My long review.
I arrived at Kings Cross Thameslink about 7.15 and handed off to the Youth Hostel. Thinking Babyshambles would play for about an hour 15 minutes and thinking that they might not start on time, I decided to spend the night in London.
Around 7.40pm I joined the queue. So much for the doors opening at 7.30! 3 or 4 people Shouting "Ticket's Buy or Sell. Any one need tickets for tonight. Does any one have any spare tickets". Someone near me sold her ticket to a ticket seller for £15. Whether he managed to sell it on or even what he was charging, I don't know. Does any one else know what price the ticket sellers were selling tickets at?
Someone came down with some Adam Green leaflet. Someone else said Pete was doing a set at club NME. They thought he'd be on around 12am. The Paddington's were playing their any way. I was tempted to go but only if I reckoned Pete would show up!
I got in and the people checking the bags, asked me if I had any water bottles on me. I opened my bag and showed by some food, and said I had fleece and few other things. I didn't say whether I had any water or not.
They didn't bother checking my side pocket (where I kept the water which I never used during the gig in the end)! Nor below my fleece where I had my camera, a Dictaphone and some tapes. They didn't even undo my pocket below which had my pyjamas and some more tapes and another Dictaphone hidden inside them.
So as usual I was lucky and got past the searching bouncers with no problems.
First stop was to check the stage area. Next stop was some wine. Then take that back in and waited for it all to start.
Later than advertised (due on at 7.55pm) we had The Cazal's. They were a 5 piece band. Lead singer, drummer, bass player, and two guitarists. They were good as well. Nothing that stood out as wow but good none of the less. Worth going to see live again sometime if playing near by. Whether I'd buy an album I don't know, I'd have to hear my recordings again.
After that someone called Andrew came on stage. I wasn't keen on him at all. Didn't like the songs. Solo Acoustic and then solo electric. The Cazal's good have played for longer or even Adam Green and it would have been no loss at all. In fact give Andrew's slot to Babyshambles.
So after some more stage changing we got Adam Green and his band. Drummer, bass player, guitarist (I think), keyboard player and Adam Green - who also played guitar. He was great. Some really good tunes. There was one which really stood out. I can't remember it right now as it was the first time I saw him. All the more reason to record the concerts! I would certainly buy his album at some point and go and see him again in the future (when I'm not so tired)! Even the songs that didn't stand out were good.
So another wait and at 10pm on came Babyshambles. As the night went on I kept moving towards the back as I didn't really want to join in the moshing. I don't mind a bit of headbanging now and again but moshing isn't really my scene. The sound had been good up until now but sadly it went down hill. The bass was far to loud and the guitar couldn't be heard enough.
It picked up in Wolfman but sadly that was the last song.
Do any of Babyshambles (bar Pete) write songs? What else did they do before joing up with Pete? Do they currently smoke heroin, or have they don't so in the past? They are a good backing band. Yes Babyshambles may be a band but really it's just Pete and some good backing musicans. Any good session musicans could play and if Pete was there it would still be Babyshambles in my opinon..
I think the following is the correct set but as I've not replayed all my tapes yet, don't quote me on it. It's certainly closer than the one the NME posted. When magazines like Classic Rock print setlists they get it right (well certainly for all the gigs I've been to) but obviously NME don't take so much care and attention to detail. They could have put this is what I think they played but not in the right order (like most people on messages boards put). But no they chose not to.
1. The Man Who Came To Stay
This didn't do much for me.
2. Do You Know Me
Great song this. I like singing along to it, expect I don't know much of it yet. So bit pointless trying to sing it but fun none the less. Good bouncy feel to it.
3. In Love With a Feeling
I just love this song. Works best as a full band rendition in my opinion with the bass. Having said the bass was to loud, I still liked it in this song. I tried to sing the lyrics in this one but I didn't know them all. In fact I tried that with a few such as Killamangiro.
At one point during the song Pete got onto a stack at the side and jumped into the crowd. I didn't see him after that until he was back on stage.
The crowd were really going for it now. I Crowd surfing. Later on I saw one person at the back run slightly and jump into the crowd. He was lost for a moment and suddenly reappeared over peoples heads! There was another person near me to tried to get up but he either didn't have the nerve to jump or the other person could lift him high enough!
5. Gang of Gin
I read on Planet Sound (ch4 teletext p351) a spokesman saying that the song Gang of Gin was written before Pete went back to his parents. Well it sounded like they were saying he's wished he'd never written it. Well if that's the case why is he still performing it?
I made sure I listened to the words and I certainly heard Pete say Alan McGee. Whether the lyrics are any good or not the music itself certainly is.
6. Fuck Forever
This song as an Oasis type epic crowd sing along feel to it. I like it but Pete does have better songs such as Killamangiro and In Love With a Feeling my opinion. However they are not such crowd sing along type songs.
I think we then sang Happy Birthday with Pete joining in for part of it.
7. I Wanna Break Your Heart
At this point Dot joined Pet on stage, with Pete taking up the acoustic guitar. I'm not so keen on this song myself. Dot's voice is fine just not keen on the song.
The band left the stage and things quietened down in the audience. I quite like this song but not one of my old time favs.
9. Sheepskin Tearaway
I think this was the next song. I wasn't sure of the title but NME list it so I assume this is the one played. It was okay.
10. Don't Look Back Into The sun
This started straight after the last one and everyone joined in. Pete did two verses with the second ending slow.
11. Time For Heroes.
This was fine. Odd to hear such a heavy and famous Libs song done acoustically. You wouldn't think Pete would change it so much I.E. make it non electric.
As this ended Dot walked off and Pete started doing What Katie did on his acoustic. The crowd did the shoop singing whilst Pete stopped, the band walked on and the song started.
12. What Katie Did
One of the nights highlights. Lots of crowd singing to be had and much fun.
One of my all time favourite Babyshambles tracks - Killamangiro. I just love this song and tonight it was fantastic. I love the part where towards the end of guitar solo (after Pete finished talking) the backing tempo changes and Pete starts singing again. "and when the night is..." It's such a great bridge between the two parts and good change of tempo. I also like the fact the guitar solo continues whilst Pete starts singing.
So I was happy, hearing this song. I was expecting to hear this song much sooner.
I wasn't keen on this song really. Nothing special. It might grow on me but after Killamangiro it was a bit of a let down. Hearing it again (as I'm just playing it) it's not so bad. In fact it's okay but any song after Killamangrio going to find it difficult going for me.
15. Blackboy Lane
Another song I quite like. Good funky feel to the guitar. The tune isn't anything wonderful but I like the rhythm of it.
Pete sung the opening words to My Darling Clementine. However the traditional song that you might know and not hi song.
This was the best song of the night. So powerful. The guitar could be heard really well and the bass didn't seem so loud. The crowd went mental during the choruses and I don't blame them.
I read that Pete jumped into the crowd more than once and I thought may be he did it during this song, but being at the back I wasn't certain.
The insturmetnal end, went on for a while and was heavy. Really enjoyable ending as well. Powerful end song this.
After this the band walked off stage and they started packing up. Only played for 1 hour. Considering we'd pay £14+booking fee and may be even postage and packaging for those getting it sent via post, I would have expected a longer set.
Oh well that's the unpradictablity that is Pete Doherty. I didn't go to see the support bands no matter how good they were. I went to see Pete and his band Babyshambles.
So people grabbed guitar picks and drum sticks. I don't think the band had a set list. Certainly didn't see one. I did some stage on times printed in various places around the venue but I didn't remember to take any of these if they still existed at this point. I hung around in case Pete came out but nothing.
So I head out around to the side to work out where the stage door would be. I then waited for Pete to come out, which he did. I got him to sign a 7" Can't Stand Me Now single and told him that I thought he was good.
He was good, just that I felt the sound mix let him down that night.
It was at this point they were discussing where to go next. Someone said they were off to club NME and that someone was driving there.
So Pete would be playing then.
I left to find my own way there. I'd heard that it was near Mornington Crescent Tube and I had an address. checked out the buses to make sure it was easy to get back. I then decided I wasn't to sure where the bus stop was and it would be quicker to get the tube there. I asked about which station but the lady at the counter didn't know. I said is there any where, where I can find out? Blank looks and a comment of No. I asked about maps and she didn't have any. So I said they only have them at the local stations then and she agreed. She said it was likely to be Camden town when I mentioned is Canden High Street in Camden Town but she didn't know. I wouldn't expect her to know but I did expect her to have some way for looking it up. What with all this high-tech internet age which he live in.
I thought the London Underground had telephone help lines with this kind of information. Obviously it's only on their website which has this information. No good to me when it's getting closer to 12am and a possible Pete Doherty set. Besides I don't have internet access in the street and wap access doesn't contain that type of information as far as I know.
So I went and bought a London Street atlas. I have several of these already so I got a different make. As I draw maps for a living and collect them as well, no real hardship.
It was Mornington Crescent so I got on the tube and got to Camden Town to find that the next tube wasn't even stopping at Mornington Crescent so I just got out and walked back.
The first 250 with Babyshambles tickets got into Club NME for free. However by now it was past midnight and the first 250 were already in. The doorman said it cost £5. It actually cost £6. Shows how much they know and they work there! Still they don't search you so no problems with Dictaphones etc.
It would be worth it, just to see Pete do another set. I've paid enough to stay in the Youth Hostel so why not make a night of it. So i paid by £6.
So I went inside and the Paddington's were on. They played their new single at some point and were still playing close to 12.30am I think. They were not bad. Not as good as Adam Green in my opinion but worth seeing none the less. If I remember I'll listen to their Radio 1 session next week.
After the Paddington's a screen came down running some NME awards film, whilst so called indie music was played. Some of it seemed more hip hop and bass type stuff to me than Indie but then surely Indie music is anything done by Independent small labels so bands like The Libertines are not Indie and nor are Babyshambles if they are signed to Rough Trade. The stage equipment was slowly taken apart (expect the drums) and set up as if one person was going to play solo. Two monitors were left. So I stood there, watching all the people going to and from backstage. I think I saw someone with a small Babyshambles logo on their t-shirt go back stage at one point.
I waited. Hoped that every time someone, who to the mixing desk, would fade down the music and out walk Pete. Around 1.30am someone removed the stage monitors and the mic. So I went and spoke to some security person and asked if their were any more acts. He said no the second act cancelled. I guessed the second act would have been Pete. I didn't ask if Pete was playing as it only ever said Special Guest and they could say he was never due to play any way.
It was pop luck and sadly my it wasn't my lucky night. I went knowing there was a chance Pete wouldn't play but I hoped none the less. Especially since he'd been going after show sets in other places recently.
So all in all not a bad night, just ruined by the sound mixing during the Babyshambles set, which itself was far to short. 19 songs but to short in time. No encore either.
May be it would have been better if I had been on the balcony where I had would have had a better view of Babyshambles.
How well did Pete look? What he out of it? It didn't seem like it to me. There again I went to a Hawkwind concert where the then lead singer made a statement about drugs at the end of the set. We are ante heroin etc. etc. I read 3 years later that he had recently come off heroin. Whilst I knew they all smoked softer drugs I didn't suspect he smoked heroin. On top of that he didn't even look like he was on any more of drugs. I was near the front and I wouldn't have noticed a thing.
I almost thought about not going to see Babyshambles as the money might fund Pete's drug habit, if he's still doing it. But then I thought, well if I didn't know he was on drugs, I wouldn't have suspected a thing at the gig and been more than happy to go. So I thought I'll go and hope he spends on it on something else. Of course there's no denying that drugs influence the way songs are written and that great songs can be written on drugs. Not into taking drugs myself but I can see how they can influence songs. I'm not saying great songs can't be written without drugs but drugs certainly do change the way songs sound and people write. Would Pete's songs be as good, if he didn't do drugs? Guess we'll never know unless he becomes tee-total.
So I headed back to the Youth Hostel and that was it. Oh once I found the right bus stop. Being one way system in Camden it's not so logical. It was up a side street! Still I arrived, saw that I had to wait 10 minutes for a bus, according to the so called timetable, and then a bus arrived straight away. Short trip to Kings Cross and time to get some sleep. After all I had to be back by lunch time the next day to celebrate my birthday.
I would be interested in hearing if the set stayed the same the next night. I would have liked to have heard I love you but your green. I didn't even notice that Albion wasn't played but again I really like that one and had wanted to hear it live.