Monday, March 29, 2010

Time For Heroes: The Libertines Reunite

I've been waiting for this!

Yes, The Libertines have decided to reunite for the Reading and Leeds festivals in England this summer.

There are not many bands worth getting excited about but The Libs were briefly one of them.

Despite the fact that I don't like that shirtless look that Pete Doherty sometimes championed, I gave the band a pass because when they were on, they were genius.

And I'm not one for Doherty's whole Rimbaud shtick -- he seems to be overdoing the deranging of the senses-bit -- but the sometimes-street-poetry of his lyrics was offset constantly by Carl Barat's popsense.

They were like The Clash of Sandanista (1980) but harnessed (by producer Mick Jones of The Clash!) into something focused and sharp and direct.

Always sounding like they just picked up their instruments minutes before plugging in, they managed to make anthems that were smart, catchy, and life-affirming even if they sounded like the last yelps of a guy drinking himself to death in a rundown bar.

Well, maybe more like the drunk breathing into your ear and trying to provoke a bar fight?

Sure, I think that both guys produced moments of genuine genius post-Libertines -- Pete with Babyshambles and "Fuck Forever" and "Deft Left Hand" and Carl with Dirty Pretty Things and "Bang Bang You're Dead" -- but they clearly need each other to succeed even more than the Gallagher brothers.

And, most importantly, even if they suck at the festivals and fall apart -- again! -- on a stage in front of thousands -- that falling apart business will be more real and human and memorable than a dozen other bands at that same festival; who the fuck will be talking about headliners Arcade Fire the next day when the Libertines proceed those Canadian art-rockers?

The Libertines "Boys in the Band", 2002 on Jools Holland's TV show...