With Christmas just a week away, most faces in the Brixton Academy crowd tonight were awaiting their final gig of 2019.
After a mega UK-wide tour, the likely lads of The Libertines moored up the old vessel Albion in their old stomping ground – London Town.
The atmosphere was awash with love for these classic emblems of British rock n roll, and memories of times gone by.
The only thing marring the night is a clash of The Libertine’s typically poor time keeping skills and the hungry crowd that grows restless before their arrival.
By throwing poet Luke Wright into the mix, there is unfortunately only going to be one outcome.
He is immediately booed by The Libertines faithful – tanked up on a combination of festive cheer, work Christmas party hangovers and overpriced pints.
The fans who didn’t boo, argued with those who did. It felt like the kind of chaos that would only precede a Libertines show.
Once Wright leaves the stage – the Academy is rocking with anticipation.
The first of two packed out shows at the Academy, the Boys in The Band walk on stage with sheer dedication to smashing each and every one of their beloved tracks. They do not stop to talk to the crowd as they regularly do – simply choosing to tear through a mammoth set-list.
With earlier punk-infused tunes such as ‘Horror Show’, ‘Vertigo’ and ‘Up The Bracket’ and the poetic charms of ‘You’re My Waterloo’, ‘Music When The Lights Go Out’ and ‘Time For Heroes’ – The Libertines are unrivalled in a set-list full with such conflicting emotions.
That is what tonight was: a rollercoaster ride through the years of the instant adoration fans had for The Libertines, through the heartbreak of their break-up and the relief and sense of justice at their reformation.
The Libertines drain every emotion from their crowd, instilling a tribal sense of pride and togetherness.
By the time ‘The Good Old Days’ and ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ arrive for the encore, the whole of Brixton Academy is knotted in a sweaty celebration of one of the treasures of British music. The sight of Pete n Carl entangling and wrestling through each song still sets a fire in the belly and heart of every fan in the crowd.
With the end of a decade – it makes you wonder if the roaring twenties can throw up anything to rival them.
Heart of the Matter
Fame and Fortune
Boys in the Band
You’re My Waterloo
Campaign of Hate
Can’t Stand Me Now
Last Post on the Bugle
The Ha Ha Wall
Dead For Love
Up the Bracket
What Became of the Likely Lads
Death on the Stairs
Time for Heroes
Music When the Lights Go Out
What Katie Did
The Good Old Days
Don’t Look Back Into The Sun