Ryan’s Ramblings: The Libertines


I missed out. Trendyness always seem to put me off until after the attention has left. I guess that’s why I never listened to the Libertines until I got to London.

Like, well, just about every big British rock group, The Libertines became emblematic of a second coming of rock & roll that just never seemed to be fully realized. I don’t need to tell you about what happened to the band and frankly I don’t know the full story. I can tell you that they still linger around the British music scene like the smell of cigarettes in your hair after a night out. Only better.

I doesn’t make sense why I didn’t like them earlier. Two guitars? Check. Punk-influences? Check. A member of the Clash is involved? I should have been all over this band when they were still around, considering my serious Clash habit/addiction at the time. I guess it just didn’t happen then. Still, it’s worth remembering the band because, inevitably, there will be a reunion, complete with a sold-out, overblown tour, a headlining spot at one, if not multiple major festivals, and another falling out. I can’t wait.

To best sum up their music style, story, and lingering influence on British music from this decade, I’ve included the first and last songs from their self-titled album.

MP3: The Libertines – “What Became of the Likely Lads”
MP3: The Libertines – “Can’t Stand Me Now”

For both songs, you can hear in their guitar work and tone the influences of British music from the last 40 years coming through. What actually makes this worth listening to, though, is their ability to make something both personal and accessible through the lyrics and interplay between Doherty and Barat’s vocals. You can hear their story and apply it to your own life, which is something I think is worth more than bands that make good music, but offer a more generic appeal. Enjoy.


11 Responses to Ryan’s Ramblings: The Libertines

  1. […] Ryan’s Ramblings: The Libertines « All Things Go […]

  2. Peanut says:

    I worked with Pete Doherty in concert last night and if his professionalism was anything to go by, it’s safe to say i can see why the Libs are no more. He kept the audience waiting almost 2 hours and turned up about 10 seconds before running on stage. It was ‘Rock & Roll’ but I don’t think any band would put up with it… Fair play to him, although he’s basically a glorified busker playing live and solo, he’s got a great voice and plays better drunk guitar than The Cribs…

  3. 2 guitars, check. says:

    2 guitars is always better than one

  4. Lou Mendoza says:

    This is your 4th grade teacher, Lou. You probably don’t remember me but I just wanted to check in with you. We should go buy sweaters or maybe even a full outfit at a store.


  5. Josh says:

    Check out ‘Peter’ Doherty’s new album – Grace/Wastelands. Worth a listen, even just for sentimental value.

  6. as much as I like The Libertines i think the 2 tracks you posted where the best songs Pete Doherty put his name or will ever do.

    Everything else is glorified busking.

  7. Samantha and James says:

    oh shut up. glorified busking is a psuedo-intellectual label slapped upon anyone who goes it solo with their guitar and isn’t Elliot Smith. Grace/Wasteland is a beautiful album in my opinion, with Peter finally going back to the original songs he had when he started the Libertines. Before they decided they needed to become punk (not that Im complaining about that aspect of their career either).

  8. Ryan says:

    you go girl

  9. Josh says:

    ‘Glorified Busking’ is a term i’ve seen a couple times concerning Peter Doherty and I haven’t understood it once. Are people trying to say he’s bad? And therefore saying all other buskers are bad aswell?

  10. A says:

    I highly prefer Barat to Petr and am not really sure why Babyshambles got so much more attention than Dirty Pretty Things when their album ‘Waterloo to Anywhere’ had not bad tracks and a dozen(or so) great ones.

  11. Alyssa says:

    I absolutely agree about Dirty Pretty Things– I am still a fan of The Libertines but if there was one good byproduct from the split between Doherty and Barat, it was Dirty Pretty Things. It’s regrettable that the band isn’t together anymore, I wish they were.

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