The news section in the current issue of NME features the somewhat startling news that Lee Mavers, enigmatic frontman of The La’s, wants Babyshambles – including Pete Doherty – to be his backing band on a proposed second album by the legendary group.
This is an appalling idea. Speaking as a huge fan of their eponymous 1990 debut, I’d rather the legend remained intact. Recording a new album now is unlikely to do anything other than sully the band’s reputation – maybe even more than their 2005 comeback tour did.
Those dates, which included performances at Glastonbury and V Festivals, were an uninspired, shoddy mess, featuring virtually the same setlist as when I saw them back in 1991, in the same bloody order. It was like time had stopped.
But even then at least Mavers had John Power on bass and backing vocals, the former Cast man being his lieutenant in the late 80s/early 90s, when The La¹s were a fully functional group, enchanting us with amazing singles like ‘Timeless Melody’, ‘Feelin” and, of course, the immortal ‘There She Goes’.
If what Babyshambles drummer Adam Ficek tells us is true, we’d have an extremely ordinary, uninspiring group providing a plodding backdrop to songs by a man whose time has surely come and gone. Indeed, it’s precisely because Mavers refuses to release a second album that he is such a cult figure.
And what about live performances? OK, so Mavers appeared as a guest on selected dates on Pete’s recent solo tour, but Doherty is a notoriously unreliable live performer. Coupled with Mavers’ general lack of enthusiasm for appearing before an audience, and we could have a total disaster on our hands.
Lee, don¹t do it. ‘There She Goes’ will keep the wolf from the door. Let sleeping dogs lie. Please.