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Video of the Moment #1968: The Libertines

 
By on Thursday, 3rd December 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Following their return to the fold earlier this year and the release of their long-awaited third album and their first in 11 years, ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’, The Libertines have a new promo out for ‘You’re My Waterloo’. The song appeared from time to time in live sets over the last 10 years, but it was not until the new album surfaced in early September that fans were able to hear a properly recorded version. The video is a monochromatic mini-film starring Guardians of the Galaxy actress Marama Corlett and Freddie Highmore, who I remember best as the gifted child musician in the 2007 film August Rush, (he’s now all grown up).

My guess is the placement of that rope was not unintentional, and what’s more, I think by casting a young man and woman in this video, it actually brings more attention to the question that has been on many a Libertine fan’s mind, whether Carl and Pete were ever in an actual relationship. The story that plays out in the video supports the fact that the song is about being in an unconventional relationship that although is marred with irregularities and problems, it’s one ultimately provides support and solace to both people. Watch the video below.

‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’ is out now on Virgin EMI. For more on the Libertines on TGTF, go here.

 

The Libertines / January 2016 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 22nd September 2015 at 9:00 am
 

Newly reunited for their third studio album, The Libertines have announced an arena tour of the UK for early next year.  ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’ was released on the 11th of September, 11 years after their previous self-titled LP release, and included the lead single ‘Gunga Din’.

Tickets for the following run of shows, marking The Libertines’ biggest ever UK tour, will be available for general sale on Friday, the 25th of September, at 9 AM.  Past coverage of The Libertines on TGTF can be found by clicking here.

Thursday 21st January 2016 – Glasgow SSE Hydro
Saturday 23rd January 2016 – Manchester Arena
Monday 25th January 2016 – Nottingham Arena
Tuesday 26th January 2016 – Cardiff Arena
Wednesday 27th January 2016 – Birmingham Arena
Friday 29th January 2016 – Bournemouth BIC
Saturday 30th January 2016 – London O2

 

Live Gig Video: The Libertines play ‘Up the Bracket’ headlining the Main Stage at Reading 2015 (Sunday)

 
By on Friday, 4th September 2015 at 4:00 pm
 

Today marks the release of the Libertines‘ third album, their first major release since ‘The Libertines’ 11 years ago. (Read my review of the surprisingly good ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’ here.) For the faithful who trekked out to Reading / Leeds 2015 over the weekend, however, I’m sure they were more keen on hearing the band’s classics, including ‘Up the Bracket’. Well, you’re in luck. Sunday night when the band were headlining at Richfield Avenue, the BBC preserved the performance of that very song for posterity, and you can watch it below.

If you live in the UK, until the 29th of September you have access to over 40 full sets of action from Reading/Leeds 2015 through the BBC’s Web site for the festival weekend. For full details, go here. If you like outside the UK, you’ll be able to enjoy selected highlights from the weekend on BBC’s YouTube channel, including coverage from the BBC Introducing stage.

 

Album Review: The Libertines – Anthems for Doomed Youth

 
By on Wednesday, 2nd September 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

The Libertines Anthems for Doomed Youth album coverI was of two minds when I heard The Libertines – with a reasonably sober Pete Doherty to boot! – were planning a comeback album. When you go for years and years for one of your favourite bands to return (read: waiting for one of the principal band members to clean up his act and escape from the brink of death), it’s only natural to be sceptical about the results in front of you when the day finally comes.

First taster ‘Gunga Din’, which was unveiled to the public back in late June, furthered my scepticism: while it had the requisite “la la las” to get the devoted fans behind it and plucky, bluesy guitar lines in the verses, the rest of the lyrics left me cold. I’m not sure why things changed – perhaps it’s the deep transformation I’m going through personally that’s responsible – but as the plays of the song have ramped up on BBC 6 Music in the weeks that followed, I now find myself singing along to it, smiling.

I feel sympathetic to its message going back to Kipling’s original poem from the 19th century about an Indian water boy who saves a soldier’s life before his own sad, untimely demise and its relation to the song’s chorus. “Oh the road is long / if you stay strong / you’re a better man than I” seems to parallel Doherty’s way back from addiction, as well as Carl Barat‘s steadfast support of him through thick and thin, even when things looked bleak for his best friend. If there is one victory that stands out above all about this album, Doherty completed this drug treatment program at the start of this year in Thailand, where production by Jake Gosling and recording took place. In stark contrast to what played out in the recently released documentary on the late Amy Winehouse, this story has a happy ending. It represents two things we all need as human beings: hope and strength.

On the surprisingly, beautifully tender ‘You’re My Waterloo’, Doherty’s rendering of someone beloved with so much strength could be a reflection of himself: “just say you love me for three good reasons / then I’ll throw you the rope / but you don’t need it, because you’re the survivor / of more than one life”. On the other side of the spectrum, the down and dirty groove of ‘Glasgow Coma Scale Blues’ (with Doherty’s wail sounding reminiscent of ‘The Haha Wall’) is rocking harder than you’d ever remembered from them, which is another astonishing development. Somewhere in between lies the ‘Iceman’, a folky, vaguely cowboy ballad that you can’t help but imagining Barat and Doherty writing cross-legged on the floor sat across from each other like they might have in the old days. True friendships last.

‘Doomed’ seems a funny word to include in an album title, and I have to wonder if the band included it because the legend of the Libertines still looms large from their popularity in the Noughties. It’s not a presumption this album will be compared to ‘Up the Bracket’: it will be so, and to many people. In ‘Fame and Fortune’, the cheeky lines from the chorus “we’re like tin soldiers, responding to the call / to Camden we will crawl, one and all” will make you grin, even if the minor key melody in the rest of the song doesn’t grab you. The first two Libertines’ albums were rallying cries of youth because the band were in their early 20s then, so it’s unfair to compare their motives then and now.

The magnificently energetic ‘Heart of the Matter’ (“no-one can hold a light to your misery”) and ‘Fury of Chonburi’ are the closest you’re going to get to the ‘old’ Libertines, if you’re planning to do some moshing and pogoing at their future gigs. But it’s hardly the norm on ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’. The lite rock style of the title track is led by Barat’s still strong voice crooning, “life could be so handsome / it’s all gonna be okay / we’re going nowhere / ‘cos nowhere, nowhere’s on our way”. Does comfortable complacency seem strange coming from the same lads who complained there are fewer more distressing sights than that / of an Englishman in a baseball cap”? Maybe, for a bit.

But I have to admit, I rather fancy this mature version of the Libertines. They’re not trying to be something they are no longer. I reckon this is less reinvention than making the kind of music that makes sense to them heading towards middle age, and if Doherty stays clean (and I hope and pray he does), this band has legs as long as they want to keep it going. Hooray for the Libertines!

8.5/10

‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’, the Libertines’ third album and their first in 11 years, is out this Friday, the 4th of September on Virgin EMI. The LP will be released in several different formats: standard 12-song CD, deluxe CD, 12” vinyl, digital download and a box set. (Whew! Well, what did you *really* expect after 11 long years?)

 

Video(s) of the Moment #1844: The Libertines

 
By on Saturday, 4th July 2015 at 10:00 am
 

The Libertines‘ story is one known by many, and those of us who do know it assumed we would never see them ever play together again, mostly owing the co-frontman Pete Doherty’s continuing drug problems and erratic behaviour. Even when the band reunited for a series of shows and Reading and Leeds in 2010, I just assumed those were one offs and merely for the money and nostalgia. So when it was revealed in late 2014 that the original four members of the band – Doherty, Carl Barat (who had been moonlighting with his new band Carl Barat and the Jackals), bassist John Hassall and drummer Gary Powell – had signed a record deal with Virgin EMI and they would record it out in Thailand where Doherty had been receiving treatment in rehab, it appeared a new, exciting chapter for the Libertines was about to begin.

And it has. Foo Fighters‘ Glastonbury 2015 cancellation after Dave Grohl broke his leg at a gig in Gothenburg, Sweden earlier in June left a headliner-sized hole in the Friday night line-up. This allowed for the Libertines to be a last-minute, super secret guest for the night, wowing surprised crowds with old classics and new songs. Below, watch them perform their hit ‘Don’t Look Back into the Sun’; incidentally, it was one of the first songs I ever learned on bass, so it’s an important one to me.

One of the new songs that premiered not at Glasto 2015 but earlier at Holland’s Best Kept Secret was ‘Gunga Din’, which now has a promo video. The bromance between Pete and Carl is back and better than ever, it seems! Watch it below.

‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’, the long-awaited third album from the reunited Libertines, will be released on the 4th of September on Virgin EMI.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4lFvAmyO-0
 

Preview: Reading and Leeds Festival August 2010

 
By on Monday, 29th March 2010 at 7:15 pm
 

After Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds Festivals are the granddaddy of all music festivals. Some of the best bands, the biggest exclusives and best lineups all come together for three massive days over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Last year they “played it safe” with a lineup of Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys and Radiohead, but this year they’ve gone for a bit more interesting selection, returning to their rock roots.

This year, The Libertines are going to be the big news of the festival, with Pete Doherty and Carl Barat putting their differences behind them to play the festival, supporting Reading’s Saturday night’s headliners, Arcade Fire. Meanwhile, Blink 182 and Guns ‘n’ Roses also headline the main stage.

If we were going this year, the NME stage looks pretty good, with LCD Soundsystem, Klaxons and Band of Horses all set to play what is our pick of the stages so far. Kele from Bloc Party is also playing, intriguingly billed already higher than The Drums and he hasn’t even released a track yet.

The Festival takes place on the August Bank Holiday weekend – Friday 27th to Sunday 29th August 2010. Tickets are on sale now at See Tickets. Tickets are £180.00 for the weekend, or £75 per day ticket.

Catch the full lineup (so far) below…

Continue reading Preview: Reading and Leeds Festival August 2010

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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