Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Libertines were a critically acclaimed British rock and roll band noted for their chaotic live outings, often seemingly ramshackle touring schedule and uniquely English take on punk rock. The line-up consists of Pete Doherty (vocals/guitar), Carl Barat (vocals/guitar), John Hassall (bass) and Gary Powell (drums). Their debut single, "What A Waster" (2002), produced by former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, was immediately seized upon by the English press for its liberal use of profanity and English colloquialism. The single's success was followed up by the album Up The Bracket, produced by punk icon Mick Jones, formerly of The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite. It was followed in 2004 by their second album, simply entitled The Libertines.
The band has been compared to many classic British rock n' roll bands, as their angle on rock n' roll is uniquely English. Their sound is often compared to the sound of The Jam, The Kinks' early records as well as The Clash's first album and early singles. Many of their lyrics refer to elements of British life, use English/cockney slang and are delivered in a style reminiscent of Joe Strummer (though Pete Doherty is by no means an unoriginal vocalist). In their attitude they are almost always compared to The Sex Pistols due to their chaotic and energetic live peformances and, either refreshingly or depressingly depending how you see these things, Pete Doherty's instability and nihilistic, self destructive behavior.
Despite their success and critical acclaim (especially in the UK), the band fell upon difficult times. Peter Doherty became estranged from the band, and was convicted of the burglary of bandmate Carl Barat's flat in September 2003. The remaining members toured without him in August and September. After serving one month in jail he rejoined the band in October 2003, However In June 2004 he was kicked out of the band again because of narcotic problems, but the band has promised that "When he cleans up his addictions he will be immediately welcomed back into the band" . However he recently formed his own band, Babyshambles and has failed to kick his drug habit. In September 2004 given a community service order after being found with a flick knife in his car, a "welcome back" looked unlikely.
On 21 December 2004, a 12 minute feature on Pete Doherty was broadcast on BBC2's current affairs programme Newsnight. The piece featured Doherty's first-ever major television interview as well as an acoustic performance of "Music When the Lights Go Out". In the interview with Kirsty Wark, Doherty talked openly about his addictions to heroin and crack cocaine, stating that "I'm not a nihilist, I don't want to die", and talked about the breakdown of his relationship with Carl Barat.
From Up The Bracket:
- "What A Waster" (2002) - #37 UK (Only included on the US Version of the album)
- "Up The Bracket" (2002) - #29 UK
- "Time For Heroes" (2003) - #20 UK
- "Don't Look Back Into The Sun" (2003) - #11 UK
From The Libertines:
- official site
- Libertines page on NME.COM
- babyshambles - scans of Peter Doherty's "Books of Albion".
- another fan site
- punkcast vid - CBGB show Apr 2003".
- andrewkendall.com Features a gallery containing many pictures of The Libertines.
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