The first single from the upcoming Libs album was a stomper from Carlos. This new one’s a sweeping orchestral ballad from Pete.
I’m just calling to tell you baby
They’ll be taking me away for a while
Well don’t blame me, it’s the world that made me.
Pete says, “The song’s about not staying ahead of the law. This fella doesn’t really know why his mate’s dead, but he’s got a feeling his mate had it coming to him. He fucked with the wrong people, and he stole something he shouldn’t have, and he got stabbed. So, he’s angry and hurt and he has to go and get revenge, so he does and that’s it for him, basically. Once he has stabbed the lad who stabbed his mate, that’s it for him. He lashed out in revenge and he knows they’re coming to get him and he’s not even going to try and run because he knows he’ll just be running forever.”
Carl adds, “I started writing a riff and it ended up sounding a bit like Swan Lake, and everyone went, ‘Yeah!’ Then we got Peter’s theremin player in which took about a day to get in tune, then he played that sequence and it worked beautifully.”
Funny that it took so long to tune the theremin considering the pitch depends on the position of the player’s hand in comparison to the antenna… But you know. Band guys always have excuses for being late.
Directed by Alexander Brown. From All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade, out March 8 on Rough Trade.
Remember when that goober in the Black Keys said he wanted to punch Carl Barat in the face? So ridiculous. That used to be one of my favorite gimmicks of the album release promotional cycle: Talking shit about another musician to get attention for your project. Nobody does that anymore, do they? I wish it would come back. Maybe for the next Noel Gallagher release…
It’s funny to think that the Libertines formed to be like the Strokes. And then the Arctic Monkeys formed to be like the Libertines and weirdly ended up more famous than any of them. But who would’ve thought 20 years ago that all four Libertines would still be alive in 2023, and not only that but they’d still be together and releasing new music and also running a hotel/recording studio!
Their debut album is a masterpiece, their follow-up was a sad and damaged and occasionally beautiful mess, and everything they’ve done since then — together or apart — has been alright but rarely magical. “Run Run Run” continues on that trendline.
Carl Barât says the new song is “about being trapped, and trying to escape your dismal life, a bit like the man in Bukowski’s Post Office. The worst thing for the Libertines would be to get stuck in a ‘Run-run-run’ rut, constantly trying to relive our past. Our first record was born out of panic, and disbelief that we were actually allowed to be in a studio; the second was born of total strife and misery; the third was born of complexity; this one feels like we were all actually in the same place, at the same speed, and we really connected.”
Peter Doherty says, “I feel like we’ve completed a cycle of some kind as a band, and finally now we can add these songs to the set list, because we’ve got some bangers in there. Now we’ve opened the hotel and used the studio ourselves and it’s all worked out—more Libertines records? I should hope so!”
Good for them! I hope one day the four them get to tour the States together. I’ve seen the Pete-less version twice. Would love to see the whole band.
I’m a big Libertines fan. Their 2002 debut Up the Bracket is one of my favorite albums of the millennium so far, and their 2004 self-titled follow up is pretty good, too. Back in the day, I saw the Peteless touring version of the band twice. And while their solo careers haven’t always lived up to their potential, I’ve always held out hope that if they got back together they could rekindle the magic. But realistically, I knew that after this long it was probably going to suck.
Anthems for Doomed Youth doesn’t suck. There are moments that are great, and plenty more that are all right. I need to spend more time with it before I can be sure whether to file it (in my mind) up with the first two albums or down there next to the Babyshambles and Dirty Pretty Things albums.
“Heart Of The Matter” is one of the immediate highlights. With Pete and Carl trading off verses and self-mythologizing/demonizing lyrics, it takes the classic Libs formula and updates it with 10+ years of life experience. The video is corny and the “twist” ending is obvious, but it’s still fun to see these guys go all Reservoir Dogs in a peep show booth. Get it? The audience demands to see celebrities acting badly! Deep as a puddle, but hey, at least it looks pretty cool.
I am generally torn when it comes to my favorite defunct bands reforming. Sure, I am as easily swayed by nostalgia as the next guy, if not more so. But I am also keenly sensitive to the concepts of legacy and expectation, and we all know what can happen to the former if you miss the latter.
And so it’s with cautious optimism that I’ve been waiting for the return of The Likely Lads. The Libertines have been maybe my favorite band of the last 15 years. They personified so much of what I love about music: Punk attitude with smart lyrics and even smarter melodies, all wrapped up in a dream of Albion.
Today marks the beginning of the test with the release of a new video and song, “Gunga Din,” which is somewhat appropriate in the context of the relationship between Peter Doherty and Carl Barat. The Rudyard Kipling poem of the same name is about an English soldier in colonial India and his water carrier, who eventually sacrifices his own life to save the soldier…despite abuse. Without getting too analytical about it, let’s just say the two have had swings of abuse and intense love over the years that seems to have returned to a place of genuine appreciation, respect and brotherly affection.
The video finds our heroes stumbling and sweating their way through crowded streets in what I am guessing is Thailand, where the band wrote most of the new album as Doherty was completing a stint in rehab.
The 12-track record will be titled Anthems For Doomed Youth and comes out on September 4. Info on the various version is available on the band’s website.
The album was produced by Jake Gosling, best known for his work with Ed Sheeran and One Direction.
It was recorded at Karma Studios in Thailand.
It’s expected to be 11 tracks in length, and it only features one old song, a re-recorded version of “You’re My Waterloo.”
There are synths and piano on the album. Bassist John Hassall joked: “We’ve gone progressive… No, don’t get scared. It’s still The Libertines, but it would be weird if we came back and just did exactly the same thing.”
Pete Doherty claimed that fans “are going to love” the record.
Carl started his twelve-song set with three new songs, including “Run The Boys,” and followed them up with familiar Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things favorites. He spent much of the evening mingling with the crowd and the whole night had a friendly vibe in the legendary venue in the heart of London. The gig was arranged by Little Episodes who raise awareness for those suffering with addiction and depression.
The next time I will see Carl will be at Leeds where he will be reuniting with the Libertines…
Below are the things we’ve posted to Twitter recently. In reverse chronological order, just like Twitter… We’re reposting 121 tweets this time with a total of 80 links to stuff that (mostly) didn’t end up on GLONO.
# FF @Tommy_Stinson – I hate music. Too many notes. Tommy says so. 6 minutes ago
# RT @Weezer: A little credit, please, for referencing “Never Gonna Give You Up” in “Heartsongs” before the Rickroll phenomenon.–RC 18 minutes ago
# RT @lcdsoundsystem: Wow. That drunk girls video with all the pictures is everything i hate in one thing! Nice. 19 minutes ago
# RT @slicingeyeballs: Video: Watch Robyn Hitchcock’s full 37-minute in-store performance at Amoeba Music http://ow.ly/1u6Wz 21 minutes ago
# WSJ: Prince’s Failed LotusFlow3r Site: An Insider Dishes on ‘Polar Bear’ Decor, Fed-Up Fans: http://bit.ly/bCrHBh about 3 hours ago
# Stream another new song from the Hold Steady, ‘The Weekenders’ » http://bit.ly/dsc4lo about 4 hours ago
Lots more below, and you might consider following us on Twitter if you want to keep up with this stuff as it happens…
There are fewer more distressing sights than that
Of an Englishman in a baseball cap.
—The Libertines, “Time for Heroes”
When I was in college I spent a semester studying abroad at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. The guys I hung out with were from all across the British Isles, and I was impressed and sometimes intimidated by their classical education. Dudes could quote whole passages of Shakespeare and Milton like it was nothing. Over pints we would often get into discussions about American culture, or the lack thereof. Fuckers turned me from an Anglophile into a true blue patriot. My main comebacks were always: jazz, rock and roll, and hip hop. I was right, of course, but since I’d never been taught the formal principles of logic, the Brits usually won the argument. But I was right. And their Levis agreed with me.
During my breaks, I travelled extensively albeit aimlessly around the U.K. and Ireland. I had a lot of amazing experiences but was often disappointed by the gross Americanization of the cities. McDonald’s was everywhere (even if they made you pay extra for “tomato sauce”). So our culture, for good or ill, had inarguably spread across the sea.