Pete Doherty: ‘It’s completely in the spirit of The Libertines to play Hyde Park for the money’

Frontman defends latest reunion and reveals he and Carl Barât will make £500,000 each from London gig

Pete Doherty has said that reforming The Libertines for money is entirely in the spirit of the band.

The band announced news of their reunion last week and will headline the British Summer Time festival at London’s Hyde Park on July 5. Some have criticised the decision, citing Doherty’s previous quotes about how he decided to play the gig purely for financial reasons.

Defending his decision in an exclusive interview in this week’s NME, on newsstands now andavailable digitally, Doherty said: “What do they [critics] think The Libertines did? We signed to Rough Trade, right? Purely for the money. It’s completely in the spirit of the band to play Hyde Park for the money! What the fuck are they talking about?! It’s a fucking horrorshow, it just happens to be amazing rock ‘n’ roll music.”


He clarified his statement by adding: “Why’d you think I went mad? And ended up wrapped around steel beds in prison fighting for my life? With three Polish geezers and a huge fucking half-Italian/half-Jamaican. Why do you think all that happened? It was because we were fucking unprincipled and scurrilous, whatever that means, and completely motivated by money and fame and being part of a sickening charade that we far too late realised we weren’t able to control. Even though we wanted to. And it will be the same this time – we won’t be able to control it. But, at least I get to play ‘Death On The Stairs’ really fucking loud at Hyde Park.”

On the subject of money, Doherty revealed just what he expects to make from the Hyde Park gig. “It’s filthy,” he admitted. “Last time [Reading and Leeds Festival 2010] was supposed to be £240k each after tax for me and Carl. But by the time they paid for all the buses and shit there was just a tax bill. This time I think we’re getting half a million each, me and Biggles.”

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Since the announcement of their reunion and live plans, both Doherty and Barât have said that the band will play warm-up gigs prior to appearing at Hyde Park. Pete Doherty said: “There’ll be a warm-up, and there might be a free one for people who can’t get into Hyde Park, maybe.” There is also talk of new material.

Meanwhile, residents living near Hyde Park have complained about The Libertines playing in their area. Residents surrounding the Royal Park are not happy with the booking, objecting to Pete Doherty’s presence in the area and fearing curfew times will be disregarded.

Tickets for The Libertines at British Summertime are priced from £55 and go onsale from 9am on Friday (May 2). To check the availability of British Summer Time tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/TICKETS.


GALLERY: 50 Things You Never Knew About The Libertines.