Pete Doherty bought his current solo tour to a charismatic close last night (March 29), playing a triumphant set at London‘s Troxy Theatre – where he was joined by a near-constant stream of guest musicians, as well as several stage invaders.
Starting the gig on his own, Doherty performed a gentle version of The Libertines favourite ‘Music When The Lights Go Out’.
At the song’s end, he introduced Blur‘s Graham Coxon onto the stage, adding he was to be “one of many guests tonight”.
Coxon then played the fingerpicked guitar line from ‘Arcadie’, the opening track on Doherty‘s recently-released solo album ‘Grace/Wastelands’, which Coxon plays on.
At the song’s climax, the duo were bolstered by a string section, keyboard player and Doherty‘s Babyshambles bandmates Drew McConnell and Adam Ficek.
‘Grace/Wastelands’‘ producer Stephen Street also appeared onstage throughout the gig, playing keys, guitar and tambourine.
The producer baffled the audience mid-way through the gig when he emerged from the back of the stage dressed head-to-toe in a native American fancy dress costume (including a two-foot wide head-dress).
Doherty then informed the audience that it was Street‘s birthday, and the entire band – aided by the crowd – launched into a sing-a-long version of ‘Happy Birthday’.
Coxon and Doherty traded lead parts throughout the set, with Doherty delighting in playing the solo from ‘Through The Looking Glass’, while Coxon tackled ‘Broken Love Song’ and ‘New Love Grows On Trees’.
After playing solo acoustic versions of ‘The Good Old Days’ and ‘For Lovers’ (which saw a sober-looking Wolfman appear onstage to sing the last chorus), Doherty alerted the audience that another guest was now due to sing.
“Lee Mavers, ladies and gentlemen,” the singer gleefully announced. However, when the elusive La’s‘ frontman didn’t appear, a confused Doherty was left asking “Where’s he gone?!” before shouting Mavers‘ name into the microphone.
When Mavers still didn’t show, Doherty, looking slightly bemused, began playing The Libertines‘ 2004 single ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’, leaving the audience to sing Carl Barat‘s lines.
At the song’s end, McConnell and Ficek reappeared onstage, while Doherty stood stage left.
With the rest of the band in place, Mavers finally strode casually onstage with a bottle of beer in his hand. Dressed in black leather jacket and blue jeans, the legendary singer picked up an acoustic guitar and launched into a near-perfect rendition of The La’s classic ‘Son Of A Gun’, backed by Ficek on drums and McConnell on double bass (while Doherty sang backing vocals).
Although he said nothing to the audience, Mavers raised his hand at the song’s finish, before leaving the stage.
Doherty followed Mavers‘ appearance by bringing Babyshambles guitarist Mik Whitnall onstage to play ‘Unstookietitled’ from the band’s second album ‘Shotters Nation’. The singer was then joined by Gary Murphy, formerly of The Bandits, for ‘I Am The Rain’ and Dot Allison on ‘Sheepskin Tearaway’.
Before playing a full band version of ‘Albion’, Doherty quietened the audience to tell them that tonight’s gig was the finale of his solo tour (save for a rescheduled gig in Grimsby on April 13). He then personally thanked every member of his solo band and entourage.
The tour itself has been one of Doherty‘s most successful yet. Compared to past jaunts that have seen him questioned over drug possession and cancelling gigs at little or no notice, his current jaunt has passed without major incident.
After playing ‘Albion’, Doherty and his band left the stage, although Street returned a few minutes later to introduce Mavers onto the stage once more.
The La’s singer then played the opening guitar line of ‘There She Goes’, backed by Street, McConnell and Ficek, and garnering one of the biggest crowd cheers of the evening. Mavers looked amused when several audience members showed their appreciation for the 1990 hit by crowdsurfing.
At the song’s end, Doherty again reappeared onstage. “I’d like to dedicate this next song to Lee,” he said, before playing penultimate song ‘Time For Heroes’.
The gig’s final song, ‘Fuck Forever’, saw Doherty joined by McConnell, Ficek, Street, Coxon and Whitnall
With Coxon seemingly being taught the chords to the song by Whitnall as they were actually playing, the band were clearly having fun performing the 2005 track – despite an almost constant stream of stage invaders.
While most of the fans were quickly thrown back into the audience by security, one girl appeared onstage dressed in a lacy black bra and knickers, managing to grab Doherty. She then refused to let him go, despite frantic efforts by security guards trying to separate the two. After a minute or so of hugging and trying to kiss Doherty, the girl was dragged away from him.
Doherty then saluted the crowd, before walking offstage while the rest of his band brought the song to a passionate and feedback-drenched finish.
Pete Doherty (and friends) played:
‘Music When The Lights Go Out’
‘Last Of The English Roses’
‘A Little Death Around The Eyes’
‘Through The Looking Glass’
‘Happy Birthday Stephen Street’
‘The Good Old Days’
‘Can’t Stand Me Now’
‘Son Of A Gun’
‘I Am The Rain’
‘Lady Don’t Fall Backwards’
‘Sweet By And By’
‘New Love Grows On Trees’
‘Broken Love Song’
‘There She Goes’
‘Time For Heroes’