The Libertines - Stockholm Debaser - 20/9/04

12 Oct 2004

a scandinavian visit from the uk's presently most important and most-talked-about institution.

The LibertinesI've always had a soft spot for The Libertines ever since I found out Pete Doherty was a fellow QPR supporter (or sufferer). But with Pete currently out of the team due to recurrent injury problems and the possibility of him being placed on the transfer list, would this affect my loyalties and make me decide to follow a team who always come top (Westlife anybody?).

I'd never seen The Libertines before, so I have no idea what they were like with Doherty in tow. You can see the guys still looking around for him, but to dwell on that is to do a disservice to replacement guitarist Anthony Rossomando. He's as mad as a bicycle onstage, jumping around like he's on hot coals and belting out chords with a fearless passion. Gary on the drums is, unfortunately, almost invisible due to the lack of a drum-riser: a crying shame, as he's great fun to watch (when you can), up there with the Keith Moons and Dave Grohls of this world, for his sheer fervour of playing - give this man his rightful place at the front of the stage. Drummers are human-beings, too.

The set is fast and relentless; 'Don't Look Back Into The Sun' is dispensed with early and it's not long before 'Can't Stand Me Now' follows... In fact, it's never long before one Libertines song follows another. With a lot of the numbers clocking in around the 3 minute or under mark and minimal chit-chat in between, if you don't like one song much, not to worry: here's another.

New and old material is combined well; 'Time For Heroes' is belted out and the normally quite placid Swedish crowd pogo dazedly. It's a compelling end to the set, with 'What Became Of The Likely Lads', 'Boys In The Band' and 'I Get Along' not far behind each other. The obligatory topless ending to the show always goes down well with the laydeeez; if only Beyonce would incorporate this into her efforts - 'equality for all', and all that.

So it was grand and peerless. We'll try not to dwell on the past, and anticipate even more from The Libertines in whatever shape or form. Only the uncertain, advancing months can tell what that'll be.

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