A reunited Libertines to stumble into Reading and Leeds Festivals

Predictable? Maybe. Kind of awesome? Certainly. For the first time in six years, the Libertines are about to perform as a complete band. And where do they plan on gracing audiences? The UK’s Reading and Leeds Festivals, which are fine choices, really. Guns ‘n Roses, Arcade Fire, Weezer and Modest Mouse will also join the fray.

From The Independent:

The Libertines released two albums, 2002’s Up the Bracket and 2004’s The Libertines, before breaking up in 2004 due to disagreements between guitarist Pete Doherty and co-frontman Carl Barat. Last May, three of four group members performed together during a concert by Doherty’s band Babyshambles, suggesting that a reunion might be near.

Tickets are now on sale for both festivals, which take place simultaneously in the two UK cities and feature the same lineup. The capacity is about 80,000 at the Reading site and about 70,000 at Leeds.

The Libertines were one of those “in” bands I took a chance on a few years ago. They were getting so much publicity at the time that I couldn’t help but be discouraged. But the praise was nonstop, so I took the bait.

They blew me away. It’s a shame really, that they were/are lumped in the “garage band” genre. They offer so much more than the Strokes, Hives, Vines, whatever. The Libertines were just of the same time period, and leaps and bounds more interesting. The songs actually go places, and your body submits willingly, wrapped in the beat and all those slurring hooks. Listen to their self-titled album and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Try me: “Can’t Stand Me Now,” “Music When the Lights Go Out,” “What Became of the Likely Lads.”

The band just wanted to play rock music, in the vein of the The Who and the Rolling Stones more than anything. The Clash? Please. I dig the Clash, but they had a focus and agenda from their formation, despite the childish “punk” tag. With the Libertines, it never felt like they were going anywhere since they didn’t have interest in dealing with fame. Helplessly diverted by their self-destructive nature, coupled with their sheer talent, is what made them so enticing. How could a band be so obtrusively pretentious, yet inherently genuine and endearing? In a strange way, the Libertines were out to eliminate themselves and embarrass your tastes. Of course, this is in large part to Pete Doherty, who, despite his shortcomings as a human being, is more reminiscent of a classic (not classy) rock star than any other current musician. Now the band is getting back together to play some shows. There you go.

I know I strayed from the topic at hand, but none of us were going to make it to England, anyway.

Photo from fOTOGLIF


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