Shambolic. It’s a word that follows The Libertines around. At one point they wore it as a badge of honour but that’s the past. These days when Doherty, Barat and crew are booked to play a show, they show up and take care of business with the minimum of fuss. Most of the time anyway.
A band hewn from noise and confusion, The Libertines have successfully moved beyond conflict, lawsuits, drug addictions, drunken self-destruction and periods in the creative wilderness to make a play for the rock ‘n’ roll big leagues.
Playing to festival crowds last summer put their music back in front of bigger live crowds. We were there when the reformation of the band first manifested itself at Hyde Park in July 2014. Back on home turf, frontman Pete Doherty seemed nervous but back to the peak of his powers. He stuck close to writing partner Carl Barat as their duelling guitars were propelled along by John Hassall’s bass and Gary Powell’s drum beat. There have been enough shows since then to suggest the band are up to the challenge of a UK arena tour.
Their live dates begin in the crucible of The Hydro with a capacity Glasgow crowd ready to cheer them on.
The Libertines January Arena Tour
Glasgow, SSE Hydro Arena 21st
Manchester, Arena 23rd
Nottingham, Arena 25th
Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena 26th
Birmingham, Barclaycard Arena 27th
Bournemouth, BIC 29th
London, The O2 30th
The Libertines released their third album Anthems for Doomed Youth in September 2015.