Gig Review by Hayley Clark with Photography by Andy Watson

The Libertines

The Libertines rocked into Birmingham Barclaycard arena as if it was no different from any of the smaller venues they had previously played, performing with the energy that was longed for during the ten years that passed before ‘Anthems for Doomed Youth’ emerged onto the scene late last year.

The Libertines

The crowd mixed from older fans who were looking for a buzz of nostalgia to younger fans hooked on the latest offerings this four piece could give and no one could predict what to expect, half way through a much long overdue first ever arena tour.

The Libertines

After splitting back in 2004, the raucous energy and presence on stage by Pete Doherty and Carl Barat erupted the crowd in whoops and cheers, Pete looking healthier than he had in previous years was a welcomed site to see, with the dynamic duo accompanied by bassist John Hassal and drummer Gaz Powell, who whipped off his shirt to add to the anarchy of this patriotic band.

The Libertines

Lamps were in cages at the front of the stage as if the band where trying to recreate the stages of years passed at smaller underground venues to give a personal touch through the 22 song set list. Whilst the quartet opened with Barbarians from their newest offering ‘Anthems For Doomed Youth’ they soon had the boozy crowd singing along as they tore into ‘The Delaney’. Mixing old and new the past anthems such as ‘What Katie Did’, ‘Can’t stand me now’ and ‘Gunga Din’ received the biggest reception from the audience, maybe because they didn’t expect to experience these live again.

The Libertines

The rivalry and love hate relationship is still there between Pete and Carl as the dynamic duo fought for the microphone on stage with crowd interaction at a minimum except for the song the Albion where they referred to local district Digbeth and at the end where Pete threw the giant Union jack flag from the stage into the crowd as a parting gift.

The Libertines

The Libertines wrapped up with an encore of ‘Up the Bracket’, ‘Music when the lights go’ and ending to a finale of ‘Don’t look Back Into The Sun’, the polished guitar riffs and raw vocals left the mixed aged crowd wanting more and showing that it may have taken a while, and a background which would be worthy of a movie deal, but the Libertines have gone from the ‘good old days’ and the ‘boys in the band’ to owning the Barclaycard arena stage and showing that there is an awful lot more to come from the band people thought were finished a long time ago, this was no reunion tour for a quick fix, this is the start of a brand new chapter for Pete and the band.

The Libertines

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