It’s nearly 20 years since The Libertines failed to be the ‘saviours of rock’n’roll’, no matter how much they were forced into that role by the NME, who overhyped them to the point of absurdity. It was even weirder than the mass psychosis over The Strokes.
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat left behind some indie disco classics like Up the Bracket and Can’t Stand Me Now, the kind of songs that’ll be played alongside I Am the Resurrection and Mr Brightside at a certain type of student night – but you still get the nagging feeling that Doherty’s biggest legacy on a generation was indie lads wearing Trilby hats to festivals.
His post-Babyshambles third act once again calls on his punk hero Joe Strummer, but often the Clash man’s raspy roots rock years with the Mescaleroes — most notably on opener All At Sea.
While Babyshambles sounded like the Libertines running on fumes, his first album with the Puta Madres feels brittle and honest, with rustic fiddles, organ and ragged rock’n’roll, even if it feels slight and decidedly average.
And just when you thought he left his tabloid past behind, check out this headline from during the week: “Pete Doherty hospitalised following hedgehog injury.” It could’ve been worse. It generally is with Doherty.
- Peter Doherty & the Puta Madres play the Limelight in Belfast tonight and The Academy in Dublin tomorrow.