Peter Doherty Live Review – Hackney Empire

Friday 19th May 2016

A moving performance in memoriam to “The Good Old Days”

gigwisepetedoherty15004Photo: Alexia Arrizabalaga

Pete Doherty was always a nostalgic figure – his songs of the “good ship Albion” a wistful pastiche of Victorian London, Romantic poetry and good old guitar rock played in a time of its own.

At the turn of the new millennium many would embrace such rosy retrospection, ten or so years later it may seem almost lost to a generation that has welcomed the technological progressions of the 21st Century.

The good ship has “weather’d every rack”, but our Captain comes onto the stage healthy and still very much alive. Pete looks good again – he’s lost weight, dressed in a smart three-piece suit to resemble more closely that boy of ten years since; somewhere in between Sid Vicious and Percy Shelley. His backing band is another able entourage of attractive bohemians, including Drew McConnell of Babyshambles, and the new material resembles the English baroque of his previous solo work, with Parisian flourishes from his band on the accordion and violin. To the long-serving Libertines in the crowd it all appears dotingly familiar.

Whilst heads sway respectfully to the new material, arms and full bodies fly uproariously when Pete breaks into the classics. Old tunes including “Albion”, “You’re My Waterloo” and “Time For Heroes” are received with sentimental, riotous euphoria.

But great artists give their fans something far more than songs, and this performance was a testimony to the longevity of the spirit and nostalgic dreams that Pete Doherty first gave to his loyal band of followers way over a decade ago, even if sometimes they may seem lost to the new age.

Peter played:

I Don’t Love Anymore
Down for the Outing
Last of the English Roses
The Steam
You’re my Waterloo
Oil Boker
Hell to Pay at the Gates
Kolly Kibber
The Whole World is our Playground

Shore Leave
Flags of the Old Regime
Time for Heroes
Ou Esio Qui Mal E Pen

Thankyou for reading, you can see my review published on Gigwise via the link above.


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