Love, Sweat And Beers: The Story Of The Libertines’ Secret Show Last Night

Last night The Libertines played what could be their last show for some time, a triumphant, full throttle set at their old stomping ground, The Boogaloo pub in Highgate. We saw the whole thing as it happened, from the initial rumours to the sweaty show. Here’s what went down.

Rumours started to pop up on Twitter

It started just like it always does – with whispers. Tweets began popping up, suggesting a secret Libs show was in the offing, and quickly hysteria started to spread.

The queue built up in Highgate

First people speculated that the gig could be taking place at the Antigallican in Greenwich, but then word got out that The Boogaloo, the pub that Pete Doherty had lived above with Shane MacGowan, would be hosting the event. Suddently a mass exodus to north London was in full flow.

The doors were opened

After queuing outside for over two hours, the public were finally let loose on The Boogaloo. Well, some of them anyway. Hundreds of distraught fans were reportedly turned away, and many voiced their anguish online.

For the people that were inside though, the night was only just beginning. People were charged £10 on entry, with all proceeds of the event going to the homeless charity Shelter. Good lads.

Support came from Helsinki backed by Palma Violets

The Libs weren’t the only big names there that night – there was a stellar rung of support acts for the crowd to enjoy. Helsinki, a.k.a Babyshambles bassist and backing vocalist Drew McConnell, played a set with Palma Violets backing him. Not bad for a tenner, eh?

Before Pete, Carl, John and Gary were unleashed on the baying pub crowd, Trampolene frontman and Libertines tour poet Jack Jones led the crowd in a rousing rendition of his poem ‘Ketamine’.

The big reveal

And just like that, there they were, clambering through the tight gap in the bar and into what remained of the ‘stage’. Pete seemed gleeful, Carl slightly subdued and Gary utterly ecstatic.

What came next tested The Libs’ ‘never say stop’ attitude to gigs. Microphones were hijacked, glass was thrown and at one point Barat was knocked into the kit at full force. Despite being crammed into the back corner of the stage for the majority of the set, Pete reveled in the adoration, and he looked great too.

Last album tracks like ‘Gunga Din’ got as much appreciation as earlier classics, with Carl pleading with the crowd to “Back off, Boogaloo!”, in reference to the Ringo Starr song of the same name. The first moment of real madness came with the roaring reaction to ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’, with Pete pressing himself against the back wall in order to play his harmonica solo.

A short-lived but much-loved blast of ‘Twist and Shout’ came next, followed by bellowing renditions of ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ and ‘Music When The Lights Go Out’.

The aftermath

By midnight it was all over, the dust had started to settle and delirious fans staggered out of The Boogaloo into the night. Many couldn’t quite comprehend what they’d just seen…

As for the band, following the gig they tweeted a simple, slightly ominous quote, but one that made the night that passed that bit more special.