Live fast, die young The birth, life, death and re­birth of The Lib­ertines

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

Pete Doherty meets his sis­ter’s friend, Carl Barât. The pair be­come friends and form The Strand, which be­comes The Lib­ertines.

Bassist John Has­sall (right) is en­listed, and Johnny Bor­rell is on the mar­gins but doesn’t join the band. Paul Du­four ini­tially plays drums, but he and Has­sall quit af­ter the band fails to land a record deal.

Drum­mer Gary Pow­ell joins. They even­tu­ally sign to Rough Trade af­ter im­press­ing la­bel boss Geoff Travis at a show­case. Has­sall re­joins on bass.

Bernard But­ler pro­duces their de­but sin­gle What a Waster/I Get Along, while Clash gui­tarist Mick Jones over­sees the record­ing of their al­bum Up the Bracket (right), re­leased that Septem­ber to crit­i­cal ac­claim.

Doherty’s drug use causes cracks in the band. Non-al­bum track Don’t Look Back Into the Sun is re­leased, but Doherty is largely ab­sent from record­ing ses­sions. He re­fuses to join his band­mates on tour and is later ar­rested and im­pris­oned for bur­gling Barât’s flat.

The band be­gin the trou­bled record­ing of their sec­ond, self-ti­tled al­bum (right), and play their last gig in March be­fore Doherty leaves for an un­suc­cess­ful re­hab stint in Thai­land. On his re­turn he is frozen out un­til he kicks his ad­dic­tions, but in­stead he con­cen­trates on new project Babysham­bles.

Af­ter the even­tual dis­so­lu­tion of The Lib­ertines in De­cem­ber 2004, Barât and Doherty don’t play to­gether again un­til a one-off gig in London in 2007.

irish­times.com/cul­ture

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