A Pete Doherty concert is “the last thing we need in the middle of Mayfair” well heeled residents have complained after The Libertines announced a Summer reunion show in Hyde Park.
Doherty and songwriting partner Carl Barât confirmed that they will reunite for a one-off Libertines show on 5 July, as part of the Barclaycard British Summer Time concert series.
The influential band’s biggest ever UK show - and their first UK gig for four years - The Libertines are expected to attract a crowd of 50,000 to Hyde Park, with a support bill including The Pogues and Spiritualized.
Doherty said the fee offered for the reunion was too good to turn down “at least not in my situation right now”. The band, who first split in 2004, are expected to pocket more than £1 million for the show.
However residents who border the 350-acre Royal park fear that Doherty, notorious for late his stage arrivals and whose heroin and crack addictions are well documented, will bring unwelcome nuisance and ride roughshod over strict curfew times.
In 2012, promoters pulled the plug on Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney when the Boss's Hyde Park ran on after a 10.30pm curfew. Doherty’s Babyshambles took the stage at 11.10pm, 85 minutes later than planned, at a Brixton gig last year.
Following residents’ complaints over noise and nuisance, the number of concerts held at Hyde Park has been cut from 13 a year to nine, and the capacity for some shows reduced.
The Libertines concert, staged the day after fellow hellraiser Ozzy Osbourne’s Black Sabbath headline a heavy metal line-up, has again soured relations with locals.
Anthony Lorenz, chairman of the Residents’ Society of Mayfair and St James’s, said: “We can’t be supportive of this show for obvious reasons.
“We’ve had meetings over the noise levels and volume controls from the Hyde Park concerts and they have been under control recently. But we can’t be supportive of this sort of individual [Doherty].”
Mr Lorenz added: “Together with the Ozzy Osbourne concert the day before, it’s the last thing we need in the middle of Mayfair.”
However Barât said the residents need not be concerned. “I’m not worried about us coming on late,” he told The Independent. “If people are concerned about noise they shouldn’t have moved to Hyde Park. I hope we don’t break the curfew but we’ll see on the night.”
He added: “I’ve always loved Hyde Park. It’s nice to play in the heart of London and it’s got that great heritage of shows from the Rolling Stones to Blur.”
The Barât-Doherty relationship is now fully healed. “We’re brothers, we still finish each other’s sentences,” Barât said. “I’m seeing Pete next week and we’ll get the guitars out. Hopefully we’ll come up with some new songs for Hyde Park.”
Rock stars can’t afford to sniff at a payday in an era where record sales have crumbled said Barât, who has launched a parallel career as an actor and is about to unveil a new punk band, The Jackals. “It’s a tough time for bands to make a living,” he said. “It’s messed up for musicians. City bankers and footballers earn hundreds of thousands a week but a show like this is a one-off. And we pay tax on it.”
The Hyde Park British Summer Time concerts include Black Sabbath on 4 July, McBusted on 6 July, Neil Young on 12 July and Tom Jones on 13 July, with another day still to be announced.
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