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Babyshambles: Up The Shambles

The fact that the most serviceable piece of Babyshambles live footage the people behind this DVD could find dates back to the days when Gemma Clarke still banged the drums (she left in January 2005) means, like most things in Babyshambles world, the whole thing smacks of unofficialdom. Back then, Babyshambles were a total mess, still yet to fart out ‘Down In Albion’, and this ain’t a band of any vintage. Things get interesting when One Dove singer Dot Allison pops up for half the show. Having already put in vocal stints with Death In Vegas and Massive Attack, Dot is the Go To Girl when you want to inject your dirge rock with some angelic vulnerability. Her spectral turns on ‘I Mean You No Harm’ and ‘Sheepskin Tearaway’ are mesmerising, but when she plays the solo from ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ on a glockenspiel or sings the first verse of ‘Time For Heroes’, even she looks puzzled as to why she’s there. In the end, Pete shines the brightest when it’s just him, an acoustic guitar and some gutteral jibbering about how brilliant he is. Where Amy’s disc manages to shift focus back to the songs, there’s a definitive Babyshambles concert film scattered in many small fragments all over the internet. It certainly isn’t this. And in the end it’s neither of their own faults that Nirvana blow them so completely out of the water.
5 / 10

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