Exclusive – Carl Barat on his new band

Ex-Libertine speaks out to NME.COM

Carl Barat has showcased his new songs for the first time on a secret tour of Europe – and spoken exclusively to NME.COM about his new band.

Barat unveiled Dirty Pretty Things at a secret headline show last Tuesday (October 18) in Paris – the same city The Libertines played their farewell show at the end of 2004.

Dirty Pretty Things, who had already played a small number of unannounced shows in Italy, performed seven brand new songs and tracks from the Libertines back catalogue. The Triptyque club where the gig was held was hosting a club night by Poptones boss Alan McGee.

The set opened with an acoustic performance from Carl, where he whipped the 650 capacity crowd into a frenzy with Libertines hits ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’, ‘Time For Heroes’ and ‘France’.

Then the full band played for another 40 minutes. The new songs sounded like early Libertines material, combining urgent, noisy punk guitars with reggae influences similar to The Clash.

Speaking exclusively to NME.COM backstage after the show, Carl said that after a difficult year his new band feels like “four guys against the world again”, and the tour has given him the chance to bond with the rest of the group.

He said: “I’ve taken a year to sweep up the pieces, focusing, and remembering who I was and why I did what I did rather than tying up the loose ends of the Libertines, which has really taken up a lot of time and emotional space.”

Bassist Didz Hammond, who joined two months ago after leaving previous band The Cooper Temple Clause, sang backing vocals, and on one song performed the lead.

For the full interview, song titles, pictures and details of the band’s debut album, see this week’s NME, which is out nationwide now.