Babyshambles replace Pete Doherty with fan for NME show

Drew McConnell and Adam Ficek play unique Shockwaves NME Awards gig

Babyshambles performed tonight (December 6) without frontman Pete Doherty.

As previously reported, the former Libertine failed to show for the Shockwaves NME Awards Launch Party at IndigO2 in London with members of Babyshambles explaining that the singer was unwell.

Instead, bassist Drew McConnell and drummer Adam Ficek performed as a duo, although they got some unexpected help during their seven-song set.

After host George Lamb told the crowd that Doherty would not appear, McConnell took the stage, explaining: “Alright, my name is Drew and this is Adam, this is quite embarrassing really but it’s been a hell of a day. Adam and I are here, but the other two boys (Doherty and guitarist Mick Whitnall) in the band aren’t. It’s a pain in the arse really.”

He then offered to play for the crowd of 300 competition winners, asking them: “We can try to sing some songs for you, are up for that? OK, sing along if you know the words.”

After loud cheers, the duo kicked off with ’I Wish’ before McConnell then said he’d throw the setlist open to the fans.

“Erm, we could do requests,” he explained, before speaking directly to one fan at the front. “Do you know how to play? What’s your name? Jamie? Come on, let’s get Jamie up here.”

The fan, Jamie Bell, was then helped over the barrier, taking the guitar from McConnell, who resumed his bass rolls as the makeshift trio performed ’Carry On Up The Morning’, with Bell singing the song in a Doherty-esque voice.

“I thought that was fucking beautiful man,” McConnell told the crowd after the fan returned to the audience, “he’s doing better than I am for fuck’s sake!”

The pair then performed ’Beg, Steal Or Borrow’ and ’Delivery’, before Josh Hubbard from The Paddingtons, who was watching the gig from the wings, bounded onstage to play a cover of The Clash’s ’Janie Jones’ and The Vaselines’Molly’s Lips’.

Ending the set as a duo again, McConnell thanked the crowded for “bearing with” and “for not killing us”, before they wrapped things up with a storming version of ’Fuck Forever’.

The Doherty-free Babyshambles played:

‘I Wish’

‘Carry On Up The Morning’

‘Beg, Steal Or Borrow’

‘Delivery’

‘Janie Jones’

‘Molly’s Lips’

‘Fuck Forever’

Earlier tonight, Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong and The Wombats played rousing sets to kick off NME‘s first ever awards launch party.

Stay tuned to NME.COM for all the latest news. Plus register your vote for the 2008 Shockwaves NME Awards at NME.COM/Awards now.