Likely Lads Warm Up Ice Ring
By Steffen Armstrong
They say The Libertines can't do big stages. But tonight at the newly named Nottingham Motorpoint Arena, the likely lads warmed up the ice ring on what was an otherwise luke warm affair. And yeah, I've read the reviews from Glasgow and Manchester, but maybe, just maybe, they haven't got anything on a good old Notts crowd...
The Libertines returned to Nottingham last night and they did not disappoint. Let's begin from the beginning, and an appearance from Reverend and the Makers. Now, I'd consider myself as a member of the 'Rev Army', but this was not their night. Nor was it the Sleaford Mods. The home band were easily drowned out by the looming festival stage and the rows of empty seats. An ice ring is no place for a gig, and though both groups have their attributes, Sleaford Mods especially, no amount of heavyweight champions or Mr Jolly Fuckers could save their nights.
What was looking to be a rather convivial night, however, soon shunted into gear when The Libertines returned to follow up their electric night in November at Rock City. Playing a similar set and donning the old trilbies, Pete and Carl led the way on what was, despite the venue, a night to remember.
Now, importantly, you'd agree with this positive reaction if you were anywhere in the front 10 rows of the crowd. Beyond that, yeah, you may as well of gone home. If you were in the mix, however, you got the same good feelings as any great Libertines night can offer. The night started with a bang to the sounds of the Barbarians. There I'd already lost my mates one song in. It was certainly lively, energetic, and it cast away any doubt on what the night would turn out to be. At this point my watch got nicked. Classic. The hits kept on coming, with Heart Of The Matter and Boys In The Band making the crowd rock, and even if there was a dip in form for ballads such as What Katie Did and You're My Waterloo, the mood was soon recovered with favourites such as The Man Who Would Be King and Time For Heroes.
Importantly, what must be recognised as massive progress for The Libertines, is that this was the first gig since the reunion where I have witnessed any track from Anthems For Doomed Youth taking centre stage. Gunga Din was one of the best received tracks of the night, and it marked an important transition from 'reunion band' to 'current'. And though the old back catalogue took over there after, it kind of didn't matter.