Pete Doherty kicks off Babyshambles tour in Manchester

'It's hard playing sober' former Libertine admits on first night

Babyshambles kicked off their UK tour at the MEN Arena in Manchester last night (November 22).

Pete Doherty and his band-mates played a set heavy on tracks from recent album ‘Shotter’s Nation’ – including ‘Delivery’, ‘Unbilotitled’ and new single ‘You Talk’ – but opted not to play any versions of songs by The Libertines.

Songs taken from Babyshambles‘ debut album ‘Down In Albion’ got the night’s biggest cheers, with ‘Albion’, ‘Killamangiro’ and ‘Fuck Forever’ inspiring loud, terrace chant-style singalongs.

In keeping with the jaunt’s ‘Oh, What A Lovely Tour’ theme, the stage was decked out with bunting, large model cigarette cases adorned the monitors and images of comedian Tony Hancock, Winston Churchill and wartime newspaper front pages which were projected onto the stage backdrop.

After heading onstage for a delayed encore, Doherty alluded to his apparent drug rehab, explaining to the crowd that there had been a “bit of confusion there. It’s hard playing these gigs sober, y’know?”.

Doherty later burst into an acapella version of ‘Build Me Up Buttercup’ by The Foundations before rounding off the night with closer ‘Fuck Forever’.

Reports of slow tickets sales proved accurate, with lots of empty seets visible at 15,000-capacity arena which also saw performances from Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong and Dizzee Rascal.

Check out NME.COM picture gallery from Babyshambles’ first night now.

Babyshambles played:

‘Carry On Up The Morning’

‘Delivery’

‘Beg, Steal Or Borrow’

‘Baddies Boogie’

‘Unstookietitled’

‘Side Of The Road’

‘Unbilotitled’

‘The Blinding’

‘You Talk’

‘Sedative’

‘Crumb Begging Baghead’

‘Lost Art Of Murder’

‘There She Goes (A Little Heartache)’

‘Albion’

‘Pipe Down’

‘Killamangiro’

‘Back From The Dead’

‘I Wish’

‘Fuck Forever’

The tour continues tonight (November 23) at Newcastle’s Metro Arena, before heading to:

Brighton Centre (25)

Bournemouth International Centre (26)

London Wembley Arena (27)

Birmingham NIA (28)

Nottingham Arena (30)

Glasgow SECC (December 1)

To check ticket availability and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/GIGS, now.