Pete Doherty forced to abandon intimate London gig due to illness

Babyshambles man recovering after Rhythm Factory drama

Pete Doherty was taken ill halfway through at a Babyshambles gig in London last night (December 19).

The singer was forced to abandon the show at Rhythm Factory in the early hours of the morning.

Doherty passed out briefly and vomited backstage before being rushed home to recuperate.

His bandmates continued the set with fans on vocal duties as they did at the Shockwaves NME Awards Launch Party, before the frustrations led guitarist Mick Whitnall into an altercation with security guards.

Pete Doherty had arrived at the venue with his bandmates at 11:40pm GMT, looking sober though tired and wearing two coats for warmth, following a long late-night set with Babyshambles the previous night at the venue (December 17), and a solo show on Sunday (December 16) night.

“I’ve got cat flu!” the singer had joked to NME.COM as he arrived, adding that after playing two vigorous gigs in a row he felt “pretty rough”.

The band took the stage shortly afterwards to rapturous applause form hardcore Babyshambles fans who had been lucky enough to bag tickets, opening with ‘Killamangiro’.

The band continued to play an energetic, tight set including fan favourites ‘UnStookietitled’, ‘Delivery’ and ‘Beg, Steal Or Borrow’.

After playing ‘Side Of The Road’, the eighth song of the night, Doherty suddenly rushed backstage and was shortly followed by his bandmates.

After a brief interval Babyshambles, minus Doherty, returned to the side of the stage where bassist Drew McConnell told NME.COM: “He’s [Doherty] vomiting, he’s passed out on the sofa now.”

McConnell added: “It’s his complex, it’s the same thing that meant he couldn’t go to the NME Awards show the other night.”

“The poor sod,” McConnell said. “It’s not his fault at all. And poor them [the fans].”

Taking the stage again, Whitnall performed ‘I Wish’ solo, before he was joined by McConnell and Ficek.

McConnell then announced: “We are really sorry. We don’t like this any more than you, it’s embarrassing.”

Doherty’s manager then invited fans to come forward and take vocal duties.

The trio, went on to play ‘Delivery’, ‘Albion’ and ‘Fuck Forever’ with a different fan chosen from the audience to sing each song.

“Thanks for humouring Babyshambles karaoke,” McConnell laughed during ‘Fuck Forever’.

As ‘Fuck Forever’ ended, the frustrations of the evening seemed to get to Whitnall, who began hitting his guitar against the monitors amps, causing security guards to step in an escort him backstage.

A brief shouting match between Whitnall and venue staff then took place, before both sides calmed down and made their peace.

It was then confirmed by the Babyshambles camp that Doherty had been driven home to recuperate.

Doherty had been sober and coherent throughout the performance until being taken ill, as he had during the previous two nights at the venue.

A spokesperson for Doherty told NME.COM later that the singer had “seen a doctor and was fine, but exhausted”.