Sunday, November 28, 2004

Pete and Graham Coxon Perform "Time For Heroes" Together!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Is It Cool Or Kind Not To Speak My Mind?

He's been jailed, sacked by his band and he's a junkie. How cool is that?

THE music industry was accused yesterday of glamorising drug abuse after the New Musical Express chose an artist who is fighting crack cocaine and heroin addiction as its "Cool Icon" of 2004.

Pete Doherty, who was kicked out of The Libertines for failing to control his drug use, topped the magazine's writers' list of music stars who embody the notion of "cool".

Drug charities said that the magazine, the most influential music publication read by teenagers, was behaving irresponsibly. The NME said that it had rewarded Doherty for his wit, musical abilities and positive influence on his young fans, not for his well-documented drug problems.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Sing, Play Guitar, Act...What Can't The Man Do?

Carl is in the new video of the group Client...he cowrote the song and sings backup vocals as well.

Watch it here.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Then Why Did He Release "Napoleon"?

Strung-out jackal Wolfman claims to have written many of Pete's songs. Hmmm....

In fact, to hear Wolfe tell it, Doherty is the bad influence. "He turned up the other day and moved all his stuff in. He won't leave me alone. It's like having a really needy little brother. He wants me to be his bohemian trinket. He doesn't want me to do well. He wants me to do all my songs with him. My lyrics are all over those records." He rattles off a few song titles: "Delaney. Road to Ruin. The Man Who Would Be King. Skag and Bone Man. It goes on."

Monday, November 15, 2004

Get The Infamous French Sessions!

Here they are:

1. Narcissist
2. Half-cocked Boy
3. Ha Ha Wall
4. Through The Looking Glass

If you're not sure what the French Sessions are, here is the fascinating tale of their creation, cut and pasted from (not trying to steal content here, but some of the articles posted there currently have an Angelfire logo in the background which makes them unreadable):

While the raw rock of their first album was just being approved on both sides of the Channel, the Libertines from London dashed to Nantes to record a 7" of unreleased tracks, at the back of a garage. Story of those 3 days.

5th January

Five guys in the van. Exhausted. It is 9pm in Nantes, the Libertines have just arrived after a 20-hours drive. The door of the van slides. On the floor, there is a jumble of whisky bottles, beers and cigarette butts. In the boot, there are a big travelling bag and a few guitars. Stephane Moreau and Nicolas Bourigault, the Dialektik Records agitators, a punk-rock label from Nantes, have taken turns to drive. Confirming their status of a chaotic and unpredictable band, the quartet has become a duet: only Carl Barât and Pete Doherty, the two singer-guitarists pillars have travelled. There is also Alan Wiss who will mainly be in charge of the production.
The car stops in front of a house in the suburbs: "This is the Garage Hermetique". They still have to go to the backyard, enter into a freezing shed, go through 3 or 4 doors in order to reach the place that the Libertines chose to record 3 or 4 new songs.
A few weeks before, Stephane Moreau and Nico Bourigault had dashed to Angers to be at the concert of ex-Clash Mick Jones' favourites, just to see if the album Up the Bracket was as good on stage. "Everything happened in 10 minutes. We saw the gig and we thought that we had to talk to them", Stephane says.
In the corner of the bar, the two Dialektik hit it off with Pete. " They had a real interest in our music, Pete remembers. We understood each other. So I thought, "OK, why not do something with them?" I woke up the manager to tell her that some guys were here and that they wanted to make a record with us. She said: "Fuck off!" So I decided alone." Stephane exults. "We brought them back without negotiating anything, without seeing a single guy from their English label, without any contract. Really wild." Stephane exaggerates. The Libertines had all the same a few requirements – about the sound: vintage amps, Ampeg and Vox, and an electronic organ as well.
Apart from that, the Formule 1 hotel and kebabs do not put them off. Pete, who has had too many sleepless nights, quickly goes to bed. For Alan and Carl, an evening in a pub is imperative, with Guinness and acoustic guitar. "I think we are going to do a good job, whispers Alan, leaving. See you tomorrow."

6th January

Nicolas, the sound engineer, with a waxen complexion and greasy hair, looks as if he has not left his garage since its opening, 8 years ago. He looks dubiously at the studio. Carl, Alan and Pete have been inside for more than 2 hours. Nico: "They warm themselves, they practise together." Pete goes out, with a smile on his chubby face. "It is a bit of a chaos. But it is ideal to create."
Change of atmosphere. On the other side of the door, the Libertines's manager demands the band to go back to London the day after. Reason: they can't miss their first interview with the national daily The Guardian.
In the studio, the adjustments progress. Pete and Carl stir, like onstage, unplugging some cables with their movements. The sound engineer is thundering forth. His hard disk saturates. It doesn't matter: the first take with bass, drums and guitar is done. The skeleton of the song is drawn. Alan, a strange compromise between Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, sits near the console: "The first and next to last ones are the best ones." Carl leaves quietly the room, settles down in front of the games console in the other room and settles the Guardian problem. The English journalist will be in Nantes the day after. "The manager is a bit fascist, he jokes. She tends to want to control everything."
Back in the studio. "If you get tired/Just hanging around..." Pete records the first voice take. He never leaves a bronze clothed notebook, which is at the same time the journal and songwriting notebook of the Libertines. "I jot down all my good ideas and my dreams in the morning. Sometimes I draw. To forget the lovely thing is such a horrible feeling." The song takes shape. When he sings, Pete seems to connect himself to another world. A synthesis between rock attitude and bliss. He is a meddler: he then sits behind the electric organ, whistles on the break of the song, giving a new distance and depth. "It sounds like The Doors", Alan enthuses. Pete finishes what is certainly the best voice take of the day and, by coincidence, Carl, who had disappeared for nearly 2 hours, goes into the studio, ready to record the second guitar. Between Pete and Carl, there is more a coincidence than an agreement, as if each moment spent to play together was a rediscovery.
End of the day. There remains the passage with both voices. Tambourines and maracas, and the atmosphere becomes psychedelic... Imperceptibly, something has just happened. The first song, "Silent Cope", only just finished, Pete begins another song. Alone on the sofa, he plays acoustic, catches all the attention. A talented songwriter, his tense voice sings a form of powerlessness, a perdition. Then he closes his eyes and lies down on the sofa. "We are supposed to make a ballade a bit quiet. It's a good sign if I am falling asleep." The evening slowly stretches out. Like with the first song, the first take of the second song takes the shape of an endless jam session. Carl: "Even if we are prisoners of an industry, of loads of constraints, nobody can steal us our pleasure to play. Even if the stage is small."

7th January

Carl remains wrapped up in his dark overcoat. Behind him, through the window, the countryside is still frozen. Pete, swathed in a shawl, dashes through the studio. Suddenly, a few bass notes shake the building. Like a well-known tune. "You Really Got Me" of The Kinks. Is it about recording a cover version? After all, Alan carted around some vinyls yesterday: The Doors, Everly Brothers, The Who, Elvis... Carl gives an answer when he starts singing: "Nice to be/Dorian Gray/Just for a day/Narcissist..." The recording of the most incisive song of the session has just begun. Until then, we had not really paid attention to Carl's voice. It was a mistake. Deep and low-pitched, it spreads out Pete's lyrics. Alan nevertheless tries to push it further: "Sing it like Elvis" – "That's what I thought I was doing!" Later, on his own, Pete works on the last song. A second ballade. It will be a well-balanced 7", for March, 2 rather mellow songs and 2 angry songs. Something in the image of the band, according to Pete. "We like to say that our influences are divided between the melody, the melancholy of Django Reinhardt and the rhythmic aggressiveness of the Stooges."
The Libertines only work instinctively. Which is confirmed this very evening, after Pete witnessed a fight in a bar: "The guy felt he was trapped. That's why he fought. He felt like a rabbit in the headlights." "Like a rabbit in the headlights": Pete hums this chorus. And notes it down in his notebook. For the future.

translation by Helene Turin

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Who Will Buy My Beatiful Songs?

CARL BARAT plans to split THE LIBERTINES at the end of the year if PETE DOHERTY doesn't clean up and rejoin the band.

The star is currently working on plans for what he'd do if Doherty is either too unwell or unwilling to rejoin The Libertines this year. The group aren't planning any more tours or studio time beyond December, putting the band on ice for the "foreseeable future". Band sources have told NME.COM the decision is tantamount to splitting The Libertines, but with Carl leaving the door open for a reunion if Pete is ever well enough.

Speaking last week, Carl told NME.COM that he's working on new songs, has a new found confidence and is considering either going solo or rehearsing musicians for a new group next year. It's likely that any new band would feature some members of The Libertines.

Carl told NME: "As of the end of December Gary, John and I have decided The Libertines will be off the road for the foreseeable future, no more official gigs are booked. An ongoing problem with my health, which requires an operation, will put me out of action for maybe some months. My position with Pete hasn't changed, I hope he gets better, I still love him and hope he will come back in full health and take the world with The Libertines and put the Albion back on-course. Joining the old crew on the good ship wouldn't be so hard."

He continued: "I'm gonna have to do something different for a bit. I've got a lot of songs written, I don't know if that means getting a splendid top-hole band together or just going off and recording [them]. So I'm going to go and do that for a bit.

"I do put a rather stoic brave face on which is hard to maintain sometimes. I don't always believe that's how I feel behind it. But right now I feel like I've got more focus about what I do in the future than ever before. And I've found confidence and faith in my writing. So I feel a bit more positive."

Carl said that he still hopes more than anything for a reunion with a fit and healthy Pete, but he can't see it happening in the immediate future. He told NME.COM: "My heart, of course, is with The Libertines. In its original line-up… To be honest, I've not been that close to what's going on (The Libertines have been touring the US). The pictures [of Pete] sadden me. I don't feel he's well at the moment.

"I don't know if [The Libertines will] ever be quite the same but I don't see why they'd be any less valid or why we'd have any less purpose or conviction or relevance if we did get back together. Of course I'd love to. But I'm not going to rest on my laurels waiting for Pete to decide if he's going to stop taking drugs... I've got things that I need to get out my system in song right now and I've got some other work to do."

Barat has to have an operation at the end of the year which will stop him playing live for a number of months. No more shows will be scheduled in the UK before December, meaning the last time the band played live with Pete was on the opening night of Carl's London club Dirty Pretty Things before Doherty flew to Thailand for rehab in the summer. Their last UK show was at this year's Carling Weekend: Reading and Leeds festivals in August.

However, the group have been touring North America without Pete, which came as something as a relief for Carl. At one show in Washington DC fans invaded the stage, similar to their legendary gig at the London Forum last year.

He added: "We were doing what we set out to do. It's been a bit of a trailblazer really. In America there's none of this press surrounding the band. People have just heard that there's gonna be a good band in town and gone out and had a good time. We think we've done good. But obviously it's still a bit tricky right now."

There are no plans to release a third single from 'The Libertines'. However, Carl has been in the studio with the band Client, having co-written their new single 'Pornography' which is released on January 10, 2005.

Alan McGee, manager of The Libertines said: "There are no limitations to Carl’s songwriting talent or musical adaptability. The most probable way forward under the current conditions of the Libertines will be to do many co write projects and various guest appearances.

"I have never known Carl more confident musically than he is at the moment. A great Carl Barat solo album or as yet unnamed band featuring current members of the Libertines awaits sometime in late 2005. To me 'Pornography' sounds like Carl and Client have written a great Cure type of single.

If there is going to be life after the Libertines, then Carl Barat's journey is certainly going to be an interesting one."

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Like A Rolling Stone

A fine feature is now up on

The band has been touring without Doherty, pending his ability to clean up. The same week as the Philly show, Doherty graced the cover of NME, Britain's weekly music magazine. He has been touring the U.K. with his other band, Babyshambles. On the cover, he was shirtless and slit-eyed and covered in sweat, holding a cigarette lighter in one hand, a microphone in the other and appearing entirely wasted. "To be honest," Bar?t tells me, "the hardest thing in the world is to tell someone you love you don't want to be around them -- to tell someone you love very dearly to fuck off. That's a trial of the soul"...

"Yes, I did come out of a drug problem well before Pete got into his," Barat says. "But I stood by him the entire way. Now, he's utterly cocooned in a world I wouldn't want to have to trudge through. I doubt I could even meet him without all of his harpies around. You know what harpies are? Nasty little winged beasts. People who'll take you straight to hell"...

Doherty, sitting for an interview in the basement office of 1234 Records, the East London label that released the first Babyshambles single, rebuts the band's charges. "Of course, the official reason I'm out of the band right now is because of drugs," he says. "But part of the reason I've been made unwelcome by Carl is that I've been writing songs with other people, and doing Babyshambles with as much, if not more, passion than I was doing the Libertines. The Libertines has just become a big blow-up doll. If it's not me and Carl together, then it's not the Libertines. It's just a big con."

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The End Of An Era

NME Reports:

CARL BARAT is to retire THE LIBERTINES from playing live for "the foreseeable future" at the end of the year, NME.COM can exclusively reveal.

The band have been touring since the summer without Pete Doherty, who was kicked out of the band while he undertook a well-documented fight against drugs.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM yesterday (November 1), singer Carl Barat said that from December there are no more plans for gigs – the strongest hint yet that the band will split for good unless Doherty cleans up and rejoins.

He said: "As of the end of December Gary, John and I have decided The Libertines will be off the road for the foreseeable future, no more official gigs are booked. An ongoing problem with my health, which requires an operation, will put me out of action for maybe some months.

"My position with Pete hasn’t changed, I hope he gets better, I still love him and hope he will come back in full health and take the world with The Libertines and put the Albion back on-course. Joining the old crew on the good ship wouldn’t be so hard."

The band have no UK gigs scheduled before December. It is currently unclear what operation Barat requires.