Monday, May 18, 2009

"What A Waster" - The Libertines Return!

The big news of the week for me, apart from being delighted every time a new picture of Shu Qi at Cannes is released, has been word that The Libertines, according to the NME, reunited in London over the weekend (well, at least three of 'em were involved).

The Libertines were the last great British band. I can't think of another UK band with such promise to appear since their arrival.

The mix of 1977-era punk with Morrissey-worthy lyrics and an Albarn/Davies-Englishness-worn-on-the-sleeve made the band -- or at least their singles -- quite endearing to me.

And the thing about the band is that their rambling, shambling racket always promises a bit more than it ever delivers. But, occasionally, that racket did deliver and the lyrics and music of Pete Doherty and Carl Barat provided a rush that few other bands could.

It's worth repeating that I am a big fan of the great single and The Libertines certainly delivered on that front; heck, I'd go so far as to say that "Don't Look Back Into The Sun" is one of the 10 or 20 best UK singles released since The Clash unloaded "White Riot".

I dutifully purchased all the Libertines spin-offs and while each one had a moment or two of absolute greatness -- Babyshambles' "Fuck Forever" or "Albion" or Dirty Pretty Things' "Bang Bang You're Dead" -- the writing was the old wall: these two guys needed a reunion as much as the fans did.

Listening to those records was like listening to McCartney's "Band on The Run" and Lennon's "Mind Games" back-to-back and pretending you were hearing side two of Abbey Road.

So, while Doherty can still deliver greatness -- if one is willing to sit through otherwise mediocre albums: Babyshambes' "Deft Left Hand" and "1939 Returning" from Doherty's recent solo album -- I say it's time for these two lads to get their shit together and write something as half as good as this song.

Thank God for YouTube!

The Libertines "What A Waster", May 15 into the morning of May 16, 2009