Carl Barat, Xoyo, gig review: 'Shambolic'


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The Independent Culture

It's shambolic. Odds were it was always going to be.

There are long lulls between songs where a rakish Carl Barât fills the void with incoherent mumbles. During the opening numbers - the new, rather forgettable “Victory Gin” and “Storm Is Coming” - Barât's new guitarist, Billy Tessio, regularly ricochets into him on the tiny stage.

The chaos is understandable given that 35-year-old Barât, sporting the kind of long hair centre forwards wore in the Seventies, only recently advertised for his new band, the Jackals (terrible name, they sound like they should be Alan Partridge's house band), through the NME, claiming he was fed up of playing solo and wanted a “gang mentality”. It's apparently imperative that his new “gang” wear cut-off T-shirts.

One time gang member and musical “other half”, Pete Doherty, unfortunately doesn't make an appearance.

However, inevitably, it's the Libertines numbers (plus the Dirty Pretty Things' “Bang Bang You're Dead”) that rouse the crowd most during this energetic showcase.

The highlights are the fuzzy guitars and tangy lyrics of “Up the Bracket”, “The Ballad of Grimaldi” and closing number “I Get Along”.

These three numbers remain a thrill, which begs the question: why don't the duo permanently reform the Libertines?

Their other incarnations aren't really working.