Four go mad . . . everywhere
They grab headlines more with their antics than their music, so why if at all, should we care about THE LIBERTINES? Words: Camilla Pia.
ecisions about music are usually simpler than
this. Brody Dalle easily outpunks Pink's co-
writer Tim Armstrong. Sons and Daughters. the Duke Spirit and X is Loaded are the most mind— blowingly magnificent of new acts. and as for the blandest dullards I‘ve heard in a while'.’ It‘s got to be a toss up between Dido. Michelle McManus and (iary Jules. and that’s the beauty of our pop stars. Just like Marmite and Ifustlimlt'rs. you either love them or hate them. Ask me where I stand on the Libertines. however. and that's a tough one. In a world where our Britney's and Christmas are transparently gonzoid. the antics of singers/guitarists (‘arl Barat and Pete Doherty are a little bit harder to work out.
So just what exactly are they all about‘.’ Much of
their loveable charm. or irritating chatter. depending on where you stand in the debate. lies in the fact that it's all based on a mysterious concoction of intoxicated rambling and carefully designed spin. They hooked up in 1996. so the story goes. when Pete and (‘arl made a pact in the Iiast Iind of London to ‘sail the good ship Albion to Arcadia. AKA the realm of the infinite. or the place where cigarettes grow on trees and all the benches are made of denim'. After various pit stops in brothels. stabbings in cinemas. squats. jobs as rent boys and a brief spell with a 70-year-old drummer who allegedly used to be in the Sex Pistols. they got together with drummer (iary Powell and bassist John IIassall and. in 2002. released debut LP. Up the Bracket. produced by ex-(‘lash man Mick Jones.
All of this. although an entertaining read. was always a little too far fetched to be believed so it would be good to be able to finally judge the music. Yet that proved tricky yet again. After the scratchy melodic brilliance of debut single 'What a Waster/‘I (let Along'. this first LP was something of a mixed bag. (‘ertainly there were exceptional moments. like snappy handclap-filled sing—along ‘Vertigo‘. the
melancholy-imbued melody of ‘I)eath on the Stairs‘ and the heady romance of ‘Radio America‘. but they were disappointingly counterbalanced by ropey. seemingly half-arsed attempts and fillers.
Last year‘s drug addled soap opera of Pete I)oherty"s pop career simply made things even more confusing. He failed to show fora liuropean tour. went solo. started a new band and eventually wound up in
jail for six months. addicted to heroin and crack. after
robbing Barat’s llat. It certainly made for fascinating headlines. but didn‘t make it any easier to take the Libertines as a serious musical proposition. ()n the
other hand. we finally saw a refreshing element of
reality and genuine emotion from Barat and I)oherty that cut through the initial hype. and it was heart- warming to see them turn the untimely disintegration of the band into a joyous celebration of their music and relationship. culminating in some — by all accounts — storming end of year reunion shows. Now the Libertines are gearing up for their forthcoming tour which will
see Pete‘n‘(‘arl re-united on a LIFE HAD DESCENDED INTO DRUG ADDLED SOAP OPERA
Barrowland stage. attracting the type of hysterical fan devotion usually reserved for legends like Morrissey. When they get it right they make fora phenomenal live proposition. churning out tense and sweaty performances that were made more exhilarating by the obvious chemistry between them. So are the Libertines just pretentious. Jam-aping wannabes or are the critics right in proclaiming them the greatest British band around'.’ These shows and the hiinly-anticipated second LP will surely put our minds at rest. After all. rock'n‘roll stories and bands who live on the edge are exciting and sadly rare in the modern. regimented music world. but they're not the stuff a long—lasting career is made of. I won‘t be alone. I'm sure. in watching closely. because this really must be crunch time.
Barrowland, Glasgow, Tue 2 Mar.
All the chores, bores and brand new scores in the wonderful world of music
THE LINE-UP FOR TRIPTYCH has now been unveiled. The festival has expanded this year to five days and boasts a huge mix that includes Wire, John Peel, Fairport Convention and Kid 606. See news on page 4 for full details.
ADDITIONS TO THE LINE-UP FOR T in the Park keep coming with the Chemical Brothers being announced as headliners for the Slam tent and the Pixies scheduled to appear on the Saturday at the main stage. Other names rumoured. although unconfirmed at present. include Franz Ferdinand. Athlete and the Cure.
PARAGON ENSEMBLE ARE requesting submission of new pieces of music. The idea is to compose something for oboe viola, drum kit and trombone or a combination of any of these. For full details of how to enter visit www.paragon- ensemble.com
FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A WHOLE truckload of Ninja Tune goodies and tickets for their club night in Glasgow this month see Word Up in Clubs on page 77.
GOOD NEWS FOR LAST month’s cover stars Franz Ferdinand, whose live set at the Buchanan Street Wrgin Megastore on 9 February broke the shop’s record for sales in one day by shifting 750 copies. The record was previously held by the Manics with their last album This is my Truth . . .
which sold a measly 300 copies.
WIN ELIZA CARTHY TICKETS!
Folk chanteuse and fiddler Eliza Carthy is making a welcome return to the Edinburgh Venue on Sunday 29 February. If you want top get your hands on a pair of tickets for the show then just email us at email@example.com with y0ur name and home phone number by Wednesday 25 February. Usual List rules apply.
15) Tel) <11 Mar 7004 THE LIST 47