Impassioned Return from Sometime Libertines Troubadour
Pete Doherty was a celebrity when the designation still held genuine currency. In the Time Before Twitter, he dated Kate Moss, took drugs in the presence of journalists and was ever-present in the red tops. True, he was soon better known for his antics than his music – but at least he was famous for SOMETHING. Oh for the days when infamy required a flair for scandal, rather than a busy Instagram feed.
The spotlight eventually moved on and now Pete is back where he started, more or less. Last year’s Libertines comeback was a reminder of how gloriously divisive the band had been at their peak. However, with the group on hiatus again (a new record is rumoured), Doherty has retreated to his mid-career incarnation of fragile troubadour.
Recorded, in Hamburg (obviously) with producer Johann Scheerer, his second solo LP is an encouraging return from an artist revealed to be in his element crooning softly over wispy guitars. ‘Birdcage’, a dulcet duet with Suzi Martin (also his business partner), features lyrics by Amy Winehouse and channels some of the shambolic zing of The Libertines in their prime, while ’The Whole World Is Our Playground’ underlines his credentials as British rock’s wayward troubadour in chief.
He has a thing or two to say about the state of the world, too. ‘Flags From The Old Regime’ is a reworking of a tribute he penned to Winehouse, months after his friend’s death, and brims with the numbness of the freshly bereaved. It’s a dirge, yet also a critique of the fame that warped and ultimately destroyed her (a beast with whom he is likewise acquainted).
Even more pointed is ‘Hell To Pay at the Gates of Heaven’, an impassioned address to a militant young man who has chosen extremism over rock and roll (the traditional conduit for youthful rebellion). It’s a powerful moment, reminding us that, while the masses may have forgotten his name, Doherty is still a mercurial talent to cherish.
His song for Amy Winehouse gets a sombre black and white treatment.Read More
The new track is to raise funds for the Amy Winehouse Foundation.Read More
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The singer brings his solo show to Mandela Hall in MayRead More
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Overall, it’s a decent performance, suggesting that he may just be fully back on trackRead More
The former Babyshambles man plays a show all on his lonesome, except for the help of a few dancers...Read More
Pete Doherty spared in jail after being convicted of drink driving - only to be immediately rearrested on a separate drugs charge.Read More
The star has been admitted to hospital in the UK.Read More
There's also a new Babyshambles record on the way.Read More
He's added Dublin and Galway to his Irish tour.Read More
Singer donated painting for charity auctionRead More
The Rock and roll maverick bounces back with rich and subtle solo debutRead More
Pete Doherty flew into Ireland yesterday for a visit to Trinity College and a memorable appearance on RTÉ's Late Late Show.Read More
It’s been quite a year for PETE DOHERTY, the former Libertines frontman, and now leader of Babyshambles. 2005 featured a series of drug busts, failed rehab attempts, the tabloid witch hunt of his girlfriend Kate Moss, several non-appearances and live shows that fluctuated between agonising and ecstatic... oh, and the small matter of a debut album. As hotpress went to press, the news broke that Doherty had been busted yet again, barely two days out of an Arizona clinic. hotpress talks to Doherty’s label boss, Rough Trade founder Geoff Travis, tour photographer Danny Clifford, and former Babyshambles drummer Gemma Clarke, for the insiders' view on what’s becoming an increasingly sad and fearful saga.Read More
Steve Cummins squeezed into Pete Doherty’s living room to see the errant Libertine.Read More