Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Libertines: Reasons For Speculation

Is there a man who wears a leather jacket better than Carl Barât?

That is barely relevant, but I felt a need to pay a homage to the man who has taught me the ALT code for the letter â (ALT 131 of course), especially in such good times.

The Libertines reunited, briefly, last week, for a gig to pay tribute to the deceased owner of the Rhythm Factory in London. Carl, Pete and Gary are all scheduled to play Camden Rocks festival in early June too, and wouldn't it just be torture for them all to be at a festival and then not play together? And if a show happens, with Carl, Pete and Gary, followed by more little gigs like that...well a full Libertines reunion is on the cards, like we've been told. Pete & Carl have said they would record together next year, a promise which set fans' blood racing; definitely mine.

My worries are about John's decision. It is no secret that Peter has wanted to reform The Libs for a very long time. Carl is making positive noises now, and Gary seems to be going along with Carl. But John? John Hassall is busy with Yeti, a lower velocity group with seemingly a lot of mileage: things are on his terms and he doesn't have egos and drugs to compete with, he can stretch his musical muscle, make the sound he wants to. There are other bassists (cue Drew McConnell, enter stage left) but John was always the bassist for the job, with his fast fingers, his image, and his ability to fade into the background to let Pete & Carl take centre stage, while still being a strong presence. In the Libs book, it was said, "John is the only bassist." Perhaps he is. A Libs reunion would not be the same without him.

All the same, it is a good time to be a Libertines fan. Not as good a time as 2001 and 2002, waiting for an unscheduled gig on the dishevelled pavement of the Camden Road, or logging onto back in its hayday. No, it's not as good a time as that, but it certainly feels like there is a future, regardless of your opinions on their reformation. There is unfinished business between the boys in the band, and I for one am waiting for the saga to continue.

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