The Libertines 2015


Words by Billie Jenkins Photo by Tom Jenkins

The Libertines have announced that 2015 will bring a new album, their first in eleven years. With the awkward soundbite ’We’re still relevant’ from Pete Doherty knocking around (In interview with The Daily Record), personally I’m resisting the urge to dust off my military jacket just yet.
Their Reading/Leeds reunion was an incredible gig for anyone who was just that bit to young to see them in their heyday, but had grown up with their romantic, laddish cockney exuberance playing through the stereo. On stage it was not The Libertines that once existed though, the energy was off and the strange brotherhood tinged with hate between Carl and Pete felt a little bit of a half truth, a contrived crowd pleaser as much as anything. I didn’t care, I was high, and I fucking loved the Libertines.
Years later I saw Pete play solo. The first few years after the band dissipated Doherty was a hive of activity, rambling mix tapes, frequent four track releases, jam sessions with wolf man that made it to the shelves of Rough Trade. The tour I saw came at a darker time, he had just been released from prison, and it felt as if this was a stab at regaining some financial stability. Or a cash cow for the leeches of the music industry. More likely the later. In a huge venue with an unforgivingly bright stage he looked like a child who had been pushed out to play a recital for the school when he wasn’t ready. The slew of teenagers, who wanted to see their favourite fuck-up sing Libertine songs, were a cruel crowd. At one point he asked if he should lose his fee and light up, a chorus of starry eyed kids screamed yes, I wanted to leave. This definitely wasn’t a man still relevant.

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