Last night The Likely Lads returned to Rock City, Nottingham, to turn back time to the days of Camden town rock and roll and stage dives. With the upcoming release of their third album Anthems For Doomed Youth, The Libertines are back.
11 years since the revolutionary Libertines self-titled record and its generation defining releases Can't Stand Me Now and Music When The Lights Go Out, The Libertines have returned with their long anticipated upcoming third release, and judging by the reaction from the raucous Rock City crowd, it might just be a classic as well. Playing a select few intimate venues across the country, it was finally Nottingham's turn to hear a sneak preview of what is to become of the doomed youth.
Starting with the fast-paced thunder hits Horrowshow and Vertigo, The Libertines gave the crowd no time to warm up; it had to be all or nothing. Within minutes of being in the middle back of the gig, I was thrust to the front left to be confronted by the rounded appearance of Pete Doherty. Looking healthy and more importantly looking up for it, it wasn't long before he and fellow band mates Carl, John and Gary continued to wire into their classic repertoire of numbers like Time For Heroes and What Katie Did. But this was to be a different kind of gig we have become accustomed to from The Libertines over the past few years. There are new songs on the cards and therefore a new energy too.
The new sound Libertines do not disappoint live. It's like there is a great big trilby shaped time machine which transported the entire crowd back into the clubs of Camden town in the early noughties. The roots influenced Gunga Din is the first track off the new album to make an appearance, followed by Anthem For Doomed Youth and the first live appearance of Heart Of The Matter. It's a testament to their energy and the injection of fresh ideas, as these songs performed live raised the roof in comparison to any potential recorded material. That's how it should be. Songs played live, for live audiences. Or at least those lucky enough to make it in. With no sniff of touting outside, Rock City was a guaranteed sell out. And with barely any space to manoeuvre, The Libertines supplied the perfect soundtrack to what was to become a very messy night to remember.
Most promising to see was The Libertines reaction to the crowd's reception of the new music (...long sentence!...) returning to complete a 5 song encore including great hits like What A Waster and a show stopping - life changing performance of Don't Look Back Into The Sun, and then admiring 5 minutes of "LIB-ER-TINE" chants rewarded with a stage dive by all 4 members. It was truly a night to remember.