This ‘Libertines’ article was written by Natalie Whitehouse, a GIGsoup contributor
Things don’t have to be perfect in order for them to be good. Great, in fact. The Libertines epitomise this statement entirely. In fact they’re not just good, they’re really, really good. But also far from perfect.
But maybe that’s the draw. The charm of something being so imperfect that it is that very quality which makes it so lovable and cherished.
Because there might have been a few duff chords laced throughout the Camden boys’ Nottingham set on Monday night; but if you think that bothered the packed out Rock City, then you’re far too harsh a critic of live music.
Appearing on stage right on time – a far cry from the 40 plus minute delay the previous night at Glasgow’s O2 Academy – Pete, Carl, Gary and John delivered a riot inciting introduction of ‘Horrorshow’, ‘Vertigo’ and ‘The Delaney’ which sent the room into sheer pandemonium.
With the release of their third album ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’ imminent, this weeks’ run of intimate live shows sprung upon fans at such short notice is just the type of stunt you’d expect the Libertines to pull. The scramble for tickets just a week ago, with the club venues selling out within thirty seconds, proved that the boys in the band have not lost their ardent support over all the many years they’ve been apart.
And Rock City showered the band with love – and beer – throughout the evening, as the Libertines rattled through a superb set, compromising of over 20 songs, every one of them just as raucous and anthemic as ever. Even new tracks from their soon to be released third record were received just as well. ‘Gunga Din’ was recited by the crowd word for word, and the rallying cry ‘to Camden we will crawl, one and all’ in ‘Fame and Fortune’ was chanted in unison as fits and arms were held aloft.
There were no time for breathers during the hour and 45 minute long set – even the slower, calmer songs like ‘What Katie Did’ and ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ were sang in full voice as the mosh pits subdued somewhat.
And as the band left the stage for their encore, the pumped up crowd were eager for more, chanting the band’s name until they finally reappeared. Amongst giving new track ‘Heart of the Matter’ its live debut, the encore was filled with set highlights, including ’What A Waster’ and, finally, with flares held aloft and the whole arena pounding, the Libertines played their trump card ‘Don’t Look Back into the Sun, for an emphatic ending to a special night.
Standing on the stage arm in arm to receive their applause, you could sense a feeling of triumph for the boys in the band, and a feeling or pure adoration from the hordes of beer drenched, sweat sodden fans chanting their name. Some might say their third album won’t live up to its predecessors. That their Hyde Park gig over a year ago now and their subsequent shows have just been cash cows. But when they can create nights like that, it all pales into insignificance – especially for a fan too young to have seen The Libertines a decade ago. It’s almost a dream to be able to witness them still very much in their prime. Still creating moments of madness. Still delivering unforgettable nights.