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).
Photos by Getty Images.
Report by the NME.
IT WAS a new name, a new era for Peter Doherty last night as he celebrated the release of his solo album with a gig in Edinburgh.
Grace/Wastelands hit the shops on Monday and Peter was joined by an all-star line-up including album collaborator Graham Coxon, from Blur, at the Picture House.
He thrilled the crowd with What A Waster and English Rose before Libertines hit Can't Stand Me Now and Babyshambles' Albion and What Katie Did.
Fans littered the stage with gifts throughout, proving Peter hasn't lost his touch.
Suited and booted, and donning his trademark trilby hat, he skipped on to the stage and had the audience eating out of his hands with a faultless, energetic and an engaging show from the off.
Though he was mid-tour on the back of his first solo album, Grace/Wastelands, it was the old Libertines track Music When The Lights Go Out that got things under way.
Having introduced Blur guitarist Graham Coxon and the rest of his band to the stage, Peter, as his album names him nowadays, moved on to Arcady, then most recent single Last of the English Roses, followed by 1939 Returning and A Little Death Around The Eyes.
Every song seemed to keep the fans in raptures as Mr Doherty flitted between the back catalogues of his old bands to knock out Can’t Stand Me Now, What Katie Did and Albion – these last two courtesy of his Babyshambles days, of course.
There was even a treat for fans of professional Scouse band The La’s, as Mr Doherty performed Son of A Gun. But an even greater treat was in store as he left the stage during the encore to allow Lee Mavers to put the gig into the realms of the six-out-of-five category with There She Goes.
Photos by Wenn
Setlist by oldgrayfan: delaney - mwtlgo - arcady - LOTER - Killimangiro - 1939 returning - Palace of Bone - Broken Love song - Sweet by and by - New love grows on trees - Salome - Lady dont fall backwards - tell the king - time for heroes - Through the looking glass - Fuck Forever - Beg, Steal or Borrow - A Little Death - I am the Rain
"Most excellent gig!" says Mrs Jones "I especially loved the songs that were played with the full 'combo'. LOTER and Broken Love Song sounded massive. I hope there'll be more like this in the future, not just this tour".
"Brilliant night" says Charred Heart "So good to have Peter back in the land of the living. Life is much better with him present - hope he feels the same way. Songs sounded immense. Peter sang beautifully. My personal fav was Tell the King. loved I am the rain and sweet by and by, salome etc etc. Amazing to see Coxon and Street in the band. Drew & double bass...".
Warning: tonight's gig (Grimsby) has been postponed. Peter is recording Jonathan Ross, fellas!
In the meantime, the very honorable Washington Post reviews G/W.
Carl Barat is back! The Mighty Carlos manifested his finely wrought figure last night at the Gaslight club together with the other hunk of the bunch, i.e. the lovely Drusillo.
Thanks to Nearerdark for providing four videos of the event:
Up the Bracket
What A Waster
Can't Stand Me Now
Peter is playing Leeds tonight. For more info see the GIGS OF THE WEEK section below.
Of course we all know Grace/Wastelands entered the UK's album chart at no. 17. He couldn't win against some degenerated ex-boy band member releasing a record for his mommy (on mommy's day!!! Vomit vomit vomit). Well I think the glorious British nation in the last days has been stricken by some serious virus attacking brain cells. It worries me just a little...
Who cares about mommy's days and other idiocies! We are libertines and we reject idiocies.
Speaking of idiocies, Q magazine has an interview with Peter in the new issue, where the man threatens to headbutt poor Jamie Hince because he's shagging his ex. Of course he'll be talking about many other things. I think. I hope. I.
GIGS OF THE WEEK!!!
23 Mar 2009 20:00 - Leeds 02 Academy
24 Mar 2009 20:00 - Grimsby Auditorium
25 Mar 2009 20:00 - Birmingham 02 Academy
26 Mar 2009 20:00 - Newcastle 02 Academy
27 Mar 2009 20:00 - Edinburgh Picture House
Setlist by Carmine:
Peter played at the Lincoln Engine Shed last night, but I couldn't find anything on the show anywhere, apart from the photo above, which is by James Arnold.
Anyway, whereas LOTER was an undeniable flop last week, it seems the album won't. As I write G/W is at n. 7 in the midweek chart (yesterday it was at n. 5). Maybe a top 10 entry is in the cards after all.
As for my yesterday's post, it came out it wasn't Peter who's moved to Chiseldon but his manager Andy Boyd. Peter is still in his "24 hours" mansion.
And to the guy who asks what Bilo means, I'm not too sure but I think Mr. Peter Doherty senior renamed his son "Billy Bilo" after the character from a comedy they both loved. Maybe my Brit mates might give you a more detailed answer on the matter.
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
It's when he's at his best that one can most clearly gauge his limitations, and they don't leave him much room to move here. Too many of these songs are slim ideas polished to an almost respectable lustre by arrangements which try to add colour to Doherty's monochrome presence without trampling over his anomie.
Pick of the album:'A Little Death around the Eyes', 'Arcadie', 'Last of the English Roses' .
Alexis Petridis (The Guardian): ****
So it is that Grace/Wastelands arrives with a sigh of "Are you still here?" rather than the excitement it might once have engendered: not even the news that Blur's Graham Coxon is on hand to help haul Doherty's bath on wheels up the slope has caused much of a ripple. He was recruited by producer Stephen Street, whose continued presence suggests a laudable generosity of spirit, given the shoddy goods he was expected to work with on the last Babyshambles album. He did his best, but failed, in much the same way as Heston Blumenthal might struggle to create a Michelin-starred meal entirely from oven chips and Reggae Reggae Sauce.
Perhaps Street returned on condition that Doherty came up with some decent songs. Certainly something set him scouring his unreleased stockpile for gems. There are tracks here that date back five years, before the tabloids turned up and Pete became Potty. That might account for the album's frankly astonishing surfeit of memorable tunes; it would certainly explain the lack of smirking references to heroin and crack and of the snivelling self-pity that makes junkies such reliably delightful company. Admittedly, neither are entirely absent. Arcadie comes with a nudge-nudge line about "seraphic pipes", while Sheepskin Tearaway and Sweet By and By return to the perennially winning themes of how it was everyone else's fault that he got chucked by Kate Moss and how it was everyone else's fault that he got kicked out of the Libertines. He squanders one of the album's loveliest melodies on the former, even reverting to that terrible spare-any-change-please whine he kept using on Babyshambles' catastrophic Down in Albion.
But for the first time in a long time, smack and solipsism don't seem to be the whole point. Instead there are songs like the genuinely brilliant 1939 Returning, on which the lyric shifts from an ambiguous portrait of an Englishman in Germany during the second world war - he could be a spy or traitor - to a pensioner recalling her years as an evacuee. Midway through its chorus, there's a beautiful, unexpected chord change, subtly highlighted with strings and a single, tremolo-heavy guitar note. Like the echoing guitar that weaves eerily in and out of the vocals on New Love Grows on Trees, and the lovely, seamless segue between A Little Death Around the Eyes and Salome, it demonstrates the delicacy with which Street and Coxon add shade to Doherty's songs, lending the album a unifying air of understated, small-hours melancholy.
The result isn't perfect, but it's the first album Doherty has been involved with since the Libertines' debut not to require any special pleading. Whether it's enough to arrest his downward slide is an interesting question: there's a distinct possibility that it's now too late, that he's still doomed to see out his days in Last of the Summer Wine style, beloved of a shrinking cabal of dutiful diehard fans, ignored or mocked by virtually everyone else. Listening to Grace/Wastelands, it's hard not to feel that would be a shame. There might still be more to Pete Doherty than an interminable, unutterably depressing comedy of errors.
Peter concluded his Parisian sojourn last night with a private show which saw the participation of the full Babyshambles line up.
"They played at the Neoclub" says Oli "a small night club near the Champs Elysées. Almost accurate order: baddie's, there she goes (a littl h), fuck forever, unstookie, I wish, Killamangiro, Beg steal borrow, Back from the dead, Sedative, Pipedown, Side of the road, and in the middle a bit of Alone Again Or and two songs i didn't recognize (probably two covers). One hour of a pretty shambolic set, the kind which ends with destroyed mics, crowd surfing, and now there's a big hole in neoclub's ceiling. But no real violence nor aggressivity. Peter was really smily, but just terribly exhausted at the very end of the gig. Impressive drumming, and Drew did really the job too. Peter's guitar was less subtle than the previous nights... it was like playtime after the acoustic sets! Surprisingly the crowd was rather good (well, acceptable) - most of people around me were actually there for the music, and many people left the place right after the gig".
And now let's get the party started:
Peter boarding the bus last night in Paris
Can't stand me now on the bus
Good old days in the bus
From last night's gig:
You're my Waterloo
Bollywood to Battersea
Broken Love Song
This is a treat! Gig in a Banjo shop off Commercial Road with random Swedish film crew and Pete at the top of his game... enjoy!
Last night Peter played his second show at the Bataclan, Paris. The most complete report of the night comes from RockerParis.
We also have another beautiful set of photos by Emelineuh on Flickr.
And by nFabula.
RockerParis has also a report of the famous bus ride before the show.
Back to G/W, Q magazine gives 4 stars to the album, with this beautiful review by Rob Fearn (thanks to Onibarker for writing it down):
Peter Doherty - Grace/Wastelands. **** Just when all hope seemed lost, rock’s most hopeless case pulls himself together. With a little help from that nice Graham Coxon from Blur. It’s a long time since Peter Doherty’s music was the story, rather than the chaos that surrounds him. Take the example of Shotter’s Nation, the second Babyshambles album, released in October 2007. The veteran Smiths/Blur producer Stephen Street deserved praise for bringing the band’s haphazard garage rock into focus. A handful of songs (Delivery, UnBiloTitled) stood out. Yet the big Doherty news of that month concerned one of the singer’s kittens, which, according to the Sun had been taught to use a miniature crack pipe. “Sickened” associates of the singer apparently told the tabloid that the moggie suffered from mood swings and the delusion that it could fly. Since then, Doherty has exchanged London’s druggy underworld for the relative calm of Paris and rural Wiltshire. But while the media glare might be less intense, Doherty still finds himself with a mountain to climb: can this first solo album - sandwiched in before a third Babyshambles record later this year - possibly feel like anything more than a sideshow? For the first time since The Libertines imploded, the answer may be yes. Once again Stephen Street handles the production and recruited at his suggestion is Blur guitarist Graham Coxon, who plays on most of the songs, alongside Doherty’s Babyshambles bandmates. It’s possible that the experience was not 100 per cent positive for Coxon - he recently described Doherty as “a scumbag magnet” - but it still feels like an inspired move. Coxon is not called on to reprise the show-stealing guitar heroics of the Blur glory days. Rather, he’s a restrained presence throughout, adding jagged rhythms or classy acoustic support. But it’s likely that Coxon helped in more subtle ways too. The guitarist has battled his own demons in the past, and can presumably empathise with Doherty’s self-destructive tendencies; more importantly, he must have brought a degree of professionalism to the project. The result is an album that, for once, does justice to Doherty’s song writing talent. More than a few of these songs will be familiar to seasoned Doherty-watchers, from bootlegs, YouTube clips and live performances. Grace/Wastelands opens in trademark Dylan-esque style with Arcadie, a deceptively sweet acoustic sketch exploring the themes that have obsessed him since The Libertines, with a utopian paradise of “seraphic pipes” dissolving to a twisted sexual power play. Before long, though, the single The Last Of The English Roses serves notice that something new and pretty special is afoot here. It’s an epic affair that takes its cues from early-90s trip-hop (thunderous dub bass, squawking melodica) and ends up in similar melancholic territory to Damon Albarn’s London concept album The Good, The Bad & The Queen. Lyrically, we’re transported to a nostalgic world of playground fumbles with a girl who “could charm the bees knees off the bees”. From here on in there’s a sense that anything goes, as long as it isn’t guttersnipe indie rock. It can be no accident that the sole example of the latter, a stroppy Libertines-era relic titled Through The Looking Glass, was dropped at the 11th hour. In its place comes I Am The Rain, an engaging collaboration with The Bandits’ John Robinson, one of a number of queasy, acoustic selections that owe a debt to The La’s and The Coral. Broken Love Song, which Doherty co-wrote with his shady mate Wolfman, is a worthy sequel to their 2004 hit For Lovers, flecked with piano teardrops, like an indie rock Massive Attack. Elsewhere, snatches of ‘40s newsreel music and strings befitting a John Barry score add to the sense of adventure. Of course, Peter Doherty being Peter Doherty, he doesn’t know when to stop. How else to explain Sweet By and By, a regrettable exercise in pastiche - part music hall knees-up, part jazz-age whimsy - tied to one of those lyrics about an ex-lover’s betrayal that invariably reads like a comment on Carl Barat.
In the main, though, Doherty the lyricist is firing. The last Babyshambles album suffered from a wearying focus on drugs, dodgy mates and more drugs. Grace/Wastelands probably does contain one too many portraits of smack-addled-romance - try the listless Dot Allison duet Sheepskin Tearaway, with its description of a lover who’s “covered in scars and full of heroin”. But, perhaps because many of these songs predate the tabloid years, there is a broader canvas here. New Love Grows On Trees is a deft skewering of youthful folly as anything by Morrissey. And it’s hard to think of another contemporary songwriter with the confidence to jump from wartime vignettes of “London urchins playing in dust” (on the stripped down 1939 Returning) to the black humour of Salome. The Biblical temptress of the title appears to Doherty on the “coldest of nights” and, accompanied by the supernatural shimmer of strings and cymbals, demands the head of John the Baptist, followed by that of dancer Isadora Duncan, and finally “any bastard on a plate”.
So much, then, for Doherty the busted flush, who succeeded only in fulfilling the prediction of The Libertines’ debut single What A Waster in having “pissed it all up the wall”. Grace/Wastelands isn’t quite the defining statement of his genius that his cheerleaders always insisted was just around the corner, but it demolishes the charge that his talent has been fatally squandered. As the sage-like Coxon wrote on his blog recently, when Doherty “sees through the murk…he can really come up with the goods”. Rob Fearn
As for the NME review, it's positive enough (remember, the rating is 7/10), but the conclusion a bit cold (if righteous): "Where are the new songs, Peter?".
Carl Barat has been reviewed too, by The Guardian's Dave Simpson. Of course we are talking of one of his last Northern dates, not a new record (sigh):
Carl Barat - Escobar, Wakefield ***
Carl Barât has a dilemma: accept the reported £2m on the table to reform the Libertines with his old mucker Peter Doherty, or bide his time with friendly gigs such as this. "It's my first time," he grins sheepishly after picking up the wrong guitar. If he looks a trifle nervous easing into the first of two shows at this tiny venue (his first UK solo appearances since splitting his post-Libertines outfit Dirty Pretty Things), the crowd soon make him feel at home. Barât's career is at something of a crossroads since the demise of DPT, and while some of their songs feature in the set, he is in a Libertine mood. The lyrics of the wistful opener Music When the Lights Go Out - "the memories of the pubs and the clubs ... and the drugs we shared together, will stay with me forever" - gain poignancy in the stripped-down format. There's no Doherty, of course, but supporting guitarist Kieran Leonard joins for Can't Stand Me Now and subtly reminds us how - like Strummer and Jones, or Jagger and Richards - Barât is most effective when he has a foil.Elsewhere, Barât spars with the audience as they trade banter and vocals, the Libertine's special bond with his public undimmed. The atmosphere is special even when the songs are barely audible, and bodies fly as What a Waster crashes into I Get Along. With Doherty cleaning up his act, a Libertines reunion seems somehow closer at the end of this raggedly heroic show.
Peter Doherty came in for a chat at Xfm. It was days before the release of his first album ‘Grace/Wastelands’ and the notorious hell-raiser was in spectacular form. Steve Harris was serenaded with bizarre tunes, treated to a frank conversation about his album and witnessed a few sideswipes at Johnny Borrell and Coldplay.
Among the subjects discussed by the lucid frontman was the production of his debut album, how he’d been conned into making the MTV ‘documentary’ and how EMI refused to let him “die on a khazi”.
You can listen to the spectacular interview again right here.
"A mental gig" Tenia says "with sometimes 9 people on stage: a trio of strings, Adam, Graham Coxon, Drew, a melodica player, a keyboard player (Stephen Street?) and Pete. With Dot Allison and Jack Robinson. 2 pre-show gigs: adam solo; alan wass + another guy. Then Pete & Co with a "classic setlist" (id est: like the other solo shows). Alan Wass went on stage not ONE but TWO times! Completly pissed and screaming on the mic! Then he was pushed in the audience by the security! And at the very end, Pete stagedived! Really funny!".
"This gig was truly magical" says Anjali "Broken Love Song was definite highlight, as well as Time For Heroes. If you've seen Graham Coxon play the solo to T4H then you can die. Peter was so together and played so well i could hardly believe it was him. Must have been an impostor. I've got so many images now in my head, it's hard to make sense. Drew being his usual adorable self and doing a little dance with his double bass, Adam giving it his all, Graham laughing at Peter's silliness, or pretending to kick him in the butt when he was taking too long preparing to start a song... there was such a great atmosphere, and the performance was immaculate".
One last thing, the new NME is out and has the review of G/W. The rating is 7/10. For the rest we shall wait one more day!
You can download it here (thanks to Half Cocked Girl for the tip)
It's a long and emotional interview and Peter seems to speak straight from his heart. The past is past, but the present looks bright and the future even brighter.
Topics addressed were:
Michael Jackson and his blouses
His 30th birthday
"Pete" and "Peter"
The gay kiss in the video
His relationship with Carl Barat
Oscar Wilde (and jail)
Wrong perception of his personality
More celebrity traps
A little death around the eyes
The upcoming tour
Watchmen (the movie)
The NME has also an article on The Road To Albion (the Libertines film) with some footage we already saw. But, enjoy!
Finally, a few G/W reviews:
More (from NME blog):
So, excitment was building all day today as we awaited for Peter Doherty to arrive at NME Radio. Would he show? Would he be late? Would he confirm those rumours of a Libertines reunion which he let slip to Neil Cole when he grabbed Pete and Carl for their only joint interview after last week's NME Awards? Well, first up - Pete's on time. Actually, scrub that - he's early! Twenty minutes early, to be precise. He saunters into the studios, still wearing the rather dapper hat he was sporting at the awards, and is keen to get the interview under way. You'll have to listen to Neil's show on NME Radio tomorrow for the entire thing, but I can reveal that the subject of the Libertines reunion WAS discussed (of course!) and....well, it looks like it's on. The interview covered a wide range of topics - as you might expect, and pulled no punches. By far the most intense moment came when Pete was shown a copy of this week's NME, and reacted to Marianne Faithful saying that Pete had done smack "...to get attention and make him feel special". Pete reaction seemed saddened,angry and exasperated, and his response was equally forthright, calling Marianne Faithfull "..a despicable old hag"(!), and denying that heroin use was all about attention, rather that it was all about hiding away. Amazing stuff - make sure you catch the whole thing with Neil tomorrow on NME Radio.
Ahem: "Thursday 5 march from 9 pm to 12 pm (CET) MIKL and the staff of "Emission Sans Interdit" will host the bad boy of rock (eyeroll) Pete Doherty in the live studio of NRJ radio. Babyshambles' ex vocalist (did I miss something???) will answer MIKL's questions on G/W, his first solo album (out on 16/3). The interview, plus photos and videos, will be available at www.mikl.fr".
- a rave review of Peter's Glasgow gig entitled Reborn in Albion (the show is described as "his best live performance in years")
- a poor review of the Mongrel's album (4/10). Sorry Drew, you'd better concentrate on Helsinki at the moment.
- Fri 6 Mar - Carl Barat + Kieran Leonard + Johnnythefirth at the Escobar, Wakefield
- Sat 7 Mar - Carl Barat + Kieran Leonard + Last Gang + Danny Allison at the Escobar, Wakefield
- Sun 8 Mar - Carl Barat at Ku Bar, Stockton-On-Tees
And since we've been talking about Helsinki, check this out:
Thursday 5 March 7.00pm – 2.00am at Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, London NW1, we have a gig organized by http://www.peaceoneday.org/ with:
- I Blame Coco
Plus Special Guest Appearances from:
- Drew McConnell
- The Eraserheads
And DJ sets from: DJ LIXO (GET ME), DJ TOM MURRY, DJ YEO
also: graffiti battles from HEIRS & ENEMIES
Please give donations at the door.
The band, which features a rotating group of musicians including members of The Strokes' Albert Hammond, Jr., Fionn Regan and Kid Harpoon among others, are planning a 12-track album – with ten of the songs already recorded.
The video for one of the songs, 'Ribtickling', which features McConnell as well as members of The View, can be watched exclusively on NME.COM (my ass. The video was "exclusively" posted on Breck Road Lovers on 2 Dec 2008, note by EZ).
McConnell told NME.COM, "Helsinki is an entity that came into being unwittingly, a cloud of friends who at many points over the last two years found ourselves gigging and recording a handful of my songs for disparate reasons, ranging from charity endeavours to just finding ourselves in the same city with a few days to kill with itchy fingers.
"We've now cut 10 studio tracks and plan to record two more and release a Helsinki record before the end of the year."