band supported by 4music
Crystal Castles
The Killers
Kings Of Leon
Vampire Weekend

Best Solo Artist
Laura Marling
Lightspeed Champion
Pete Doherty

Best New Band supported by Bench
Late Of The Pier
Vampire Weekend
White Lies

Best Live Band supported by Red Stripe
The Killers
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
V Festival

Best TV Show
Gavin & Stacey
The IT Crowd
The Mighty Boosh
Never Mind The Buzzcocks

Best Film
The Dark Knight
Quantum Of Solace
Wall-E Best

Dancefloor Filler
Bloc Party – 'Mercury'
Crystal Castles – 'Courtship Dating'
Dizzee Rascal & Calvin Harris – 'Dance Wiv Me'
Friendly Fires – 'Paris'
Late Of The Pier – 'Bathroom Gurgle'

Best DVD
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
Alex Turner
Barack Obama
Brandon Flowers
Noel Fielding
Noel Gallagher

Villain Of The Year
Amy Winehouse
George Bush
Gordon Brown
John McCain
Pete Doherty

Best Dressed
Alex Turner
Alexa Chung
Brandon Flowers
Noel Fielding
Noel Gallagher

Worst Dressed
Amy Winehouse
Brandon Flowers
Johnny Borrell
Katy Perry
Pete Doherty

Worst Album
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'

Worst Band
Fall Out Boy
Jonas Brothers
Scouting for Girls
Tokio Hotel

Sexiest Male
Carl Barat
Keith Murray
Matt Bellamy
Miles Kane
Pete Doherty

Sexiest Female
Alison Mosshart
Hayley Williams
Kate Jackson
Lykke Li
Stephanie Dosen

Best Website
Last FM

Best Venue
Brixton Academy
Manchester Apollo
London Astoria
Glasgow Barrowlands
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
Lightspeed Champion
Little Boots
Noel Gallagher/Oasis

Roger and Peter - Ring of Fire (live)

Simply awesome.


He's the last of the English hotties

I know everybody's heard it already but this is not a rip, you can listen to Peter's single at this radio station (ha! It's French!) below Lily Allen's picture. It's a beautiful ballad but I'm not too convinced by the chorus yet.
By the way, if you go to this site, on the right there's a picture which could be the single's artwork, but I'm not too sure.
The News of The World is giving away an acoustic guitar signed by Peter and has some funny words on Peter and Carl's future collaboration: “We’ve spoken about playing together again" said Peter (allegedly) "and I want to. But he’s told me I need have some weird sort of therapy to check my energy levels first.”
So, apparently now it's being called "energy". "Hey, did you see that guy from energy? That was scary innit?".
Ahem. Sorry, that was awful. Later!


One more thing...

The Last of the English Roses was played a few hours ago by this French radio station. It seems Peter's stuff is being premiered everywhere excpet in his country in these days! Anyway, somebody made a crap rip and posted it somewhere but I'm not giving the link because:
1. the quality is really really crap,
2. Adrian would chop my head off.
Anyway, it doesn't seem Street has been working too hard with the mixer beacuse the song sounds pretty much like the old version(s).
In the meantime, enjoy the review of "Pete Doherty in 24 hours" at (I mostly agree with the reviewer) and of the Babyshembles + Roger Daltrey's gig (still at

Xfm to play Peter's new single!

On Tuesday night (27 January) Steve Harris will have the first play of the brand new solo single from Pete Doherty. 'Last of the English Roses' is the first single to be taken from Pete’s debut solo album 'Grace/Wastelands' due for release in March.
Steve Harris is on Xfm Monday to Thursday from 7pm.



Roses Kings Castles played a great show last night at the 12 Bar, though Adam was still a bit peaky. Special guest was Patrick Walden and his band.
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

James: Alright

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: Shit

James: 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

James: Aye

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

Carl: Really?

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

Carl: 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

James: Aye

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?

Carl: Yeah

James: Aye

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?

Carl: Dunno

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 (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.
Still groggy after the Obama shenanigans and the flight to London. Later!


Those dates... in a plain form

And with a few corrections:

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


Exciting Peter news

A Pete Doherty solo tour has just been announced (click on the photo above to enlarge it).
From Babybear:
This is an exclusive presale link for Peter’ solo shows. At 9am Wednesday all shows will go active on here. Tickets do not go on general sale until 9am Friday.
Plus! The title of the solo album has also been announced. From
"The record, which is now set to be released on March 16, is called 'Grace/Wastelands'. A single, 'Last Of The English Roses', is released on March 9.'Grace/Wastelands' features guest appearances from Blur's Graham Coxon, Dot Allison and Doherty's Babyshambles bandmates. Speaking of Coxon's involvement, Doherty said in a statement: "I remember when I was about 15 and still listened to Pet Shop Boys and Chas & Dave, and some lad at school who was a bit of a mod lent me a Blur tape and it had on it a song called 'Bank Holiday. I was like, 'What's this?' I said to him, 'I liked that tape but that one song, it's a bit fast.' And he said, 'Yeah, it's punk. It depends what mood you're in.' "And then something sort of clicked in me. I've always liked Coxon, it seems, and I don't know why." He added: "I was absolutely horrified when he said he was actually a fan of some of the things I've done."
The tracklisting of Pete Doherty's solo album is:
'Last Of The English Roses'
'1939 Returning'
'A Little Death Around The Eyes'
'Through The Looking Glass'
'Sweet By And By'
'Palace Of Bone'
'Sheepskin Tearaway'
'Broken Love Song'
'New Love Grows On Trees'
'Lady, Don't Fall Backwards'

Barat's Californication

Photo by Tim Morris

Here's a round-up of The Mighty Carlos's latest yankee shenanigans.

t by my fellow blogger Brianna (who's nearly as crazy a moz-fan as I am) with candid piccies taken at the Amoeba store.

Snippet by Gliss.

Slideshow at the L.A Weekly.

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.

Pete Doherty in 24 hours

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.


Carl's last gig and Peter's MTV doc

Carl Barat closed his US mini tour last night at Santa Monica's Troubadour club (see "Former Dirty Pretty Things and The Libertines man Carl Barat opened for Glasvegas, performing songs from both of his former bands as well as solo material. Barat stood on stage alone with his electric guitar, except when he was joined by Glasvegas' Allan, who harmonised with him on the chorus of 'Blood Thirsty Bastards'." The club was packed with stars, people like Lise Marie Presley, Rick Rubin (ach! A producer!), and of course Tim Burgess.

And now something for Italian people only: it seems that "Pete Doherty in 24 hours" is going to be aired in 15 minutes on Italian music channel MTV Brand New. At least this is what I read here. It seems quite strange to me but I've switched my recorder on anyway. Then I'll tell you what happened. Later!


Pat is back!

Exciting news for all the buffs who still miss the great Patrick Walden:
Former Babyshambles guitarist Pat Walden is set to play alongside his former bandmate (and Babyshambles' current drummer) Adam Ficek at a London gig on January 21. The gig, which Ficek is playing under his Roses Kings Castles moniker, will take place at central London's 12 Bar. Walden officially left Babyshambles in January 2006 in order to get clean from drugs. He returned to the music scene in mid-2007 with a new band, Big Dave. Prior to being in Babyshambles, both Ficek and Walden played in The White Sport alongside former Add N To X member Andrew Aveling. Walden has also announced a Big Dave gig at London's Montague Arms on March 5. Ficek released his debut solo album, also called 'Roses Kings Castles', in September 2008.

Plus! Read about The Ficek's amazing journey in his blog!

More on Peter + Roger

Roger and The Other Pete

I'm not sure where this article comes from (probably, but thanks to Skyebluekookie pur putting it up (on Libs Daily):

Babyshambles play one-off gig with Roger Daltrey
The gig, in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust and cancelled music festival Moonfest, was dedicated to Daniel Squires, the 16-year-old cancer sufferer who died last year. Squires had struck up a friendship with Doherty and Daltrey, and The Who singer paid tribute to Doherty for "treating Daniel like a king" during his final months.
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'
'Baddies Boogie'
'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'
'Fuck Forever'
'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...".


Breaking News on The Unnamed Album!

Pizza at last night's gig

Please allow me to be a tad overexcited about this piece of news I've just found on

Pete Doherty has revealed the details of his forthcoming solo album exclusively to NME.COM.
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'
'1939 Returning'
'A Little Death Around The Eyes'
'Through The Looking Glass'
'Sweet By And By'
'Palace Of Bone'
'Sheepskin Tearaway'
'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.

Shambles climb on the Magic Bus

French Dog Writtles has been down in the last 24 hours, at least in my Mediterranean PC. But has something to tell us already about last night's joint performance of Roger Daltrey and the Shambles:

"Roger Daltrey performed a one-off joint gig with Babyshambles last night (January 12), at Bristol's O2 Academy.
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".

And so has Contactmusic (strangely showing a pic of Drusillo arriving at the gig):
"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)."


MTV to launch Pete Doherty doc campaign

MTV is to launch a marketing campaign to push its new documentary about Babyshambles front man Pete Doherty.

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.


Carl at Chop Suey

Photo by The Finest Kiss

Carl's second West Coast adventure went really good. The Finest Kiss (who took the photo above) wrote a review of the gig, of course focusing more on Glasvegas, who were the main attraction, but spending a few words on Carl too:
"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".


Peter closes RF residency

Peter: Any of you here on Thursday?
Few people in crowd: Errr, yeah.
Peter (fiddling with his hat and looking a bit sheepish): Errr, yeah. Sorry about that.

Pete Doherty ended his London residency at Whitechapel's Rhythm Factory last night (January 10) by playing a set taking in some of his rarest and best-loved songs. The gig was Doherty's third in three nights at the venue. Although previously he had been joined by his Babyshambles bandmates for the gigs, last night Doherty took to the stage on his own, playing an acoustic set of songs that stretched back to his pre-Rough Trade Libertines days.Kicking off shortly before 1am (GMT) with Libertines favourite 'Music When The Lights Go Out', Doherty played a varied set that included a cover of Oasis' 'Hello', much to the crowd's delight. While the biggest cheers were saved for Babyshambles' 'Fuck Forever' and The Libertines' 'Up The Bracket', 'Time For Heroes' and 'Campaign Of Hate', Doherty looked most content playing 'Snakey Road' and 'Love Reign O'er Me' – both of which are rumoured to feature on his forthcoming solo album.
The singer, who defied the smoking ban by puffing on cigarettes throughout the set, kept the between-song banter to a minimum. He did, however, thank the night's support acts before launching into final song, a rapturously received 'What Katy Did'.
Babyshambles are now set to play a one-off gig with The Who's Roger Daltrey at Bristol's O2 Academy on Monday (January 12).
Pete Doherty played: 'Music When The Lights Go Out''Lust Of The Libertines', 'Campaign Of Hate', 'Lost Art Of Murder', 'Hello', 'Snakey Road', 'What A Waster', 'Love Reign O'er Me', 'Fuck Forever', 'Time For Heroes', 'Up The Bracket', 'Merry-Go-Round', 'Side Of The Road', 'Dilly Boys', 'Never Never', 'What Katy Did'.


Peter's London nights

Photo by Elise

The second Rhythm Factory show went great. After the disaster of Thursday night , Peter and Babyshambles (Drew included) put on a fantastic show that left everyone pleased. Report by Elise:
"After about a million opening acts, Babyshambles came on at around quarter to one. There were quite a few cameras around, so the gig was indeed filmed. The crowd was alright; there were the occasional 'I wish' chants and Petah! exclamations, but I was stood next to some lovely people. During the final opening act, Peter was lurking near the backstage area, chatting with the 'DJ' and looking through his playlist. A big yellow washing basket full of beer bottles was put on stage. Peter came on first, signing tickets and writing 'Up the Shambles' and 'QPR FC' on the blue wall. The rest of the band followed and they seemed in good form, smiling and chatting, but you could definitely sense an air of nervous anticipation. Mik looked incredibly pale and mostly stared at the ground, Drew and Adam were taking their cues from Peter to see which song they'd be playing next. Fuck Forever was an explosive start and the crowd responded enthusiastically. The band played a tight set, with a twenty minute break in the middle. Personally, I found All At Sea an absolute highlight. The man who came to stay ended the evening on a positive and surprising note. Bloody great night indeed.

Setlist: Fuck forever Last of the English Roses All at sea Crumb Begging Baghead There she goes Palace of bone Time for Heroes Killamangiro Pipedown -- Baddies Boogie You Talk Unbilotitled Merry go round Deft left hand Side of the road Delivery The man who came to stay".

One more thing, Adam had to cancel his show in Manchester last night in order to give a hand to Peter at the RF, because "Babyshambles are my priority". Tonight he's going to play in Wakefield at 9 pm, and then join the others for the third night at the Rhythm Factory. Now that's what I call a man. I mean, a drummer.

Carl's San Franciscan nights

photo by First Class Bitch
More aftershow piccies here.

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 two different sides of the world...

Peter was on the euro-side last night. He played at the Rhythm Factory and Adam and Mik joined him (Drew didn't). Comments from people attending are generally quite negative. It seems Peter was on shit form, dirty and petulant and the crowd turned against him, which resulted in him getting even more furious. Later he apologized to fans outside the club, acknowledged he'd blown everything and also played a small acoustic set. That's Peter. Once again.

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
Bloodthirsty Bastards
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.


Peter played at Jalouse last night

Thanks to Nic for the report:
"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.


Interview with Adam

Late last year, FFS met up with Adam Ficek in a rammed pub off Trafalgar Square to discuss the finer points of the music industry, twee-ness, and evading the Babyshambles brand long enough to become part of the burgeoning folk scene.

So, why this venture away from Babyshambles?
I mean, I’d just kind of drummed in Babyshambles but um, yeah around the start when we’d done the big arena tour in 2007. I think doing those big kind of tours you lose a bit of your touch with the audience I think. You know what I mean. So I just wanted to write some songs and make it a bit more immediate and that was my goal really at that point, because we were doing these big arena tours and they’re a little bit sterile.I just started writing my songs and putting them up on MySpace really. That’s where it started – with those MySpace demos about a year ago. These are songs that have been drifting around for ages. And NME picked up on the MySpace and put it on one of their blogs, and it didn’t blow up massively but it went from about three fans to about 1,000. It was good exposure for me but I don’t know, I wanted to keep it a bit more internal and a bit more cosy to be honest – for it to grow a bit more organically. But you can’t knock that kind of press really. There’s bands out there that struggle to get that kind of press, or internet exposure.
You’ve come into it in a strange way. A lot of the folk artists have come right from the bottom, and they’ve got a little circle of followers, and word of mouth, but you’ve already got a bit of a fan base to start – people who are going to listen to it and see what it’s like immediately I suppose?
It’s really good, but I’m trying to assert my own art I suppose. I am intrinsically part of the Babyshambles stuff, which I love, which is part of me, but I don’t get to do that much song writing in that framework. My stuff is quite different from Babyshambles. I did a gig last night – it was great, I had a good crowd there – a good 30, 40 people, but some of them were just there because I play drums in Babyshambles. I think it’s really good that they turn up, but I’d like to be taken a bit more on my own merit. That’s really hard, because I know I’m only a year into it, and it’s a challenge to move away from that. I need to try to work out a way of doing it so it’s nice and gentle for people that were into Babyshambles but want to follow me as well.
Let’s get away from that for a second and talk about ‘Horses’. It’s almost a bridge between Babyshambles and folk.
There is that element in there, but Babyshambles always had that kind of testosterone-fuelled, laddish thing about it. In Babyshambles I couldn’t push the tweeness I’ve put into my music. Because I’ve not been writing or doing stuff with Babyshambles for a while now, a bit of the hardness of that music has worked its way into my own song writing. I think that in the end all the balls that I wanted to play was coming out in the Babyshambles environment, and my stuff wasn’t quite there because it was twee-er than I wanted to make it.
It seems that Donovan, and perhaps Bob Dylan also influence the sound on ‘Horses’?
I’m much more of a Donovan man than a Dylan man. I mean, all my family are huge Dylan fans, and there are a few songs I’m into, but on the whole, I find it a little bit lacking in melody sometimes. I love the sweetness of Donovan’s melodies and the way he shapes stuff, and the simplicity of his writing. I was really frightened when I first started writing because it sounded so simple, almost like a nursery rhyme. I was really worried because they were so simple and no one’s going to get it, but it is what it is.
How do you feel you’ve progressed from the stuff on MySpace to the material on ‘Horses’?
I suppose instrumentation – there’s much more percussion, there’s more instruments, it’s more formulated. I think it’s just stronger. Rather than me on a guitar now, I’ve put a baseline on it, I’ve put keyboards on it, glockenspiel, xylophone.
Obviously there’s some concern about being seen as the drummer from Babyshambles, but are you concerned about being seen as just a drummer trying to do all this as well?
Yeah – I mean I’ve never considered myself as a drummer as such. I’ve always seen myself as a musician that happens to play drums in a big band. That’s a really weird way of looking at it but I’ve always messed around with different instruments, so I’m not one of those drummers who’s really into the equipment – the labels and the brands and things like that. If you asked me to tell you what drums I play, I’d say whatever’s given to me really. I’m not into that. It’s great if you are into that – good luck – it’s really good to learn but for me, it’s all about the song – the music.
Has the way you write songs changed much over the past year?
Not really, no. I think it still just happens. I don’t try too hard, and I’ve been thinking recently that maybe I need to try harder, to push these songs out and really sculpt them, but the way I’m doing is just do them really simply, and words just come. I don’t profess to be a lyrical genius, and there’s no great musing behind it. I don’t read that many books, and that’s what I think makes it quite a sincere art form. There’s not that many preconceptions about where I want to go and what I want to do, it just sort of comes out. It’s an odd way of doing it but I’d say it’s quite a nice way of doing it.
Apart from Donovan, is there anyone else you’d say was an influence?
I really like people like Bert Jansch, who kind of have this nostalgic romantic notion about just travelling around and playing, or turning up and playing in people’s living rooms, It sounds really clichéd now, but breaking down the barrier between performer and artist. To exist on that higher platform where you’re the performer, and nobody sees you before you come onstage, and ‘I’m like God’, I couldn’t be that kind of person really. I’d much rather just sit down and have a drink.Probably because of nerves I find it hard, but afterwards I’ll quite happily mingle and answer questions. I find it hard to adopt that personality where people say “oh you’re a rock star now” but not really. What does that mean? Fundamentally I’m a musician. I love music, and to me that’s really what I want to do. There’s this whole other side to it – the clichéd rock star, swanning about, doing what they do.
You had an album out in September ‘08. How was the recording process, and how happy are you with the result?
It’s quite weird – it depends what day I catch myself really. It depends on how I listen to it. I mean, it is what it is. It’s very rough. At the time it was great, because I’d done all the demos and went to my friend’s house in Norwich, and between his bedroom and my bedroom we just knocked out this scratchy, scrappy album. It’s a bit of a scruffy child, and I want to really raise the stakes now. I can listen back to it with fondness, but there’s a few songs that I think now, if I was making an album I wouldn’t put them on there.
It sounds like you’re raising the stakes a little bit with ‘Horses’ with the recording, and everything coming together a bit better. So what have you got in line next then?
I’m not sure really. I’m so in debt now with this album. I’ve stopped all my PR and everything that I was paying for, just to get the album out there. I’m touring in January. As long as I’ve got time for Babyshambles [there are plans to start working on the next album], so I’m just going to try to hit a few shows in Europe and the UK, just get around and try to spread the word really, which is difficult in itself.
It must be hard work, already being in a really successful band and then having to try to start up a second band on your own.
It’s a really humbling experience. I’ve done instores and three people have turned up, and it really does bring you back down. I really want to play small venues and build up from that level. I was in Mansfield last night, and there were 30 people there, asking why am I in Mansfield when I can get £500 a night for doing some Nokia party? But I don’t want to do that. I mean, that’s money I could do with but part of me thinks, they don’t actually want me for the music, they want me for the brand Babyshambles. Sometimes you’re torn, because Babyshambles have not been touring recently, and the money’s getting a bit tight. I’m going to try to do it the hard way, how a lot of the artists I love have done it – starting out themselves. Although it’s really hard to get away from the Babyshambles tag and I do use it, when we’re trying to get a review or something, I do try to compromise between using it too much and getting put into that box, and just being taken on your own merit.
You’re playing some more ‘unfashionable’ destinations, like Skegness?
Skegness, Mansfield, I really love it. I mean last night in Mansfield was hard. I was talking about one of the songs and how I wrote it, and one of the guys in the audience piped up with “what are you on about mate?” and I just laughed, and smiled. Gigging’s just different in those kinds of places, and it takes a certain personality to just go there on your own in front of a crowd of 40, 30 of whom are probably big Babyshambles fans.A lot of them are there because I’m the drummer in Babyshambles and they think I’m going to get off and take loads of drugs and get drunk. It’s not like that, and I think they kind of scratch their heads when I’m finished but they do like the music and songs. It’s not ‘cool’ music as such I think, it’s not ever going to be as chart-friendly as anything like Babyshambles. It’s not aggressive, it’s not punchy enough for if you’ve had a few pints. It’s not that kind of music.
How much of an influence has Pete [Doherty himself been]? Have you sat down with him when you’re thinking about lyrics?
Not really, not on lyrics and stuff. We tend to keep ourselves to ourselves. If I sit down and write stuff with him it’s usually for Babyshambles. We co-wrote a song on the last album. We’ll probably co-write a few on the next album, so when he gets involved it normally becomes a Babyshambles kind of track. There’s a few that I could have put on the album, but it’s quite nice to have as just my ideas, and develop it from there really. It’s nice to keep it a bit separate, because as soon as I go down that road with Pete it turns it into something else, and it’s one step harder to separate that.
What’s the set-up when you play live?
When I play live it’s just me solo. I haven’t got a band, which is a bit of a problem. Not a problem, but I need to address it. I haven’t got a band because I play all the music on the album so I go out by myself and try to sell it as me, performing my songs acoustically. I will have to get a band eventually, but I just don’t want to complicate it with a band yet, although from a live perspective the audience will want to hear band versions of those songs at some point, but I’m all right for now.
Why do you think the label you’re on at the moment haven’t been more supportive of you trying to branch out?
I haven’t sold enough records to make anyone a lot of money. I approached a lot of indie companies as well, and they wouldn’t touch it. A lot of the indie companies I tried, they’re not indies anymore. They’ve got someone big in their pocket. If you’re not going to sell 10,000 copies they’re not really interested. EMI were going to pick it up, but they made me wait for about two months, dangling me, and then they wouldn’t give me ownership of it, so I’m in no man’s land for a while. I can’t describe how hard it was, because I’ve got no idea how to do it. It’s really demanding at times, but it’s a great achievement when you think “I’ve done all this by myself”. I think we’ve sold around 500 albums but even that’s all been done by myself.
Do you think with the wave of people like Laura Marling, Johnny Flynn and Jay Jay Pistolet being on the up, they’re going to look back on this in 18 months and think “I wish we’d signed that guy up?”
I hope so but I still don’t think they know which musical bracket I fit into. People have to get their head into a place where they can accept you. Even now I think people aren’t quite sure were I fit. It takes quite a while to assert yourself, and to work out where you’re placed musically. All those guys who do folk music, their music’s connected by the ethos and the way they promote themselves, rather than the harmonies, because it’s all very different – all those guys. Fundamentally, how would you describe that folk scene? What are the integral elements of that scene?
There’s a DIY attitude to it all – getting on and enjoying what you do, and everything else seems to come from that. I think people pick up on that and feed on it. Seeing people enjoying what they’re doing is great.
Yeah exactly. To be honest, Peter and Carl in the old days were in a way the early folksters. A lot of these new folk people would never admit it, but the whole ethos that Peter started with the Libertines has evolved into Laura Marling, Jay Jay and all that kind of stuff. They’ve taken that kind of community-based stuff and embellished it with the use of technology and stuff. Unfortunately, a lot of bands as they get bigger don’t realise that that was their strength, and they lose that sense of importance for their fans. I’ve seen it in ‘shambles. For me, I’ve always remained really connected, and not tried to get on that high stool. I think Peter hasn’t either but it’s easy to slip into that. Really easy.
Babyshambles and Libertines did have folky elements with a harder sound, and that attitude to songwriting – really writing about what you mean, is important.
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.
The Stone Roses definitely had themes to their songs, rather than direct ‘this is what this is about’.
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?
I’m going to push this album for a few more weeks then the single will be out and I’ve just got to step back because I’m going mad. I’d like to get an hour of songwriting in somewhere, and I think ‘shambles is going to be taking off again so I’m going to be really busy. I want to get another album out as well. I could work on another album and have something which might be a lot more commercially successful, but I’m not sure what I want. I’d rather be churning out an album a year, which is maybe not the best thing commercially, because it might not have the impact, but I’d rather just do that. It doesn’t really give you much time to think – it’s quite spur of the moment. If you work on a song for a year or two it loses any sense of what it had in the first place.
It sounds like you’re a bit jaded with the industry – a lot of these new acts coming up haven’t really experience it, and it’s more of an adventure for them.
Yeah, and that’s great. I’m very jaded and I need to try to get out of that. I think because normally in a band you’ve got a manager, and they provide a kind of buffer zone for you against the inequality and the unfairness of the industry. If you haven’t got the money or the promotion, you have to work so hard. I think if I was just starting out now and I didn’t have the Babyshambles name that I do, I’d probably give up because it’s so hard, and no one wants to touch you. I’ve wasted so much money on PR, and stuff. The people who are making the most money in the music industry are the ones that go out on a Friday night and say “Yeah, we’re in the music industry” and they’re the lawyers. It just sort of sits badly with me a bit that the artists get a raw deal. It’s always been that way in the music industry, and it is an industry, it’s a business. Sometimes you forget because you’re emotionally connected to the wares that your selling. If I had a manager, he wouldn’t be emotionally attached to it but because I’m selling it, to these people effectively I could just be a barrel of oil. They want something to sell on. I haven’t got that emotional buffer zone that I need – someone to manage it, dealing with people that don’t see the connection that you have with your art, dealing it with people who just see it as something to sell, be it on a radio show or in a magazine with advertising space to fill. That’s hard, and it’s horrible, but it’s lovely to go out and play gigs and take all that shit away. It’s very easy to get jaded with the industry.
To get away from that depressing line of questioning, who are you listening to at the moment within the new folk music that you’re into?
I really like Rod Thomas. He’s great. I really love pop music – not like Girls Aloud pop, but bands like The Housemartins, bands that have a pop sensibility, not manufactured as such, just with a bit of guile. Tom Williams and the Boat as well I’m a big fan of. There’s a lot of bands out there that are picking up, like Emmy the Great and people like that, Jay Jay [Pistolet]. I think they’re all in the same little scene, on this little rotating kind of carousel which I can’t expect to be part of because of the connection with Babyshambles. It’s kind of like I’m a one man venture really, going out and doing it, but time will tell and we’ll see what happens.
Anything else you’d like to say about your music?
It’s got to be real, and it’s got to be sincere, and I think that a lot of bands aren’t. At the moment, Indie is king, with Topman fashions and all that. Indie is the mainstream now, and the undercurrent is new-folk, or whatever you want to call it. Britpop kind of destroyed the Indie music I used to listen to when I was younger. That stuff was good because it wasn’t marred by the commercial side of things. That’s what makes this an interesting time. These new folk artists can get popular, but they can’t break through and get really big because they’re not made that way, and if they change the way they write and promote themselves they’ll be changing the ethos that makes them what they are.

Interview: Mike Didymus
Roses, Kings, Castles are on tour throughout the UK this month.


Last night's bash

Photo by happy_in_my_dust_and_gloo m

First we got a message from Peter on FDW: "The green baize of the pool table like Wembley on cup final day. Well, at half-time anyway... It's just me and the shadows on the CCTV system. New Year's resolutions abound. I'm the first here for tonight's gig. Finger nail's clean and down to 17 fags a day. 7 people showed up to the 'disco' saturday so the credit crunch hits hard at heavy horse and economizing means i'm on dust-pan and brush duty as the city-workers swap shifts on the city stage with the pimps, pushers, puta's and opera goers. Commercial Rd.. Saree shop shutters slam shut and sirens sing as a squad car swoops down crow-like to Bow. Over by the river the lights are on inside the tower. Beef-eaters probably tucking into stew or something".

And another one: "2 knocks and one long buzz. for entry that is..not my summing up of 2008. all the best for the season by the way etc".

Then the party started and Emmied wrote: "Tonights still going strong. Peter and a lot of the crowd are still there. I just left about 10 minutes ago and just got in. Top night Played quite a bit of Libs stuff. About 40 people there maybe...can't be sure the exact amount though".

Summary by Powermonkey: "Well, that was an odd one. Couple of Peter songs, including a truly lovely version of The Needle And The Damage Done - albeit almost wrecked by morons having a really loud conversation and a game of pool. Next up, Andy Boyd and another fellow whose name I didn't catch, then a bit more Peter, then some iPod DJ stylee, then Ben Bailey and Daisy Pagan (who were really good). Then some more Peter, then some random awful people did a song, then some more Peter. Next up, some random fellow playing some kind of Indian ukelele thing, and that's when I did one, although I believe Peter came back out to play some more. All rather strange. Fun, but strange. Really fucking tragic that they left the pool table there, and people noisily played all the way through the night. But what the hell, people are cunts. Anyhoo, good fun, always an absolute pleasure to see so many familiar folks, Peter-addicts one and all".

And again from Emmied: "When I got there ,there were other people/bands singing live and then there were a few songs to fill on the old stero and then Peter played about 4 or 5 songs on guitar but the police were circling apparently. Peter said they had asked for the music to be turned down so he stopped. But he went back on a bit later played some Libs stuff then - don't look back into the sun, what Katie did and some others, a few babyshambles. I can remember merry go round and love you but you're green...but the 'pop' has clouded the rest! the best ten pounds I've spent in a long time when i left Peter was playing a song to a few kids hung around the door way at the back, top night".

Thanks everybody for the reports. I'll be back.