While some recent Babyshambles performances have been like peeking into the rehearsal room of a really bad sixth form band, today they put on a surprisingly good show.
Maybe Pete‘s recent jail threat has calmed him down or perhaps being banned from London has cleaned him up – whatever the cause, Doherty was surprisingly engaging with the audience and every bit the consummate showman.
From new single ‘The Delivery’ to ‘Pipedown’ to ‘What Katie Did’, Babyshambles were tight and on top form. Pete threw his vintage guitar into the audience when it failed to work, then brought out a bunch of roses in a Morrissey-esque fashion – he was far from the automaton of past gigs.
Doherty even poked fun at his own self-image – something that he’s presumably been too smacked up to do before – saying prior to closer ‘Fuck Forever’: “That’s about your lot, that’s all you’ll get. Can we get paid now?”
The Coral were also on top form. A reliable live band, the Hoylake sextet played a greatest hits set, but with some added ferocity to their Merseybeat-psych. ‘She Sings The Mourning’ and ‘Goodbye’ were extended into scorching jams, demonstrating the heights of guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones‘ skills. That The Coral can combine these flights of experimental fancy with the catchiest of tunes is a special thing, and they got the whole Channel 4 Stage singing along to ‘Dreaming Of You’.
We’re off to see Jarvis Cocker on the JJB Stage now – if he does ‘Common People’, you’ll be the first to know.
Words: Tom Pinnock