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The Libertines Reunion

The Libertines Reunion

By: Camilla Whitehill

The Libertines are back. For a bit well, OK, just for one day. Against the odds, for some strange and magical reason (money), the band are reforming for a reunion gig at Hyde Park on July 5th. Supported by a plethora of terrible late-Noughties indie bands that I’d assumed had retired and were working in the Camden branch of Nandos. Notorious drug zombie Pete Doherty and his ex-bandmate/friend/possiblymorenobodyeverfiguredthatout Carl Barat are putting aside their issues to make sweet music together once more.

The Libertines are back. For a bit, well, OK, just for one day. Against the odds, for some strange and magical reason (money), the band are reforming for a reunion gig at Hyde Park on July 5th. Supported by a plethora of terrible late-Noughties indie bands that I’d assumed had retired and were working in the Camden branch of Nandos. Notorious drug zombie Pete Doherty and his ex-bandmate/friend/possiblymorenobodyeverfiguredthatout Carl Barat are putting aside their issues to make sweet music together once more.

There’s a lot to be cynical about here. Doherty might not turn up (that’s kind of his thing). He might burgle Barat’s house again, causing Barat to not turn up. Imagine schlepping over to Hyde Park only to be treated to an extra-long set by Reverend and the Makers and no Libertines to be seen. They might both turn up, but Doherty might be so out of it that he just lies down quietly while the rest of the band attempts Time For Heroes. They might both turn up, and only play songs by Dirty Pretty Things, followed by that horrible Babyshambles album from last year. They might both turn up, read a William Blake poem aloud, then physically fight each other. The list goes on.

All this considered, am I going to be hunched sweatily over my laptop when tickets go on-sale on Wednesday 30th April? Yes. Nothing will stop me. I would smack my own mother in the face with an anvil to get tickets.

Because yeah, it could be crap. It could be a bit lacklustre, disappointing or just never quit meet my 14 year old-self’s romanticised ideals. But what if it isn’t? What if, against the odds, the indefinable magic that made The Libertines one of the most exciting bands of the Noughties returns, flooding Hyde Park, moving the crowd to sob into their trilbies?

 

When I was 16, I queued for hours for a secret Babyshambles gig in Camden (I know, bare with me). My friends and I sat outside Koko in a queue of similarly excited adolescents, taking photos on our Motorolas and applying Barry M lipgloss. We were all wearing that mix of charity shop chic and H&M basics that the trendy kids went for in 2006. About an hour in, the first 100 in the queue (don’t worry, we made it) were handed Babyshambles t-shirts, which were our tickets to the gig. We then made our way to a secret location that I’ve completely forgotten. It was an incredibly hot day, and 100 sweaty, hysterical fans were packed into a tiny basement. My friend fainted from the heat (we didn’t leave. She woke up eventually). Kate Moss was sat in the VIP bit with her little daughter. After a fairly long wait, Pete Doherty and the band descended into the tiny basement, and played a furious set of songs on a tiny stage so close I could have wiped the junkie sweat off his top lip. It was the most exciting moment of my young life. It probably still is because when he’s good – he’s bloody good.

I never got to see The Libertines live. It’s always been on my “before I die” list (with David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, and the full line-up of the Beatles – one or more of those might be tricky). So yeah, I’ll be there on July 5th – skinny jeans on, vintage Motorola in hand, singing my heart out to The Good Old Days. And I really, really hope they pull it off. Who knows what could happen if they do?