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.
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.