In Thailand, they have a saying about deeply improbable events. They say châat nâa dton-bàai, meaning it will happen ‘one afternoon, in your next reincarnation’. In England, we’d say ‘when hell freezes over’ or ‘when The Libertines record a new album’. Yet, somehow that most improbable of days has arrived. For the first time in over a decade, Pete Doherty and Carl Barât sat down nose to nose and wrote new songs together. Then they recorded them with bassist John Hassall and drummer Gary Powell over a five-week period at Thailand’s Karma Sound studios. From that studio built on an old snake pit, where recording sessions were punctuated by visits to the notorious vice den of Pattaya, their third album has finally emerged. It’s the moment anyone who ever dreamed of Albion has been waiting ten years for – the Libertines included. “People are going to love it,” says Pete, who’s still ensconced in his Thai bolthole, “There’s a miracle aspect to actually getting it done and all getting together to do it. We’re all really proud of it.” “It’s unbelievable,” says Carl, back in London and still sounding like he can scarcely believe what’s going on. “It’s staggering that we’ve got to the point where we’ve actually got an imminent release for the fucking Libertines. Are you kidding me? Honestly, I’m still kind of pinching myself. Is this really going to happen? It’s mental, but I guess it is.”
Cover story for NME, 20 June 2015. Continue reading.