TVD Live Shots: Pete Doherty and Carl Barat at Hackney Empire, 9/6

My quest to see The Libertines live in the UK since I moved here three years ago got a bit closer to completion. Earlier this year I saw a spectacular show from Pete Doherty and the Putra Madres, and now I can check Pete and Libertines frontman Carl Barât off the list.

It was billed as an acoustic gig, so I accepted the invite thinking two dudes, two guitars, one stripped-down acoustic set. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As part of an event series called SOMEWHERE, which is known for hosting a series of unusual shows around the world, somehow figured out how to light 1001 candles to illuminate the stage in one of the most beautiful venues in London, Hackney Empire.

Let me start by saying that I was there for the second night of two sold-out performances in what one would consider an “intimate” venue for the primary two Libertines. It’s also worth noting that you have to live in London to appreciate how much this town loves Mr. Doherty. From the infamous breakfast photo in Margate which would later become a full-on work of art as a mural, to just last week when the tabloids reported Pete on a Boris bike riding through central London with two huskies. There was one Tweet that captured this fascination with the musician perfectly, “It’s Pete Doherty’s world, we just live in it.”

Back to the show. Holy hell this was an epic night. It seems like there was nothing off the table regarding the setlist. Delivered in two settings—yeah, there was an intermission—solo stuff, Babyshambles, and of course all your favorite Libertines classics, and a few odd numbers in between. The chemistry between Pete and Carl is undeniable as at certain points throughout the night both looked to be completely lost in each other’s musical abilities, while in between songs keeping the banter and charm at an all-time high. Add to this an orchestra and a gospel choir, and you have the makings for a potential gig of the year. I’m not even sure a proper Libertines gig can surpass the magic that happened at this one, but hopefully I’ll be reporting back from one of their upcoming shows at the Brixton Academy here in London. (Looking at you publicist.)

It was an absolutely brilliant one of a kind event that I’m thrilled to report and share some genuinely majestic photos from the gig. And just a quick note about the organisers of the event, if you have an opportunity to see one of these 1001 candle nights, do yourself a favour and get a ticket. SOMEWHERE, launched in Tokyo in April with performances from Phoenix, JUSTICE, Carl Barât, Friendly Fires, and Basement Jaxx, brings unique evenings to special venues around the world with distinctive staging and the backdrop of the trademark 1001 candles. Having already received great acclaim in Japan, this London event is the first international appearance of SOMEWHERE, before touring classic Art Deco theatres in major cities around the world in Paris, New York, Berlin, and Moscow.

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