It could be open by July...
Watch our full and in-depth interview with Doherty above
The band have been teasing plans for the 10-room, five storey property since 2016, before revealing last year that it would be called ‘The Albion Rooms‘ and inviting fans to buy their own brick to help with the construction work. Despite some resistance from local residents, work on the property has continued – with a recording studio now complete as well as hotel rooms and a bar also in progress.
“Carl was a very shrewd maneuverer getting this gaff,” Doherty told NME. “Before I saw it he said, ‘Pete, I’ve bought this muscular place on the seafront’. I thought ‘I’ll have some of that’.”
While the pair were at loggerheads over the price of a Ford GTI that Barat was trying to sell to Doherty, the Babyshambles frontman has said that he hopes he has proven his skills as a hotel manager.
“The hotel doors, in theory, are open,” he continued. “If you want to book a room then we can discuss that. We’ve had people turn up. The other day I was on my own, these people turned up and said they had nowhere to go for the night, we came to some arrangement, they spent the night there. They were very clean and I think I handled the whole thing quite well.
“I showed my calibre and I think Carl can rethink his whole policy of me not being able to live on the premises.”
Asked about when the hotel would be officially open to the public, Doherty replied: “I’d say July would be a very exaggerated estimate of when it’s all going to be available so you can go online go ‘BANG’ and get somewhere to stay at the Albion Rooms. If you turn up with nowhere to go with cash on the hip then you’re welcome – within reason.
“You get people going past and shouting abuse, but you get that everywhere don’t you? Most of the time it’s fairly civilised Arcadian types.”
Confirming that the recording studios at the hotel were “all up and running”, Doherty said that not only had The Libertines been working on new material there, but also that he had recorded one song from his new band The Puta Madres’ debut album there, as well as revealing that Barat had been producing music with The Prodigy’s touring guitarist Olly Burden.
The singer also said that he’s been flexing his skills as an interior designer across the property.
“The hotel rooms are just there, some of them with the original decor, then there’s some of them with my influence which they’re trying to ease out,” Doherty told NME. “They prefer my influence to the original decor, but I think they want to go even further. Like, beyond Pete Doherty. It’s never going to be hipster because you’ve got that smell that the sea gives out twice a day. That’s why Margate will never be gentrified. However, there is art-led regeneration. We’re part of that, because it was affordable. You know, we’re never going to open a hotel in Old Street or anything like that.
He added: “What we got in Margate was something that we would have got in London 40 years ago or something. It’s an incredible building. We’ve got all kinds of extraordinary things going on there. We’ve got ghosts, we got underground tunnels, we got metal fire escapes going down the back, we got planning permission, we got book cases that we didn’t even know but they spin round.”
Doherty also spoke to NME about mortality and turning 40, as well as the headlines that return to haunt him and his “fascination with smack and prison“, what he feels ‘Albion’ means in the era of Brexit, and the adventurous twists and turns that The Libertines’ new album is taking – featuring some ‘freestyle rap’.
The debut album by Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres is out now.