The Libertines

Sometimes, it takes me a while to notice something’s going on. [1] This often happens with music, where I’ll be aware of some song or other, like it a lot but manage not to register its title, much less the identity of the performer.[2] Anyway, the first time I was consciously aware of The Libertines was last year’s one-off single Don’t Look Back Into The Sun.

Since then, the Pete & Carl story has developed into a long running soap opera, which may yet lead to the band splitting completely. This would be a great shame, as they are actually rather good[3]. Their second album (pretty picture above) came out a couple of weeks ago, and thanks to a combination of massive publicity and some actual good music, went straight to the top of the UK album chart. I got it from those nice people, so I had it a few days early :grin: , which was nice.

It opens with recent single Can’t Stand Me Now, which has frontmen Pete Doherty and Carl Barat trading verses documenting events of the last year or so:

An ending fitting for the start
you twist and tore our love apart
your light fingers threw[4] the dark
that shattered the lamp and into darkness cast us

That would be when Pete burgled Carl’s flat to get money for his unfortunate chemical dependencies, and for which he spent a few months in prison…

No you’ve got it the wrong way round
you shut me up and blamed it on the brown
cornered the boy kicked out at the world….
the world kicked back a lot f***n'[5] harder

And that would be Pete.

It’s a great track. I’m not sure if the fact that it’s a real argument makes it better or not[6], but it is so good that it emphasises what a great loss it would be to music if Pete and Carl can’t sort things out[7].

There’s more, much more, ending with what will apparently be the next single, What Became of the Likely Lads[8], which ends with

Oh what became of forever?
Oh what became of forever?
We’ll never know!

Let’s hope we do find out…..

And once you’ve absorbed the new album, you’ll want to catch up on the first one, Up the Bracket which includes the quite glorious Time for Heroes, a song which on listening to the CD for the first time gave me yet another of those “Ohhhhhhhhh!” moments[9].

Incidentally, both albums were produced by Mick Jones, best known for his days in another band with multiple front men and loads of attitude. The Clash. Now if the Libs can hold together long enough, they could be right up there with those guys. All relevant appendages crossed.

[1] For an abitrarily “frequent” value of “sometimes”
[2] See other music posts for evidence
[3] More of my understatement stuff :smile:
[4] That’s the spelling in the CD booklet :rolleyes:
[5] I’m never sure what to do about the “f” word and its friends. I use them in private conversation and email, but I feel awkward about putting them on a public webpage. Most odd.
[6] Rumour has it that when the album was being recorded, it was on occasion necessary to prevent Pete and Carl[8] from harming each other….

[7] Carl has thrown Pete out of the band until he sorts out his chemical issues. Pete seems to be having a lot of trouble with that…
[8] Not to be confused with 70s sitcom Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads
[9] See other music posts, etc, etc

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