A few weeks ago I interviewed a Toulousian band called the Dodoz (article here) who were the scheduled openers for Babyshambles at the Zénith tonight. I cheekily emailed their manager (a lovely Scotsman) to see if he would be able to get me in (if you don't ask you'll never know, right?). I received a phone call today at about 5:15 pm today saying that if I wanted my name put on the list it was as good as done, and I was even allowed a plus one (wow! plus one on super short notice, great).
I have been following Pete Doherty and The Libertines since my first move to England in 2001 when they were just a crazy London band with a reputation for destroying things and putting on one hell of a show. I watched his descent, the media folly that ensued, the Kate Moss fiasco, and what looks to be a viable rehab visit. I have wavered between wanting to believe that he was just misunderstood and too brilliant for his own good, and thinking that he should just have an overdose and get it over with (harsh, I know). The troubled artist remains such an appealing cliché.
There are certain groups and certain sounds that have to be heard live because that is when they come alive... and where they live. An electricity and pulse emanates from the stage and that is why the music is made, why it speaks to people, and why it fuckin rocks!!!! (Rob, can I say fuck?)
And tonight, for the first time in my many concerts (including legendary bands like Radiohead, Muse, The Cure, Oasis) I saw a real live Rock Star. During the concert, Pete said very little (apart from a dedication to his late cat who just died, I guess). He smoked, sang, and kind of swaggered. Otherwise, what captivated the heaving audience was the charisma of a skinny pale Englishman.... that thing that you can't explain... well, that's the thing that makes an icon - a Mick Jagger or a Jim Morrison. I wonder what it must feel like to have all eyes on you like that, unable to look away?
Here is the interview that made me (glad ole' Pete didn't take those pills) want to believe that people, all people, are worth saving .
Newsnight Pete Doherty Interview
(I can't upload the clip here but please follow the link: it is also an outstanding example of what really good journalism can be like)
And here is my favourite Pete Doherty song (we have Wolfman to thank for this wonderful track)