A couple of weeks back we dedicated a Classic Tuesday to Arctic Monkeys, and in the spirit of the band’s Britrock post-punk nature, it makes sense to write about The Libertines.
The Libertines have always stood out as a very special band to me, and are one of the few groups I connected with as soon as I first heard them. The relationship between the band and their fans has always struck me as something beautiful, as they have this sense of closeness to the fans, a very special intimate relationship.
I’ve seen the band once live and Pete Doherty live as a solo artist, and the fan community the band have following them really is something special. Pete, Carl, Gary and John formed in the late 90s, coming to notorious fame in the early 2000s upon the release of debut album Up The Bracket before going on to release The Libertines and Anthems For Doomed Youth.
What the band have managed to maintain throughout the last twenty years is a really raw sense of honesty, and this DIY underground post-punk sound really is unique to the band. Despite being one of the most well-known rock bands, the members are all humble and grounded, and just real; this gives them a proper punk authenticity, and that’s something their fans can relate to.
I’ve met Carl on a night out before too (casually hanging out in London’s Nambucca, as ya do), and despite us both being completely off our faces, he was honestly one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met. The band’s music has always had this brash abrasive cockiness to it, and they broke down all sorts of boundaries and created an image and sound completely new to rock music.
The 90s had really focused on Britpop, so The Libertines breaking through with their raw fucked up rough-boy image was groundbreaking. They really re-energised the industry, and set a precedent for post-punk music which has had an impact still felt on rock music today.
As individual members, all four have their own projects going on alongside The Libertines. So John has his own separate band, The April Rainers, and they really are stunning; a lot more buoyant and soothing than The Libertines, The April Rainers only seem to play small intimate venues, and John himself is actually massively underrated as a vocalist.
Pete has had a series of side projects too, with Babyshambles being one of the best, rawest rock bands. He also plays solo a lot, and played last year with the Puta Madres (his band) having Trampolene vocalist and post-punk poet Jack Jones on guitar.
Carl has his own band (who are unreal), The Jackals, who are actually playing a series of intimate gigs and festivals this year. And as for Gary, he owns the 25 Hour Convenience Store record label which is home to the best upcoming band right now (fact) False Heads.
That hasn’t stopped the group from working on The Libertines though; The Libertines made their famous comeback a couple years ago at Hyde Park, before releasing Anthems For Doomed Youth in 2015. And countless gigs later, this summer is set to belong to the band, with a whole host of huge festival sets coming up including a headline slot at Truck festival.
The Libertines are one of those once in a life time bands, up at the top with the best of them…fucking long live the band.
Top Libertines tracks you need to know:
- Time For Heroes
- Heart of The Matter
- Dead For Love
- The Man Who Would Be King
- What Became of The Likely Lads
- You’re My Waterloo
- What Katie Did
- Gunga Din
- What a Waster
- Fame and Fortune
- Tell The King
- Can’t Stand Me Now
- I Get Along
- Boys In The Band
- Anthems For Doomed Youth
- Up The Bracket
- Plan A
- The Good Old Days
- Music When The Lights Go Out
- The Ha Ha Wall
- Road To Ruin
- Glasgow Coma Scale Blues
- Last Post on the Bugle