15 Dec 2016

Peter Doherty Live At Kentish Town: Wibbly Wobbly Brilliance

Dearest Vapour Trail reader, I owe you an apology and a confession. This review may not be entirely objective, or even entirely accurate. Instead I will be presenting you with a recollection of events that are pieced together with the help of a few fleeting memories and the shaky YouTube videos. I can however provide some decent context and circumstance, so here we go.

Peter Doherty was trending on Twitter last night and this being 2016, it wouldn’t have been too much of a stretch of the old imagination to initially assume he’d shuffled off his mortal coil. Thankfully, instead he was on Channel 4 news talking to the professional celebrity irritant and inexplicable panel show guest Krishnan Guru-Murthy. In the interview he spoke about how he’d had some great nights at the Forum (The Libertines reunited here on 2010), but he couldn’t really remember them. Speaking about his recent sobriety from the nasty Class A’s, Doherty seemed determined to have another great Kentish Town evening AND remember it this time. Well Pete had an absolute ball, and as far as I could tell so did the majority of the 2000+ followers in attendance.

Things that I’m pretty confident did actually happen:

  • Peter spent a lot of time on the floor
  • Jack from Trampolene was playing lead guitar with only a giant Welsh flag covering the top half of his body
  • John Hassall from the Libertines came on stage and looked even moodier than usual
  • Carl Barat came on stage for a few Libertines numbers and wore an even more ridiculous hat than usual. He nailed the solo in You’re My Waterloo though, so fair play
  • At one point I’m fairly sure there was about 30 people on stage
  • The elusive and strange poet/wolf/man Wolfman inexplicably sang Gunga Din with The Libertines… in Spanish
  • Babyshambles classics Killamangiro and Fuck Forever were as absolutely massive as usual
  • Pete waved an Argentine flag for roughly half an hour
  • They covered the Velvet Underground and Oasis, at the same time. It nearly worked
  • I realised Pete Doherty will make an absolutely perfect Doctor Who in 10 years time
  • I smiled for about 2 hours straight
  • Despite having 8 albums worth of songs which the crowd adore to death, Peter chose to play 4 covers and 2 new songs. Or 3 covers and 3 new songs. Or something like that. There was a good ten minutes where nobody knew what was going on and it just about remained charming and spontaneous without being obnoxious. Just
  • A version of Up The Bracket was played on 4 electric guitars, which led to a disorienting rendition that sounded strangely like something from My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless
  • I’ve spent the last 3 days wishing that every gig I’d ever been to was that joyous, celebratory and unapologetically drunk
(Words: esteemed music journalist Dr Ruben Clark)