The Libertines


The Libertines

Infobox musical artist
Name = The Libertines


Img_capt = The Libertines, clockwise from top left: Carl Barât, Gary Powell, Pete Doherty, John Hassall
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = London, England
Genre = Garage rock revival
Indie rock
Punk rock
Years_active = 1997–2004
Label = Rough Trade
Associated_acts = Babyshambles
Dirty Pretty Things
Yeti
The Chavs
Razorlight
URL = [http://www.thelibertines.org.uk/ Official website] (down)
Current_members = Carl Barât
Pete Doherty
John Hassall
Gary Powell
Past_members = Anthony Rossomando
Steve Bedlow
Paul Dufour
Johnny Borrell

The Libertines were an English indie rock band. Formed in London in 1997 by frontmen Pete Doherty (vocals/rhythm guitar) and Carl Barât (vocals/lead guitar), the band also included John Hassall (bass) and Gary Powell (drums) for most of its recording career. Part of what was described as the garage rock revival movement of that time, the band was centred on the song-writing partnership of Barat and Doherty.

The band gained some notoriety [cite web
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4749448.stm
title = Saluting the Libertines' legend
accessdate = 2007-11-28
author = Dowling, Stephen
date = 2006-03-03
publisher = BBC News
quote = won notoriety for the tumultuous relationship between front men Pete Doherty and Carl Barat
] in the early 2000s. Although initially their mainstream success was limited, their profile grew culminating in a #2 single and #1 album in the UK Charts. In December 2004, their self-titled second album was voted the second best album of the year by "NME". Both of their full-length LPs were produced by Mick Jones, of the British punk band The Clash.

However, the band's music was often eclipsed by its internal conflicts, many of which stemmed from Doherty's addictions to crack cocaine and heroin, ultimately resulting in the breakup of the band. Doherty has since claimed that the breakup of the band has been due to relationship difficulties between Barat and himself, not relating to his drug addictions. The members of The Libertines have gone on to new bands, with varying degrees of commercial and critical success.

History

1997–2001: Early history

The founding members of The Libertines, Carl Barât and Pete Doherty, met when Barât was studying drama at Brunel University in Uxbridge, and sharing a flat in Richmond with Amy-Jo Doherty, the older sister of Pete. This lasted until they realized their collective creative capabilities, and forged a bond over their similar passion for writing melodies and Doherty's love of The Smiths. [cite web
url=http://www.rockfeedback.com/article.asp?nObjectID=1481
publisher=rockfeedback.com
title=The Libertines - Various, UK, Throughout 2002
accessdate=2007-03-19
author=Toby L
date=2004-02-09
] Barât abandoned his drama course two years in; Pete left his English literature course at Queen Mary College, University of London after only a year, and they moved into a flat together on the Camden Road in North London.

They formed a band with their neighbour Steve Bedlow, commonly referred to as Scarborough Steve, and named themselves The Strand, later renamed to The Libertines after Marquis de Sade's "Lust of the Libertines" ("The Albions" was also considered, but rejected). They met John Hassall and Johnny Borrell, who played with the Libertines for one practice playing bass. They arranged another practice, which Borrell did not attend. They telephoned him to discover he was on tour "living the high life." Thus John Hassall joined the band as bassist. At this stage, they had no consistent drummer. They began playing gigs, with many of them taking place in the flat Doherty and Barât shared.

Within a few weeks, they had booked themselves into the Odessa studios to record 3 songs, assisted by Gwyn Mathias (who had previously worked with the Sex Pistols). However, they were disappointed by their scheduled drummer, so Mathias enlisted the help of Paul Dufour at short-notice who agreed to record with the band for £50. At 54, he was considerably older than the others. Despite the age difference, Dufour was impressed enough by the band to join it, and they started doing more recording sessions and playing gigs at venues further afield. Roger Morton, a journalist from the NME, went to see them play in Islington and thought they had potential, so he and a friend offered to manage The Libertines. Despite a separate offer from an experienced member of the music industry, John Waller, The Libertines accepted Morton's services as manager. However, Morton would eventually give up the job after an unsuccessful six months.

In March 2000, they met Banny Poostchi who was a lawyer for Warner Chappell Music Publishing. Recognizing their potential, she took on an active role in managing them. They recorded "Legs 11", a set of their best 8 tracks (and later a popular bootleg recording among fans). However, by December 2000, they had still not been signed and this caused Dufour, Hassall and Pootschi to part ways with The Libertines. [cite news
publisher=NME
title="We're from pandemonia and that's where we're going to remain"
date=2002-06-08
accessdate=2007-03-19
] [cite web
url=http://www.freewilliamsburg.com/september_2004/libertines.html
publisher=Free Williamsburg
title=The Libertines
author=Laurence, Alexander
month=September | year=2004
accessdate=2007-03-19
] The success of The Strokes, a band with a similar style, made Pootschi reconsider her position. She made a plan (dubbed "Plan A") to get them signed to the record label Rough Trade within 6 months. In this period, they wrote many of the songs which ended up on their first album. Gary Powell was recruited to play drums as Paul Dufour was deemed by Pootschi as 'too old'. On 1 October 2001, they played a showcase for James Endeacott from Rough Trade. His support led to them playing for the Rough Trade bosses, Geoff Travis and Jeanette Lee, on the 11 December that year and they were told they would be signed, with the official deal happening on 21 December.

They were in need of a bassist so Hassall eventually rejoined the band but was informed he would have to stay in the background; the band would be focused on the partnership of Doherty and Barât. Doherty and Barât rented a flat together at 112a Teesdale Street which they named "The Albion Rooms" (a venue that became a location for many of their guerrilla gigs).

2002–2003: "Up the Bracket"

Now with a firm line-up, they began to play more gigs and supported The Strokes and The Vines in quick succession. [cite web
url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/southampton/music/libertines_iv.shtml
publisher=BBC News
title=The Libertines Interview
date=2002-10-28
accessdate=2007-03-19
] This succeeded in spreading their name around the music press, with the NME taking a particular interest in them (an interest which continued throughout their career).

Their first single was a double A-side of "What a Waster" and "I Get Along", produced by former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler. It was released on 3 June to a lukewarm media reaction and received very little airplay due to its liberal use of profanities. A somewhat 'beeped' version occurring as (BBC Radio 1 Djs) Mark and Lard's single of the week. They featured on their first cover of the NME in the week it came out. The single reached #37 in the UK Singles Chart.

Their first album was recorded and produced by Mick Jones formerly of The Clash. [cite web
url=http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/l/libertines-upthebracket.shtml
publisher=Popmatters
title=The Libertines
date=2003-03-20
accessdate=2007-03-19
] Entitled "Up the Bracket", it was recorded at the RAK studios in St John's Wood, with the mixing taking place at Whitfield studios. During this time, the band were playing as many gigs as possible (over 100 in 2002 alone) including support acts for the Sex Pistols and Morrissey.

Their second single and title track from the album, "Up the Bracket", was released on 30 September and charted at #29. This was soon followed by the release on the 21 October of the album, which charted at #35. They won Best New Band at the NME Awards for that year and Barât moved out of The Albion Rooms.

2003: Problems

During the recording of "Up the Bracket" and in the subsequent touring, Doherty's drug use had increased greatly (he was using both crack cocaine and heroin by this time) and his relationship with the rest of the band deteriorated. The band had become fractious, and some of this tension was visible in their performances. Doherty expressed himself in "The Books of Albion", his personal collection of notes, thoughts and poems, and also more and more frequently on the libertines.org fan forums. His posts and writings at this time were unpredictable: at times, he seemed distressed and angry; at others, he came across as calm and happy.

They went to the U.S. to promote themselves and work on new material. While in New York around May 2003, they recorded the "Babyshambles Sessions". As a mark of their commitment to the band, Doherty and Barât both got tattoos of the word "Libertine" on their arms. The prelude to this moment can be heard on "The Good Old Days" from the Babyshambles sessions, in which, after the lyric "A list of things we said we'd do tomorrow" Doherty yells 'Get a tattoo!' However, Barât became increasingly exasperated with the people Doherty was associating with and the drugs that came with them. Barât quit the sessions in disgust and Doherty finished recording alone. The sessions were given to a fan called Helen Hsu who, as Doherty allegedly instructed, put them free onto the internet.

Tensions grew further back in the UK as Doherty organised and played guerrilla gigs, which Barât did not attend. Their new single, "Don't Look Back Into The Sun" saw the return of Bernard Butler as producer. The lyrical quality of the song was praised, and this was held as a prime example of Doherty and Barât's songwriting talents. However, Doherty did not work well with Butler and was rarely present, so it had to be pieced together from the vocals he provided with Butler himself recording Doherty's guitar parts.

As Barât's birthday approached, Doherty organised a special celebration gig in an attempt to smooth the tensions between them. Barât, however, was already attending a party with some of his friends, and the hosts convinced him not to leave. Doherty was left to play the gig himself.

Doherty then neglected to go on the tour of Europe, after Barât failed to turn up to a gig organised by him. Doherty had felt betrayed and was unwilling to associate himself with Barât at that time. The Libertines were forced to play without Doherty: a guitar technician learned his guitar parts and several songs were dropped altogether. Soon, however, the positions changed and it was Barât who refused to let Doherty into the band unless he cleaned himself up. [cite web
url=http://www.nme.com/news/libertines/14490
publisher=NME
title=We Don't Get Along!
date=2003-06-19
accessdate=2007-03-19
] [cite web
url=http://www.nme.com/news/libertines/14505
publisher=NME
title=Pete- Libertines Speak Out
date=2003-06-20
accessdate=2007-03-19
] Doherty continued to play with Babyshambles whilst The Libertines (without Doherty) completed tour commitments in Japan. Distraught and angry, Doherty burgled Barât's flat taking several items and being subsequently arrested. On 11 August, he pleaded guilty at the preliminary hearing to the charge of burglary. [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/3142801.stm
publisher=BBC News
title=Musician admits burgling bandmate's flat
date=2003-08-12
accessdate=2007-03-19
] [cite web
url=http://www.nme.com/news/libertines/15033
publisher=NME
title=Pete Libertine Goes to Jail
date=2003-09-08
accessdate=2007-11-28
]

Amidst the internal turmoil, "Don't Look Back Into The Sun" was released on 18 August and charted at #11, the highest position they had managed at that point. The Libertines played the Carling Weekend with replacement guitarist Anthony Rossomando (who later joined Dirty Pretty Things). On 7 September, Judge Roger Davies sentenced Doherty to 6 months in prison. He served his sentence in Wandsworth prison. This sentence was later reduced on appeal by Judge Derek Inman to two months. [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3149610.stm
publisher=BBC News
title=Libertines singer's sentence cut
date=29 September 2003
accessdate=2006-01-06
] [cite web
url=http://www.xfm.co.uk/Article.asp?b=news&id=13717
publisher=xfm
title=Libertine Reunited with Liberated Pete
accessdate=2007-03-19
]

2003–2004: Second album and the end of The Libertines

Barât was waiting for Doherty outside the prison when he was released. After an emotional reunion they played a gig the same day at the Tap'n'Tin pub, in Chatham, Kent [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3178394.stm
publisher=BBC News
title=Libertines reunite at freedom gig
date=9 October 2003
accessdate=2006-01-06
] - with both Hassall and Powell who had not been expected to come. The show became NME's Gig Of The Year. The Libertines went on to play three consecutive sold-out dates at the London Forum in mid-December 2003 (these gigs being named amongst the top 100 gigs of all time by "Q Magazine") ending in stage invasions from the fans. [cite web
url=http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1111104,00.html
publisher=The Observer
title=Masters and commanders
date=21 December 2003
accessdate=2006-01-06
] They also went on a widely-acclaimed UK tour in March 2004, including three more consecutive sold-out dates in London, this time at Brixton Academy.

Banny Pootschi resigned and was replaced as manager by Alan McGee, who was previously the founder and MD of Creation Records (most famous for signing Oasis) and would later become manager of Dirty Pretty Things. They continued to play gigs and commenced recording of their second album with Bernard Butler. However, the relationship between Doherty and Butler was as unsuccessful as before and the attempts were soon abandoned. In early 2004, The Libertines won Best Band in the NME awards, despite the fact that "Don't Look Back Into The Sun" was their only official release during the preceding year.

Mick Jones returned as producer for the second attempt to record the second album. However, Doherty had returned to his old ways and habits, so relationships were strained. Security hired for the protection of Doherty and Barât often had to be used to keep them from fighting. On the side from The Libertines, Doherty had recorded the vocals for "For Lovers", a song written by his friend and local poet Peter "Wolfman" Wolfe. This was released on 13 April and reached #7 in the charts, eclipsing The Libertines' best single to that date. Despite Barât's intolerance of Wolfe and the drugs, he recorded guitar for the B-side to the single. The album had been finished and Doherty left the mixing and dubbing to the others; he would never return to the studios with The Libertines. On 14 May 2004 he was admitted to The Priory, a high-profile retreat, in an attempt to beat his addictions. [cite web
url=http://www.xfm.co.uk/Article.asp?id=25169
publisher=xfm.co.uk
title=Peter Doherty Admitted To The Priory
accessdate=2006-01-06
] He left there early, [cite web
url=http://www.nme.com/news/108598.htm
publisher=NME.com
title=Pete Libertines leaves drug rehab
date=24 May 2004
accessdate=2006-01-06
archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20060117021606/http://www.nme.com/news/108598.htm
archivedate=2006-01-17
] returned but then left again a week later on 7 June.

During this time, Barât had been setting up a weekly clubnight called Dirty Pretty Things (a later dispute forced it to be renamed Bright Young Things) at the Infinity Club in the West End. The day Doherty left the Priory for the second time, he went to the club and spoke with Barât, with Hassall and Powell present as well. Doherty told him that he was going to Wat Tham Krabok in Thailand to get clean. The Libertines performed a short set that night: it was the last time they would all play together, and the last time Doherty would speak to Barât for more than 9 months. [cite web
url=http://www.nme.com/news/108749.htm
publisher=NME.com
title=Pete rejoins The Libertines
date=8 June 2004
accessdate=2006-01-06
archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20060220022945/http://www.nme.com/news/108749.htm
archivedate=2006-02-20
]

Doherty's rehab was, once again, unsuccessful. He abandoned the monastery and went to Bangkok to find drugs. The rest of The Libertines, with Rossomando stepping-in once more as replacement guitarist, played gigs to promote the album and fulfil commitments (having already cancelled some gigs once, to do again would have been too expensive). On 17 June, back in England, Doherty was arrested for possession of an offensive weapon. He pleaded not guilty and was sentenced on 1 September to 4 months in prison, but the sentence was suspended for 12 months. [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3618908.stm
publisher=BBC News
title=Ex-Libertine escapes prison term
date=1 September 2004
accessdate=2006-01-06
] The Libertines did not let Doherty play with them but promised "When he cleans up his addictions he will be immediately welcomed back into the band". [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3852977.stm
publisher=BBC News
title=Libertines star pleads not guilty
date=30 June 2004
accessdate=2006-01-06
] However, Doherty had managed to achieve growing success and fame with his new venture, Babyshambles, which further reduced the likelihood of reconciliation.

Meanwhile, The Libertines were still releasing fresh material. The new single "Can't Stand Me Now", which detailed the breakdown of the ailing frontmen's once seemingly cast iron friendship, and illustrated the love/hate relationship between Doherty and Barât was released on 9 August, and charted at #2. The song included Doherty asking a question - 'Have we enough to keep it together?'. Their eponymous second album was released in late August and topped the album chart. Their final single, "What Became of the Likely Lads" reached #9.

The Libertines played their last show in Paris on the 17 December, still without Doherty. [cite web
url=http://www.nme.com/news/110872.htm
publisher=NME.com
title=The Libertines play last ever show
date=18 December 2004
accessdate=2006-01-06
archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20041229233833/www.nme.com/news/110872.htm
archivedate=2005-11-15
] Barât chose to then dissolve The Libertines as he was no longer willing to tour and record under the name without Doherty. [ [http://karaadora.livejournal.com/127007.html The Word interviews Carl Barât, 2004] ]

Reunions

Doherty and Barât remained out of contact for several months after The Libertines had ended. However, on 18 April 2005, at around 11:30pm, Pete Doherty and Carl Barât reunited at the Boogaloo Bar in Highgate, North London. This was said to be a friendly meeting and was the first time the pair had met since 8 June 2004, just before Doherty went to Thailand. The reunion took place when Barât arrived at the bar at 10pm and was told there was a strong possibility that his former bandmate would also be visiting the pub that evening. Upon learning a reunion was possible, Barât told journalist Anthony Thornton that "it might as well happen now, because it’s going to happen sometime". The pair were said to have seemed nervous at first, but greeted each other with a hug, before talking together on a leather sofa. [cite web
url=http://www.nme.com/news/112084.htm
publisher=NME.com
title=Libertines Reunion
date=18 April 2005
accessdate=2006-01-06
archiveurl=http://web.archive.org/web/20060209090756/http://www.nme.com/news/112084.htm
archivedate=2006-02-09
] Barât has also said that The Libertines are only "on ice" and that he is in "intermittent contact" with Doherty. [cite web
url=http://www.gigwise.com/news.asp?contentid=16776
publisher=Gigwise.com
title=Carl Barat: The Libertines Are 'On Ice'
date=6 May 2006
accessdate=2006-01-06
]

The next sighted meeting of the pair was on 18 July 2006, at the Dublin Castle pub in Camden, London. [cite web
url=http://www.nme.com/news/libertines/23667
publisher=NME.com
title=Libertines Reunion
date=18 July 2006
accessdate=2006-01-06
] They also talked to the Los Angeles band The Tender Box who were playing the venue that night. They said in the NME "Who knows if they will reform? It seemed like there was a lot of chemistry between them." [NME 29 July 2006, page 4)] Barât said in a later interview that it was "all a bit public for my liking. I was blind drunk that night." [cite news
author = Moody, Paul
title = Carl Barat: Libertine in Exile
work = NME
pages = 20-22
date = 2006-12-02
]

The pair were temporarily re-united at the 2007 NME Awards. After being guided over to Doherty's table by his entourage, Barât and Doherty talked for a while at the table, before going off to the bar. According to the NME, they seemed to be really getting on well, even though they had not met since the Dublin Castle meeting of 2006. [(NME 10 March 2007, page 39)]

On 12 April 2007 at the Hackney Empire, London, Barât joined Doherty on stage to play through some old Libertines songs together, their first live performance since the pair originally split. The reunited duo played: "What a Waster", "Death on the Stairs", "The Good Old Days", "What Katie Did", "Dilly Boys", "Seven Deadly Sins", "France", "Tell the King", "Don't Look Back Into the Sun", "Dream a Little Dream of Me", "Time for Heroes", "Albion", and "The Delaney". [cite web
url = http://www.nme.com/news/the-libertines/27681
title = The Libertines reunite at Hackney gig
accessdate = 2007-04-13
date = 2007-04-12
publisher = NME.com
]

However, both Doherty and Barât have remarked that this was a one-off. Quelling the rumours of more shows together, Barât said: "We're both doing different things and I'm really into Dirty Pretty Things... I'm focused on Dirty Pretty Things' new album." Meanwhile Doherty revealed that in addition to a solo acoustic album, he and Babyshambles were going into the studio to work on their new album with Stephen Street. [cite web
url = http://www.nme.com/news/the-libertines/27901
title = The Libertines speak about reunion
accessdate = 2007-04-25
date = 2007-04-25
publisher = NME.com
]

BBC Radio 2 rerecorded the entire "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" for the 40th Anniversary of the album in June 2007, and Doherty and Barât covered the track "A Day in the Life" for the project. It was the first time they recorded a song together since April 2004. [cite web
url = http://www.nme.com/news/the-libertines/29001
title = Libertines Pete and Carl reunite for Beatles recording
accessdate = 2007-06-16
date = 2007-06-15
publisher = NME.com
]

Rumours circulated of a possible Libertines reunion at the Sunday date of the Glastonbury festival. Both related bands Babyshambles and Dirty Pretty Things played sets on the Saturday. However, a reunion did not take place but Doherty performed an unexpected set on the Sunday, an intimate solo acoustic show.

On 29 June, Doherty was a guest on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, where, when prompted, he hinted at a possible reunion of the band. Doherty joked that Barât was down on money and could do with the revenue of a reunion tour. Later that year, it was announced that a new 'best of album', entitled "Time for Heroes - The Best of the Libertines" would be released on 29 October 2007. Its tracklisting contains no unreleased songs. [ cite web
url = http://www.nme.com/news/the-libertines/31259
title = The Libertines to release new album next month
accessdate = 2007-09-21
date = 2007-09-21
publisher = NME.com
]

Although other ex-members of The Libertines are not reportedly involved, Pete Doherty and Carl Barat will collaborate on a "rock'n'roll" musical for the Donmar Warehouse in London, currently without an estimated completion date. [ [http://music.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,2275538,00.html?gusrc=rss&feed=39 Pete Doherty to write rock'n'roll musical with former Libertines bandmate | Stage | guardian.co.uk ] ] However, Barât has recently rubbished rumours that the pair are recording new material, saying that he has not seen Doherty 'for donkey's' and the musical 'is off'. [ [http://www.nme.com/news/the-libertines/37746 Pete Doherty and Carl Barat 'not working together again' | News | NME.COM ] ]

In May 2008, Barât said that he would reunite with Doherty only to make a new album, but also said that he wanted to 'let it be for a while' as he was busy with his new band. Despite referring to his relationship with Doherty as 'a friendship I cherish' and stating that a reunion would not be difficult, they currently do not have any firm plans to record together again. [ [http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/dirty-pretty-things--a-band-on-the-run-836575.html Dirty Pretty Things - a band on the run - Features, Music - The Independent ] ] [ [http://www.nme.com/news/dirty-pretty-things/37785 Carl Barat: 'I'm too busy for a Libertines reunion' | News | NME.COM ] ]

In a July 2008 interview, Barât said that The Libertines had 'unfinished business' and that he missed performing with Doherty, which he was particularly reminded of at their Hackney Empire gig. At the question of a Libertines reformation, he stated that it is 'a big maybe'. [ [http://www.nme.com/news/the-libertines/37875 Carl Barat: 'The Libertines have unfinished business' | News | NME.COM ] ]

On 17 September 2008, Doherty was playing a private gig at the Prince of Wales pub in Camden as part of London Fashion Week. Towards the end of the 45 minute set Barât was led onstage by security to join his former bandmate. The reunion appeared to be unplanned; Doherty greeted Barât with the exclamation, "Stone me, Carl!" With trademark chemistry, the pair played a variety of Libertines songs including 'Time for Heroes,' 'Don't Look Back Into The Sun,' 'Horrorshow,' 'France,' and 'Death on the Stairs,' as well as a cover of Oasis' 'Don't Look Back In Anger'. This is the first time Barât and Doherty have played together publicly since April 2007. Though they appeared close in an interview following the show, their intentions regarding future collaborations remain cryptic. Barât also stated he had a new tattoo, with the words 'let's put our futures behind us', which could indicate a possible forgiveness and reunion with Doherty. [ [http://www.mtv.co.uk/channel/mtvuk/news/446453-pete-carl-together-again MTV UK: Pete & Carl Together Again] ]

On October 1, 2008, it was announced that Barât's band, Dirty Pretty Things would split after a month long UK tour. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/music/newsid_7646000/7646884.stm] ] In a statement, the band said it was time for them "to try new things" but added that these would not involve The Libertines. [ [http://www.dirtyprettythingsband.com/index.php/news/more/dirty_pretty_things_official_announcement/] ]

Musical style and legacy

Doherty and Barât had different influences musically. Doherty was inspired by bands such as (principally) The Jam, The Smiths, Suede and Chas & Dave. Barât admired The Velvet Underground, The Clash, The Doors and Django Reinhardt. Doherty liked the written works of William Blake, Emily Dickinson and Thomas Chatterton, whereas Barât preferred Saki and the Edwardian idea of wit.

On their collective sound, Doherty commented that "if Oasis is the sound of a council estate singing its heart out, then the Libertines sounded like someone just put in the rubbish chute at the back of the estate, trying to work out what day it is". [Interview, 7 Ages Of Rock - Indie / BBC1 2007]

Doherty and Barât followed one common dream whilst in The Libertines: "It's either to the top of the world, or the bottom of that river." Referring to the River Thames, Barât once said this phrase to Doherty in the early days of their friendship.

The Libertines' lyrics occasionally reference their idea of sailing on "the good ship Albion to Arcadia". This idea was especially important to Doherty who has continued the theme when writing for Babyshambles. He thinks of Arcadia as a utopia without any rules or authority. [cite web
url=http://arts.guardian.co.uk/fridayreview/story/0,,871348,00.html
publisher=The Guardian
title='We believe in melody, hearts and minds'
date=10 January 2003
accessdate=2006-01-06
]

Their recordings were fairly lo-fi. Mick Jones' recording method was hands-off: he allowed the band to perform one song several times through and would then choose the best take. He performed minimal mixing and dubbing. Bernard Butler was less strict with this, however the final sound still came across as raw and unpolished.

The band has been compared to many classic British rock bands, as their angle on rock is uniquely English. The resemblance to The Beatles, both in their mop-top appearance and their wild yet melodic music, is striking. Their sound is often likened to that of The Jam and The Kinks' early records as well as The Clash's first album and early singles. They are perhaps most similar to pioneer rockers, Buzzcocks. Morrissey is another strong influence cited by the band members. Many of their lyrics refer to elements of British life, use English/cockney slang and are sung in a near-drunken sounding slur. In their attitude they are sometimes compared to the Sex Pistols due to their chaotic and energetic live performances. [cite web
url=http://www.popmatters.com/music/reviews/l/libertines-upthebracket.shtml
publisher=PopMatters
title=Up the Bracket
date=20 March 2003
accessdate=2006-01-06
]

The Libertines were praised for forming a very close relationship with fans. The band befriended several of their fans, and their guerrilla gigs allowed devoted supporters to see them in close proximity. The film 'Fuck The Police' shot in 2003 by Anne McCloy captured one such gig at The Albion Rooms when the police raided and closed down an impromtu gig after complaints by irate neighbours. Doherty published the "Books of Albion" online, sharing his personal thoughts and feelings freely. He also frequently posted on the fan forums. This allowed fans a deep insight into his life and helped cement the relationship between the band and the public. They were also very free with their recordings, releasing songs free onto the internet and via word-of-mouth giveaways. This allowed their fan base to hear unfinished songs or ideas, some of which would grow into finished versions on the albums, some of which would be discarded.

The Libertines have had two biographies written about them, both written after the band split. The first was "Kids in the Riot: High and Low with The Libertines" written by Peter Welsh, a friend. The second was "The Libertines Bound Together: The Story of Peter Doherty and Carl Barât and How They Changed British Music" written by Anthony Thornton and Roger Sargent, an "NME" journalist and photographer respectively who had followed the band from an early stage.

The Libertines have had a lasting effect on the British music scene.cite web |url=http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/features/after-the-libertines-what-todays-bands-owe-carl-and-pete-439391.html |title=After The Libertines: What today's bands owe Carl and Pete |accessdate=2008-02-27 |author=Thornton, Anthony |authorlink=Anthony Thornton |date=2007-03-09
work=The Independent
] The image of Doherty and Barât entwined, Barât looking up protectively as his friend leans into his shoulder, on the front of their second album, has been called by Anthony Thornton "one of the most iconic rock images of the last decade".

Relationship

Speaking of Carl Barât and Pete Doherty, Roger Sargent (a close friend and photographer of the band) described their relationship as like "first love, and all the jealousy and obsessiveness that comes with that" - adding "I think there's, y'know, obsession and jealousy on both of their sides. They bitch about each other to each other or to other people. They have a bond, intellectually and spiritually, like nothing I've ever seen ... but sometimes, you know, you just think, God, why don't you just get a room?!"cite web |url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/onemusic/documentaries/likely434p01.shtml |publisher=BBC.co.uk |title=What Became Of The Likely Lads? |accessdate=2006-03-24] In the same interview, a Radio One documentary, upon being asked just how close their relationship was, Doherty responded "I love him. Wouldn't go, um - certainly not on Radio 1 - go into too much detail, but... we had lots of wonderful times together, yeah." But in contradiction, Barât, when questioned similarly, steadfastly denied that the relationship had involved anything "physical." Carl Barât has insisted that "People are really into conjecture" [cite web
url=http://www.sfburning.com/the_libertines.html
publisher=SFburning
title=The Libertines
accessdate=2007-02-27
] and has frequently denied having a sexual relationship with Doherty. [cite web
url=http://libertines.twinkling-star.com/nmetruthstretching.html
publisher=NME
title=Coke-Sniffing, Truth-Stretching, Fame-Hungry Chancers
accessdate=2007-02-27
] However, in a 2008 article, Barât described their relationship as "not too different from falling in love." [ [http://www.dailymail.co.uk/moslive/article-1031095/We-need-talk-Pete-Carl-Barat-tragedy-Doherty.html We need to talk about Pete: Carl Barat on the Tragedy of Doherty] ]

The volatility and ardency of Barât's relationship with Doherty formed a significant, if not essential, aspect of their music and live performances. Doherty frequently posted passionate declarations addressed to Barât on the Libertines forum; in June 2002 he wrote, "I'm obsessed to the point of needing to know everything. All of you." [ [http://www.network54.com/Forum/188020/thread/1024241612/last-1097317001/Queens+of+Noize+-v-+The+LIbertines The Libertines Forum: "The Libertines: Queens of Noize -v- The LIbertines" posted 16 June 2002] ] In another post from 2003, referring to an incident in 1997 in which Barât had wanted to form a suicide pact, Doherty writes, 'let's keep going i love you i love you so much.' [ [http://kittyradio.com/soapbox/snapshots/8023-pete-n-carl-pic-thread-28.html "Libertines Picture Thread] ] Speaking of his separation from Doherty in 2004, Barât revealed, "There was one point where I very very nearly, just to be close to him, started taking full on heroin." [ [http://karaadora.livejournal.com/127007.html The Word interviews Carl Barât, 2004] ]

ref> [http://kittyradio.com/soapbox/snapshots/8023-pete-n-carl-pic-thread-24.html "Libertines Picture Thread"] ]

Audio sample

Discography

*"Up the Bracket" (2002)
*"The Libertines" (2004)

Notes

Additional references


*The Libertines Bound Together (ISBN 0-316-73234-6)
*Kids in the Riot: High and Low with The Libertines (ISBN 1-84449-716-X)

External links

* [http://thelibertines.ning.com/ Unofficial site]
* [http://www.thelibertines.org.uk/ Official site(Closed Down)]
* [http://www.thelibertines-boundtogether.co.uk/ The Libertines Bound Together] The Libertines Bound Together - official site of bestselling Libertines/Peter Doherty/Carl Barât biography
* [http://www.nme.com/artists/libertines Libertines page on NME.COM]


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