“It’s either to the top of the world, or the bottom of a canal” – Carl Barat to Peter Doherty.

Mid Noughties London: eighteen years of Tory rule has come to a close. The streets are littered with Underground gig flyers. They describe the look and sound of decline, romanticising the nihilism and self destruction of the young. Their presence is felt running through the arteries of Camden: a grassroots voice of British youth that echoes out from London’s gutters.

The band lives and dies by the complex relationship between its two founders, Peter Doherty and Carl Barat. The poetic temperament behind their thrilling voice gives authenticity to songs of love, drugs and emptiness. During a guerilla performance in their north London flat, they sing Guns of Brixton as the police came charging up their stairs. They wouldn’t be kept quiet for long. They welcomed John Hassell and Gary Powell the early 2000s rising through the charts as they raged against British popular culture. Lyrics drenched in parody and cynicism were suddenly dominating radio stations across the country. Their second album catapulted them to further success with Up the Bracket hailed by some as a masterpiece.

Sadly in 2004, Pete Doherty’s addictions and substance abuse were creating more attention than their music, which led to the breakup of the band. The members of the Libertines went on to form new bands with varying degrees of success. It wasn’t to last however; after a long separation the Libertines returned to record their third album in 2015. Finally the foursome took the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury by storm giving patient fans the reunion they deserved.

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