Music review: The Libertines, Oran Mor, Glasgow

With the turbulent chemistry between co-frontmen Pete Doherty and Carl Barat apparently stabilised, the Libertines barrelled through this Glasgow show, writes Fiona Shepherd

The Libertines, Oran Mor, Glasgow ****

On the day the reformed Libertines announced an autumn gig in their natural home of Barrowland, they treated quick-off-the-mark fans to the excitement of an intimate warm-up for the release of comeback album All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade. A handful of new songs – the mid-paced meditation of Shiver, the thoroughly charming Run, Run, Run – were slotted in at germane moments but this was inevitably a gathering to celebrate the legacy of a band who may or may not be older and wiser but can stand by their catalogue.

Libertines fans are a patient breed, sticking through the chaotic indie pop soap opera of the band’s Noughties heyday for the chance of one more lusty singalong to the likes of the rollicking, melodic Up the Bracket or punky boogie Vertigo.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Their songs were never rocket science but have aged well with some enduring lyrical twists. What Became of the Likely Lads was a reminder that there was a nostalgic streak to their music even when the band were in their early twenties. Now the turbulent chemistry of co-frontmen Pete Doherty and Carl Barat appears to have stabilised and, in contrast to their volatile past, they barrelled through this set with a brief sidebar rendition of Happy Birthday for bassist John Hassell and choice words for the UK government.

The audience buoyed their performance throughout with well-oiled backing vocals applied to the tender Music When The Lights Go Out and the evocative storytelling of Death on the Stairs. What Katie Did had a soused swagger of its own, while Can't Stand Me Now remains an irresistible chant. They closed their set with one of their best, the poetic, freewheeling Time For Heroes, and there was just time before curfew for a nippy encore including their playful debut What a Waster and plaintive anthem Don't Look Back Into the Sun.

Related topics: