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The Lib­ertines came, saw, recorded, con­quered and fell apart over Pete Doherty’s drug habit and the mount­ing ten­sion be­tween him and Carl Barât. Ahead of their re­turn to the stage next week, Lau­ren Mur­phy looks at how they won the hearts of a gen­er­a­tion

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Music -

THAT YEAR’S NME Year­book de­clared that “2004 was a bit­ter­sweet year for the sons of Al­bion. Yes, they scored their high­est-ever sin­gle plac­ing when Can’t Stand Me Now reached No 2 in Au­gust, while their stag­ger­ing, self-ti­tled sec­ond al­bum topped the charts. But, af­ter sev­eral spells in re­hab, found­ing singer/gui­tarist Pete Doherty was ex­com­mu­ni­cated from the band in July. It looks un­likely he will re­turn.”

It was an ir­rev­o­ca­ble sum­ma­tion of one of the most po­lar­is­ing Bri­tish bands in re­cent years, but an ac­cu­rate one – un­til March 31st, 2010, that is. On that day, a press con­fer­ence was held at London’s Booga­loo bar to con­firm that, yes, the ru­mours were true: The Lib­ertines – Doherty, his co-front­man Carl Barât, bassist John Has­sall and drum­mer Gary Pow­ell – would re­unite to play at the Read­ing and Leeds fes­ti­vals on Au­gust 27th and 28th. Their fee? Ru­moured to be a whis­tle-through-the-teeth-in­duc­ing £1.2 mil­lion (¤1.5 mil­lion).

It’s a chin-scratcher. The Lib­ertines have hardly been a band adored on a Bea­tles-like scale by the ma­jor­ity of the mu­sic-buy­ing pub­lic (al­though their fan­base is renowned for be­ing fiercely loyal), and dur­ing their rel­a­tively brief record­ing ca­reer they gained a big­ger rep­u­ta­tion for tabloid no­to­ri­ety thanks to Doherty’s crim­i­nal an­tics.

As the ru­mours of in-fight­ing be­tween Doherty and Barât gained mo­men­tum, so did the for­mer’s drug habit. Stu­dio ses­sions for their epony­mous sec­ond al­bum were fraught

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