This was the scene at The Libertines reunion press conference at The Boogaloo, Highgate, March 31.
The band also played together for the first time since announcing their reformation, taking to the stage in London for an impromptu show.
The band, with drummer Gary Powell standing in the wings, kicked off with a cover of old standard ‘Georgia On My Mind’, seaguing the song into ‘The Good Old Days’ from The Libertines’ debut album ‘Up The Bracket’.
Doherty and Barat shared vocals – as well as sly winks and jokes – throughout the set, with Hassall also chipping in from time to time. Playing a range of tracks from their career, the band aired the likes of ‘Death On The Stairs’, ‘France’ and ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’.
Band friend ‘Rabbi’ John Connor – a regular at early Libertines gigs – also joined them for a run through of sea shanty ‘Sally Brown’.
In the new issue of NME we reveal the inside story of The Libertines’ shock reunion.
In their first interview in five years, the band reveal that they are set to reunite to play at the Reading And Leeds Festivals this year.
Pete Doherty, Carl Barat, John Hassall and Gary Powell will reconvene to play second from top of the bill at the August 27-29 event – their first full gigs as a band since the 2004 split.
You can watch an interview in which the band explain why they got back together at NME.COM/video.
The Libertines will perform at Leeds on the Friday (August 27) of the festival, before headliners Arcade Fire. They will play in Reading on the Saturday (28).
“We’re reforming the band to play the songs that people want to hear,” Carl Barat told NME.COM. “We’re going to get together, play songs which have been collecting dust in the garage. People want to hear them, so we’re going to give them a run. We’ll be playing them like we’re playing them for the last ever time.”
Pete Doherty added: “I can’t really believe it yet. I haven’t quite digested it. It’s been a bit of a pipe dream.”
The band admit they were offered big money to reunite – “People make offers all the time,” says Carl Barat, “a million quid this year if you do X,Y and Z.”
However, they insist there were personal reasons for reforming too. “What got me involved was the spirit of friendship,” says drummer Gary Powell.
Carl Barat received word of the reunion while in the British Museum. “I was surrounded by Arcadian relics and I thought, ‘Why not?’,” he explains.
Carl Barat: “I couldn’t do this without love.”
Speaking in the new NME, Barat continued: “The reason for doing it, unless I’m really fucking mistaken, is because people want it.”
The band admit it’ll be a struggle to relearn their old songs. “‘Arbeit Macht Frei’ – that’ll take a good half day’s rehearsal, that,” explains Pete Doherty.
Carl Barat has fond memories of Reading festival – he saw Rage Against The Machine there in 1996: “Absolutely fucking spellbinding.”
The Libertines played Reading and Leeds in 2004 – but without Pete, who was replaced by Anthony Rossomando.
Pete: “I’ve yet to find any drug to equal the excitement of us playing live.”
Pete: “I can’t quite believe [the reunion] yet. It’s been a bit of a pipe dream.”
Grab the new issue of NME for the full interview with The Libertines.
And bookmark the Libertines artist page for all the latest news on the band’s reunion.