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Libertines, 22.2.22

The Libertines are currently touring the UK to mark the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Up The Bracket and they stopped off at Rock City to invite a packed crowd to the party.

Striding onstage and picking up his guitar, Pete Doherty had the Nottingham crowd cheering, proving that their well documented problems are well behind them. Looking healthy and taking centre stage for the blistering opener What A Waster, the pace rarely relented all night.

With a wealth of songs from Up The Bracket and their self titled sophomore album, the fans have had to wait eleven years for their latest , the very under rated Anthems For Doomed Youth but what tracks were included on the set list were very well received.

Along with guitarist Carl Barat, the baton was often handed over to drummer Gary Powell who was very much the secret weapon, along with solidly dependable bassist John Hassall, evidenced on a riotous rendition of Up The Bracket.

After delivering The Ha Ha Wall, new song Gunga Din and What Katie Did which sparked the nights first sing along, Doherty donned a battered acoustic guitar and with Barat at the piano there was a tender moment of respite as the melancholy ballad You’re My Waterloo was seductively beguiling.

The respite was short lived as Boys In The Band and Can’t Stand Me Now harked back gloriously to the bands heyday when Doherty was one of the most talked about and instantly recognisable rock stars around.

The Boy Looked At Johnny was triumphantly messy whilst Heart Of The Matter is arguably the track from the new album that stands tallest and holds its own against their earlier works. What Became Of The Likely Lads will never tire when delivered with this level of energy before main set closer The Good Old Boys was reinvented as it was mashed up with Yazz’s The Only Way Is Up.

For the encore there was The Delaney, Fame And Fortune and Death On The Stairs before Don’t Look Back Into The Sun got one of the biggest reactions before Time For Heroes closed the show in exultant fashion, leaving the moshing masses drenched and drained.

Finishing with a series of swashbuckling bows, The Libertines are bound to go down a storm at their mainly outdoor dates which continues their celebrations but this concert was a reminder that this quartet still possess a unique vigour and can still deliver a set list that is pure Libertines material all the way.

Editor of LLR since 2005

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