Mr BB won some tickets for The Libertines at Alexandra Palace back at the end of September, on the night before the Sunday gig to which we were allocated tickets. A nice surprise, however with him not being a big fan he wasn’t really up for attending but had I not found my friend Scarlett willing and able to come along (and rather excited too!) he would have accompanied me. He did very kindly pick Scarlett up en route and drop us off at Ally Pally for a gig we were both hyped up for. Yes, Mr BB has taken the place of my father in being a taxi service on nights out. Good thing he loves driving so much!
Rewind ten years. I’m living in up and coming Hoxton, hanging out at The Macbeth, going out in Shoreditch and Nathan Barley is being filmed at the bottom of my road. The debut album from The Libertines, Up the Bracket, was released some two years ago and though on my iPod is not played any more often than anything else. I listen to the album occasionally in its entirety, but mostly I hear the tracks mixed in with others whilst my iPod is on the shuffle setting. Then their self-titled album The Libertines is released (30th August 2004) and it becomes one of those albums I listen to again and again and again, from start to finish. This doesn’t last for a few days or weeks, but months! Obviously these listenings were interspersed with other tracks on my iPod, but something about the album draws me back to it time and time again. So for me to get to see The Libertines was a super experience full of reminiscence; a trip down memory lane, even if I don’t listen to them quite so much anymore.
As we entered Ally Pally, in the foyer was a Hare Krishna band playing, and a banner which proclaimed Pete Doherty a “silent hero”, and (pork pie) hats off to him. For he has financed over 50% of a charity that feeds over 1000 hungry people 6 days a week.
We sat and supped our cider as the chilled chanting of the Hare Krishnas played in the background with a lot of time to kill, for the freebie tickets stipulated that we had to arrive by 7pm to ensure we made it into the building. After their performance, the war songs duo Baz and Dave (see what they did there?) belted out some classics on the ol’Joanna, such as It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, which whilst I enjoyed it (we learnt a lot of war songs at primary school for a historical day) Scarlett did not so much.
As the support band Circa Waves started to play we made our way into the hall. I hadn’t heard of Circa Waves prior to this exposure but I must say I was pleasantly surprised by this Liverpudlian indie-rock-pop-garage band. I liked their sound, a melange of Brit pop meets early noughties indie-rock. I could hear sounds reminiscent of The Strokes, Oasis, The Libertines (of course!) and Blur, amongst others. *Note to self* look up Circa Waves on YouTube sometime!
And then it was time for the main event! But were The Libertines, who had reformed earlier in the year to play Hyde Park and a couple of overseas gigs but prior to this had not played together since 2010, going to live up to my hopes and expectations.
Well, I’m delighted to say that YES, they did!
I would usually at this point try to write a review of the performance however I was so immersed in the music and having a dance that I am not going to even try to critique The Libertines. Every song was a belter!
It was a great gig that made me realise I should try and get to see more live music. I used to go to gigs all the time, and this was the first in eons!
I used to be massively into music, and I did in fact study music at university. I still love it, but I just don’t feel I make enough time for it. Life gets in the way! Perhaps I should make a little more time for it. In the meantime, if you have any bands new or old you think I should know about – write them below!