The Libertines played their first gig together in four years on Saturday night (June 28), taking to the stage at Glasgow Barrowland to play a 25-song set.
Hundreds of fans arrived early to get down the front. Many of them taking a trip via the merch stand.
The show, the first of two in Glasgow, served as a warm-up to their huge headline slot at London’s Hyde Park at the start of July. That day, they’ll play to 40,000 people.
Pete Doherty, Carl Barat, John Hassall and Gary Powell walked onstage together at 9.30pm, as the venue PA played ‘I Belong To Glasgow’ by 1930s Scottish comedian and singer Will Fyffe.
hey then kicked into traditional set-opener ‘Horrorshow’, the track being received ecstatically by the crowd, many of whom threw drinks and clothes in the air and filmed the moment on phones.
After airing early B-side ‘The Delaney’, Barat – who as the set began was wearing a red guards jacket – led the band into ‘Vertigo’, which saw him and Doherty share the same microphone for the first time.
Stage chat was minimal at the start of the set, with the first real acknowledgement coming from Doherty after the band finished ‘Death On The Stairs’. “Well we’re a band from England, we’re called The Libertines,” he told the audience. “We played up here years ago – I don’t think any of you were born to be honest.”
After playing ‘Campaign Of Hate’, Doherty threw his guitar to a roadie at the side of the stage, mimicking the same trick Joe Strummer often did at Clash gigs, before running off and returning a few seconds later.
The band played 25 songs in the end.
The Scottish crowd were more than up for it.
Elsewhere in the set, yhey had to restart ‘Time For Heroes’ – which Doherty had dedicated to the Guildford Four’s Gerry Conlon, who died this week – after Powell missed the start of the track. “It’s not working, it’s not working. We fucked it up,” Doherty said to the audience, tongue-in-cheek. The second version of the song was finished without incident.
‘Music When The Lights Go Out’ began with Doherty, Barat and Hassall all sharing vocals akin to the early, pre-Rough Trade version of the song rather than the one from their second, eponymous album.
They later aired another track from that early period, ‘Love On The Dole’ – the first time the song has been played by this incarnation of the band.
The band took onstage breaks throughout the show, and at several points they were served cocktails by a friend, who was also dressed in a red guards jacket, from the side of the stage.
A more tense moment came when Doherty led the crowd into chanting the opening of ‘I Wish’ by his other band, Babyshambles. After considering whether to play that song, the four-piece instead went into the Libertines track ‘Radio America’.
However, the song was given an extended intro when Doherty spotted an iPhone which had been thrown onto the stage. After taking a selfie with Barat on the device, he tried to find the owner – but failed due to the loudness of the audiences screams.
Following a short break, where they went offstage after ‘The Good Old Days’, they returned to play ‘What Katie Did’, ‘France’ and a frenetic version of ‘I Get Along’.
The band then played their final two songs of the night, ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ and ‘Tell The King’.
After finishing the latter, all four members came together for the last time of the evening to salute the crowd, with Doherty taking the microphone and saying they’ll be back for their next gig at Barrowland tomorrow evening. “Same time tomorrow, yeah?” he said, adding: “And if you’ve got a Libertines tattoo you can watch the soundcheck for free.”
The band then hugged before leaving the stage.