Monday, 19 February 2007

Brixton Academy Gig 18th Feb

The signs plastered along the route from Stockwell to the Brixton
Academy
didn't make sense tonight. The words "Don''t End Up Like Pete The
Junkie"
gave out a confusing message. If tonight's show is what a 'junkie' can
achieve, well...it seems Judge McIvor has known what has been possible
and
the sign posters had better take a second look at what Pete is doing
these
days.Peter Doherty was in total control of his voice and his guitar
playing
as he lead the band and his two guest singers, Kate Moss and Wolfnman,
to
some spectacular highlights that punctuated the evening

The gig was sold out, even with the balcony open. Touts were buying
£20
tickets for £25 and selling them for £35. The merchandise stall saw a
brisk
business, particularly for the new "Ficeck Forever" t-shirt that sold
to
more than freinds and family. The bar was busy while Little Man Tate
gave it
their best, but the crowd didn't care. They'd come to see the Shambles.
Pete swirled on stage with a bottle of beer and doused the first
rows of
the most pit with its contents. Straight into "Pipedown", a pared down
perfunctuary minimalistic version - partly because Mik's guitar did not
appear to be plugged into the amplifier. A QPR flag appeared on stage
and
issued the only boos of the night as Pete brandished it with pride.
Pete strapped up for a magnficent version of "Baddies Boogie"
which had
to be stopped by the security because of the power of the moshpit. The
band
was ushered off stage and returned shortly to finish the song before
launing
into a rocking "Beg Steal or Borrow" which has grown in electric
stature
from its acoustic beginnings. Pete's guitar playing was adventurous and
confident, filled with atttude and heart.

Pete kept the guitar for "The Blinding" and "Unstookietitled", but
laid
it aside for the drama of "Sedative" which saw him at the front of the
stage
drenched in diffused light and wisps of smoke from his only cigarette
of the
night.

Adam and Drew were tight and even Mik's often reticient guitar
found a
place in the spotlight. The show's most grand and eloquent moments were
in
"Killimangiro" which expanded to fill the Academy and the hearts of the
fans
who sing every word as they have done for years. Gone was Pete's cry
"I
believe in love" and instead his silence and the energy of the band
filled
the sonic room.

It was followed by "Side of the Road" and "You Talk" before Kate
dazzled
the crowd in "La Belle et Le Bete" with her deadpan vocal and her crazy
girls-just-want-to-have-fun squiggle off the stage. "The Delivery"
surged
despite a few sour notes and "Time for Heroes" was greeted with raised
arms
and fists punching the air.

"Unbilotitled" was followed by a thank you from Pete to "Ms. Moss"
before introducing Wolfman who joied him to sing what is called the
first
live peformance of "For Lovers". It worked really well and seemed
touchingly appropriate in this night of unions and reunions.

A poppy "I Wish" closed the set and gave the crowd a new chorus to
sing
while waiting for an encore which was "Albion", "Back from the Dead",
FUCK
FOREVER.

There were many new fans tonight. They didn't know the words to
the
"Bumfest" songs and demanded those they were familiar with. There was
no
"Pete, Pete, Pete". No hats, letters or pieces of jewellery were thrown
on
to the stage. No fans lighting his cigarette from the foot of the
stage.
Pete didn't stage dive. Patrick didn't spark out splintered
electricity. It
was a different night. As good as the old ones. I hope to see many
more
nights like this.

200turtles
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