Cat­a­logue of old and new, bor­rowed and not at all blue


Peter Do­herty & The Puta Madres

QMU, Glas­gow


AS THE years pass, for­mer Lib­ertines ful­crum Pete Do­herty looks less and less like a way­ward rock ‘ n’ roll spirit liv­ing out the “live fast, die young” dream. Th­ese days, af­ter al­most two decades in the pub­lic eye and a grow­ing, wide­spread aware­ness of men­tal health is­sues which might once have been dis­missed as mere “ec­cen­tric­ity,” what he’s al­ways been is thrown into sharp fo­cus – that is, a man strug­gling with pro­found ad­dic­tion is­sues whose ill­ness has been any­thing but helped by a life­time work­ing in the mu­sic in­dus­try.

The other thing about Do herty which is clearly ap­par­ent is his tan­gi­ble and gen­uine en­joy­ment of the mu­sic he makes, and there’s al­ways been some­thing en­dear­ingly naïve about the way he lends his work a near- mys­ti­cal sig­nif­i­cance.

In this re­gard, his re­cent move to for­malise his third band project Peter Do­herty and the Puta Madres ( note the more ma­ture use of his full first name) with this spring’s de­but solo al­bum and a full UK tour is less the act of a faded star des­per­ate to re­main in the lime­light, and more that of a cre­ative per­son fol­low­ing the com­pul­sion which drives him to do what he does.

One thing that was ap­par­ent from this show is that Do­herty’s loyal au­di­ence has slimmed down over the years, with the venue hav­ing been down­sized from the much big­ger Bar­row­lands to the Univer­sity of Glas­gow’s Queen Mar­garet Union.

An­other is that Do herty – while still not an en­tirely pre­dictable on­stage pres­ence – now re­sem­bles a pro­fes­sional mu­si­cian, cer­tainly in com­par­i­son to some of the cat­a­strophic con­di­tions which

he ap­peared in while fronting Babysham­bles.

“This is from mynewrecor­d,” he glee­fully an­nounced be­fore a run- through of the blissed­out Par­adise is Un­der Your Nose, be­fore de­fer­ring to his new band­mate and gui­tarist, Tram­po­line’s Jack Jones. “Or it’s a Jack Jones song. I wrote about a third of it… a quar­ter.” Nev­er­the­less, he seemed happy to be singing it and com­fort­able with the sen­ti­ment.

Much o f t he ne w mate - rial is sim­i­larly wist­ful, for ex­am­ple Some­one Else to Be, which segued into an adapted line of Oa­sis’s Don’t Look Back in Anger which must res­onate strongly with Do­herty; “if you’re gonna put your life in the hands of a rock n roll band/ they’ll throw it all away.”

His per­sonal cat­a­logue with the Lib­ertines and Babysham­bles was also wi d e l y e x p l o r e d , wi t h F*** For­ever cre­at­ing a lan­guid cen­tre­piece for the en­core. Yet there re­mains a sense that what Do­herty needs from his mu­sic goes be­yond the crit­i­cal or com­mer­cial re­sults.

0 Peter Do­herty ap­pears more pro­fes­sional, if not pre­dictable, with his new band and with a new al­bum to share with fans

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