babyshambles – live review 

Things are tense in The Leadmill. Pete Doherty’s Babyshambles are 15 minutes late. The crowd behind the photo-pit are swelling, chanting, screaming. Beers fly through space and bouncers are called to arms as a brutal girl fight erupts.

Standard, really, for the once critically lauded star that helped fuel the fire of a rock revolution. A measly half-hour after the due time and Babyshambles appear, cigarette hanging from Doherty’s mouth as he staggers in a stained trench to his microphone.

He’s lively, but it takes time for his voice to escape nonsensical mumbling while he’s held together by the rest of the band, providing a tight framework for him to weave his wavering mind through what could’ve/should’ve/would’ve been a lengthy set list.

Somehow, Babyshambles still have the ability to induce a small scale riot – their loyal disciples still raring for the taste of ramshackle that has seen Doherty heading for the obsolete since the new wave of slick rock bands began to dig their nails in.

Newest offering, Sequel To The Prequel, might have put us all back on high alert that Doherty is still capable of penning tunes that will capture the imagination like he once did and while Killamangiro nearly breaks the floor, Nothing Comes To Nothing meanders with little of the chirpy energy that looked to be rekindling the career of someone who could end up becoming a forgotten star.

F*** Forever makes The Leadmill shake like it’s so used to and while this could be considered a triumph when compared to other outings, it still feels like the beginning, or middle of, the end for Pete Doherty.