Old Pete Doherty – or New Shiney Peter Doherty?

It’s not every morning you can wake up having hung out with Roger Doltery, Graham Coxon and Peter Doherty the night before. Peter, as the sign on his dressing room informed us, does clearly not want to be perceived as that grubby, pseudo-vagabond of smack head we all once knew and, loved? (hated?).

The only people invading the stage last night were a procession of string players and the odd roadie tweaking cables. A far cry from his anarchic performances over the past few years, the whole evening was dare we say it – professional. It’s still hard however to fully understand his godly appeal and influence over the hordes of avid diehards pressed up against the barriers.

Having spoken recently at Trinity College’s University Philosophical Society and not long moved to Paris; we reckon ol’ Pete would even go as far to endure a bit of man on man loving. Especially if it meant people saw him more like a modern day Oscar Wilde he’s always wanted to be, and less like the washed up try hard the cynics refer to him as.

At a time when Doherty is morphing more heavily than ever into a characterchure of his own debauched teenage fantasy, he still remains as hard to dismiss as ever. Last nights performance was neither out of this world or horrendously embarrassing. It was possibly worse than either of those, as it seems to stick in my mind as distinctly average. Even after reportedly spending £4000 a day for the past two weeks practicing with his string quartet, inviting numerous ‘special’ guests on stage, and playing standout tracks from his new album, it was still fairly ordinary at best.

Pete Doherty (Baby Shambles), Paris, August 2005

However many copies ‘Grace / Wastelands’ ships in it’s first week, and even if it stayed number one for several months; it just won’t, and can’t compete creatively with The Libertines early work. There’s no denying (whether you love him or loath him) Pete / Peter (whatever his name is) is somewhat of a cultural icon. For his disciples Peter is still the living embodiment of all things poetic, all things wild, and at least a couple of the things that are still romantic about that world of drink, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. For better or worse it looks like he’s here to stay.

If you need to remind yourself of Doherty’s fleeting talent at its very best, then feel free to choose from below.

 

The Libertines – Time for Heroes

The Libertines –Can’t Stand Me Now

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