Thursday, 26 March 2009

Peter Doherty @ Birmingham Academy, 25/03/09

The first notable thing about this gig was the number of utter tossers in the crowd. I found it almost upsettingly predictable that Pete attracted this type of fan; it would have been nice to have an intellectual, sober, appreciative crowd, but alas, those fans must have stood at the back, or gone to see Metallica up the road instead.

I'll elaborate. You know that one group of lads with their girlfriends who ruin it for everyone by shouting obscenities, throwing beer, making moshpits, deliberately kicking people, smoking and fighting their way to the front? The one group that everyone is trying to ignore and rolling their eyes at? Well, I think 99% of the crowd were like that last night, or at least at the front. I stayed at the front anyway. Peter sauntered out when people were filing in, just after 7, shook hands on the front row and said hi. That surprised everyone.

The first support act were okay, a band named Red Roots. They played reggae indie, with a black lead singer and bassist, and a white guitarist and drummer: harking back to the days of 2tone. It was nice enough but got dull. There was no second support: friends of Peter wandered on and off the lit stage playing short solo sets. This included Drew McConnell of Babyshambles, who played three fantastic songs, one all in Spanish (for us girls) and one with Niko.

Finally when Peter came on, after Music When The Lights Go Out, he introduced Graham Coxon (to the wrong side of the stage, for me) and Drew again. The next few tracks were from the solo album, and though the crowd were rowdy as Hell, they weren't half singing their hearts out. Peter was on form, singing well. It was a good setlist too, though there was nothing from Shotter's Nation or Up The Bracket in it, a disappointment for me. What A Waster was in there though, the end of the chorus '2-bob cunt' sung with enthusiasm by the rough standing crowd. They got more and more drunk and objectionable, threw more and more beer and shoes and whatever else onstage. Graham Coxon smiled away, but all onstage were unnerved by the amount of beer and personal possessions showering their wires and amps (including a bag which Pete rifled through, 'looking for ID'). Drew on double bass was a crowd-pleaser, and he could play as well, wearing a fantastic Dracula-esque suit that I admired very much.

Drew McConnell on cello

The crowd were not going to be moved after Peter went off, singing a Babyshambles riff on repeat and chanting. He came back on, played Time For Heroes, before letting Lee Mavers of The La's come on to sing There She Goes (The La's song, not the Babyshambles song). After this, Peter came out and played Beg, Steal Or Borrow and a glorious rendition of Fuck Forever. He stood on the drumkit and we all chanted along.

Peter in black and white

All in all, the performance was fantastic, but the audience ruined it somewhat, at least at the front of the gig. I like a bit of roughness, rowdiness, or I wouldn't try to get to the barrier, but some of those people were just self-centred gits, really. So, overall, 7/10, I think.


  1. I really dont understand people like you. If you dont like gigs where fans get involved and excited, why would you go and watch the lead singer of a punk band, whos fans are notorious for this king of behaviour!! Further more, stand at the front!! If you don't like that, why don't you go and watch Katie Melua or The Script or some other shite like that, where the fans dont move and they all greet each other with pleasantries!! And no one tries to kick you on purpose unless you're the sort of idiot who stands at the front and then moans that people are bumping into them.

    And, FYI, people weren't getting "more and more drunk", the bar was empty for the whole night as soon as Pete came on.

    The gig was awesome, and one of the main parts that makes a night like that is the crowd!! So next time, maybe think about standing upstairs where you can get your notepad out without anybody bumping into you.

    You absolute div.

  2. And that was supposed to say kind, not king.

    You're still a div though.

  3. Thanks for your insightful comment.
    There's a difference between being a dickhead and 'getting involved'. I don't care if you jump, push, have fun, but if you scream abuse, hurl things at the stage and fall over in the moshpit, for fuck's sake, how can you justify that as having fun? It's called being a wanker.

    I wouldn't dream of going to see Katie Melua or The Script. I'm a Pete fan. I didn't have a notepad. And I bet you were one of the idiots making it Hell for everyone else, yeah?