The Libertines last night continued their whirlwind tour of the UK with a rigorous and high energy set at London’s OnBlackheath Festival.
The Libertines headlined the second day of the festival, following Travis’s bill-topping show on Saturday. The performance came ahead of the band’s upcoming ‘Tiddely Om Pom Pom’ seaside tour, which kicks off later this month.
Upon entering the stage to a spaghetti western soundtrack, co-frontman Pete Doherty approached the front of the stage, applauding the audience before taking his position on the left hand side of the stage.
Though he and Carl Barat were positioned on opposite sides of the stage, they spent the majority of the gig leaning into the one mic together, a move that’s come to be an iconic part of the band’s live shows.
The band opened with a fiery rendition of ‘Time For Heroes’, which was met by rapturous applause all-round. They then launched into ‘The Delaney’, the B-side track from ‘Up The Bracket’. By the time The Libertines had reached ‘Heart Of The Matter’, Gary had taken his shirt off.
The band then took a short pause to catch their breath after the lively opening. Visibly upset at the matter, Pete informed the crowd that he’d been threatened with a £1000 fine if he lit a cigarette onstage. He and Carl then began to slowly build into ‘Boys In The Band’.
During another short pause following ‘The Milk Man’s Horse’, Carl threw “£5 worth of cigarettes” into the audience. (Clearly the threat of a fine was proving effective).
This was followed up with ‘You’re My Waterloo’, which saw Carl roll out his piano skills whilst Pete sang vocals.
Rallying up the crowd for ‘Death On The Stairs’, Pete asked, “Can I get a witness, PLEASE?” to which he was answered by deafening levels of noise from the fans. Pete then kicked his mic into the pit whilst playing a particularly intense bit of guitar work.
Then it was into ‘Gunga Din’, and of course, the indie anthem ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’.
“Ladies and gentlemen, for one night only…” Carl began, before being interrupted by Pete saying the same thing. “The jackal Carl Barat!” Pete declared, as Carl removed his jacket to reveal red braces. Carl ditched his guitar for a solo frontman performance of ‘What Katie Did’. Following a rock and roll flourish towards the end of the track, the song was later reprised in a ballad style.
The band were met with applause during ‘Tell The King’. Drummer Gary Powell then led a fast and supercharged section on drums, before the final pre-encore track, ‘The Good Old Days’.
Pete was first to exit the stage, as Gary took the mic to “send love to all the libertines out there.”
During the encore, the crowd broke into ‘Oh Jeremy Corbyn’, an adaptation of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’, which dominated the fields of Glastonbury this year.
After a short interval, the boys took to the stage once more to perform an encore of ‘When The Lights Go Out’, ‘The Boy Who Looked At Johnny’ and ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’. The band joined together in a pile up at the back of the stage before taking their final bow.
The Libertines embark on their seaside tour on the 22nd September, starting at the Blackpool Empress Ballroom.
The Libertines OnBlackheath headliner show setlist is below:
Time For Heroes
Heart Of The Matter
Boys In The Band
The Milkman’s Horse
You’re My Waterloo
Can’t Stand Me Now
Death On The Stairs
Fame And Fortune
What Katie Did
Anything But Love
Tell The King
The Good Old Days
Music When The Lights Go Out
The Boy Looked At Johnny
Don’t Look Back Into The Sun
Straight from the NME