Babyshambles, The Brickyard, Carlisle
Thursday 22 September 2005
Doherty's personal catalogue of misdemeanours have been well documented across the media, but, for the sake of review, they bear repeating. Even neglecting the fact that his first band, The Libertines, was the last gang in town for a year, there's still the self-affirmed heroin problem, the stormy affair with Kate Moss, and numerous public spats and fracas to take into account.
Reading such a litany of hell-raising leaves you in no doubt as to where his fans' approval. Those young enough not to know any better look at the fast-paced, dangerous life he appears to lead and aspire towards such edgy glamour. Those a little older and more knowledgeable about the dangers of such excess watch on from the sidelines, yet secretly take a guilty form of pleasure as he reminds them of their own foolish youth.
Given Doherty's respect for rock'n'roll's lineage, the crowd's furious rendition of the song that introduced him on stage, The Who's "My Generation", defined the atmosphere. Youth and energy, and petulant, misdirected defiance were the order of the evening.
A sweaty antechamber in the somewhat provincial environs of Carlisle on a Tuesday might be a strange place for a definitively cosmopolitan Doherty and his band Babyshambles to commence this rescheduled 13-date national tour, but it may as well have been a Saturday night in Camden for the welcome afforded him. And, given his reputation for non-appearances, Doherty saw fit to reward his acolytes with a lucid performance, albeit one still mingled with eccentric chatter and louche arrogance.
Strolling on in a smart suit jacket ripped from waist to shoulder blade up the back seam, he proceeds to strip down to his bare chest, taking time to swing a tape measure proffered from the crowd around his head and pass stage invaders the microphone.
It's tempting to say that the brisk agit-punk of songs such as "Killamangiro" are mere window-dressing to the experience of being in Doherty's singular presence. Yet, in truth, they're all part of the growing myth. Love or hate it, as he willingly leads a dozen disciples in an orchestrated stage invasion, such myths are inevitably building towards some sort of musical legend.
tv Jenny Lee may have left, but Miranda Hart and the rest of the midwives deliver the goods
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 3 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 4 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
- 5 Hip hop is both racial and political, and for Iggy Azalea to suggest otherwise is insulting
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
The Interview finally gets US release after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food