Famed mountain peak or incitement to murder – either way it’s ace…
Yes, this was blatantly recorded in the kind of tin can normally booked up until 2007 for guerrilla gigs by The Others. Yes, it feels like a miracle when you get to the end and realise it hasn’t self-imploded. And yeah, you still kind of wish it was Carl, John and Gary bashing away in the background. But the awkward truth is that, right now, Babyshambles sound way more like The Libertines than The Libertines. The wayward spirit, the sense of imminent collapse, the clattering of drums down tourbus stairs: these remain the staples of a Pete Doherty song.
No matter how Pete chooses to spend his leisure time, his music remains frightfully articulate, spitting at the music industry with a frighteningly genuine bile. Better still, it manages to sound at the same time as bitter (“Why would you pay to see me in a cage?”), self-righteous (“I was the only one that would gladly die/For what was wrong in the eyes of the cruel and the unkind”) and heartfelt (the echoed “I believe in love”) as anything he’s written previously.
B-side ‘The Man Who Came To Say’ is another charged rattle-a-long and at least as good, hopefully meaning that Britain’s premier tunesmith is slowly reacquainting himself with The Rails.