Pete Doherty

Pete Doherty


The intricate carvings and delicate stained glass windows running along the balcony of the Albert Hall create a surprisingly peaceful atmosphere for a gig that is sure to be nothing of the sort. The crowd fills the old church building to breaking point and I decide that taking a seat on the dimly lit balcony will suffice as a perfect viewing point for this intimate affair.

Recently reformed drug addict and Libertines front man Pete Doherty has proved his critics wrong by completely turning his life around in the past few years. He kicked his drug addiction in the ass and came back fighting with a reunion for The Libertines, Babyshambles and some new solo material, Pete is doing better than ever. Tonight he takes to the stage of the Albert Hall which is the seventh date on his current tour and is welcomed by the chants of his adoring fans. The atmosphere is something I can only liken to being at your local stadium on match day supporting your favourite team, the crowd are rowdy and drunk and excited, arms swaying and beers flying in unison.

Pete stumbles around the stage as a giant mass of clumsiness, but it suits him. He throws his trilby into the crowd and everyone is pouncing on it like animals trying to catch their prey, Pete smiles and carries on. As ‘Last Of The English Roses’ is playing the lovable raggedy man raises his glass and proposes a toast, “Cheers Manchester!” he shouts and is joined with a chorus of angelic voices that jeer and raise their glasses right back. The set list consists of a wide range of songs from all three of Pete’s major projects (The Libertines, Babyshambles and his solo work), and the crowd is greedily lapping it up. ‘Time For Heroes’ sees every single person in the room melt into a reminiscent daydream of years gone by, watching from the back row of the balcony feels like looking down on the scene from the heavens.

Nearing the end of the set, Pete introduces a new song which he cannot seem to pronounce the name of. Although the crowd cannot sing along, the song is welcomed with open arms and a beautiful organ solo which warms the heart. Pete’s voice is in fit condition tonight as the slur in his words and the unique tone that is always present in his vocals rings out across the hall, more prominent than ever before. It appears that everything this man does, the crowd swoons over.

As he leaves the stage chants of “We love you Pete, we do!” rock the delicate walls of the Albert Hall and create a buzz that is captivating. The crowd feels like one big family, all joined together through a love of music, beer and trilby’s. Looking healthy and certainly less sweaty than his previous self, Doherty manages to do something magical which is intrigue the mind and capture your heart.

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Sylvie Devaney

I am Sylvie an 18 year old music enthusiast from the midlands - with a heart for writing and adventure. Currently I am a budding music journalist who is studying for a degree in music journalism at the University of Chester.