Guess who just got back today? Those wild-eyed Libertines that had been away. But what brings them back? Money? Ego? Music? Love?
That depends on who you talk to. The cynics will tell you it’s the fact that Reading and Leeds Festivals offered them over a million shiny reasons to forgive and forget past transgressions. Ask a romantic, if you can find one, and they’ll tell you it’s the fans, the songs and the fact that Pete Doherty and Carl Barat are back on the sort of terms where you’ll struggle to separate them with a rizla paper.
When I arrived at The Boogaloo, the infamous north London boozer where the band chose to announce their reunion, there were a lot more cynics in the room than romantics. There also seemed to be more cameras than people. The Libertines are a News Event.
By the time I got to the bar I could already overhear people muttering about the band’s motives and the size of their fee. The Libertines became heroes playing in people’s kitchen cabinets and underwear drawers, with half of less than 50p in their pocket and a reputation for pissing it all up the wall if they got any more. How do you square that anarchic spirit with this barrel-load of filthy lucre to play a corporate-sponsored festival main stage?