I’d heard ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ and liked it loads and bought it. But I remember I saw the cover image of the second album, the one where they’re both showing their tattoos. Weirdly it looked both aggressive and tender simultaneously. It was something I’d never experienced before with a band, most bands are either woefully self-absorbed in their sensitivity or violent in the extreme. I bought the album and found that the image encapsulated the music within; at turns forthright and subtle, belligerent and gentle, all shot through with an overwhelming sadness. It’s a superb yet uncalculated balancing act that makes the band and this album truly magical. The band and this album are modern classics.
Steve Richards, Leeds
I’ll never forget the moment I first saw The Libertines. It was March 2002 and I’d gone to the Bristol Louisiana to see The Vines. I’d never even heard of the support band. I heard a commotion in the crowd behind me and turned around to see four skinny fellas in leather jackets bursting through the crowd. It was The Libertines. There was something intoxicating about them instantly. Something about the way they were looking at each other and laughing as they pushed their way to the stage. I couldn’t take my eyes off Peter and Carl as they fought for the microphone. It wasn’t like seeing any other band I’d ever seen. There was a chemistry, an intensity, an air of passion and desperation in the way they played that left me in no doubt that I was watching something special, that this was more than just a band. Sometime during the Good Old Days – the lyrics of which blew me away – I forgot all about The Vines.
Leon Pollock, Cardiff
When I discovered The Libertines, they were already in the process of breaking up. I was only grasping onto the last threads while they were gasping for their last breath. I was intrigued by ‘What A Waster’ because I had never heard anything like it before. No matter how worn out my Up The Bracket record is, I still experience the exhilarating joy I first felt when ‘Vertigo’ blasted out of my speakers and I knew that this band would change my life. As the music plays, a story unfolds about death on the stairs, Oscar Wilde, hypocrites, drugs, romance, gin in teacups, kings and queens, Albion and Arcadia. If anything, I’ve learned that just existing isn’t good enough, no. You have to live. I am in love with this band. It’s as simple as that.
Sarah, Fresh Meadows, New York
Had a lovely dinner with Peter, Carl and Gary, Spring of 2003 in Boston, MA, before their show at the Paradise. Whereas most bands have the appearance and demeanor of accountants when offstage, the Libs did not disappoint.
The Books of Albion were passed around, waitresses were sat on their laps for photos, food was thrown and Gary’s love of Ben Harper was made known. The storybook ending? Peter walking off into the sunset; margarita in one hand, half-finished steak in the other.
See ya onstage, old boy!
Carl Mello, Brighton, MA USA
My love affair with the libertines begun three months before the second album. This is unfortunate because I never got to see them live. I long to witness the passion,fury,dedication and chemistry between Pete and Carl live.It is my dying wish.The libertines to me are the epotheosis of music and has created side projects like babyshambles who are to me the greatest live band of today but Pete and Carls magic and talent will never be beaten.
I did get to see babyshambles live and it was a magnificent experience. I took a four hour bus journey to dublin just to be in with a chance of hearing them from outside the gates of the trinity ball.I spent all my birthday on this journey.I waited until 2.30 in the morning in the freezing cold waiting to hear faint shambolic but beautiful music… then a random man carrying a white board had passes to the ball and I leaped behind him helping him carry the board,getting into a ball under 18,dressed in jeans and without a ticket! They played a stomping set and Pete playing a dream like “time for heroes”, my favourite libertines song of all time which was was very apt to the occasion.
Denise, Wexford, ROI
Let’s get one thing straight. The Libertines have caused a more varied range of emotions in me than any other music, literature or art. I’ve hated them, and I’ve adored them. That’s what makes them so special
My 18th birthday fell on the eve of Babyshambles’ 2004 Christmas gig at the London Astoria. A friend bought me a ticket, and we were looking forward to seeing at least one of the Libertines again. Of course, by 2AM, Peter hadn’t shown. A riot ensued, people got hurt…it was hardly the Arcadian dream. It all seemed such a waste. That’s when I’ve hated them
They’re like a girlfriend who you sometimes can’t stand to be around, but who you can’t get out of your head. I’ve fallen in love to the Libertines. I’ve got drunk to the Libertines. They’ve soundtracked arguments and fights. From the glorious, filthy, witty mess that is Up The Bracket, to the sadness of The Libertines, and to all of Peter, Carl, John and Gary’s subsequent offerings, I’ve been entranced. That’s when I’ ve loved them. Up the Albion!
Oliver Seaman, Bury St Edmunds
I remember seeing The Libertines in 2004. My mind was walking the line between whether they were going to be brilliant or whether they were even going to show up-together. In the past year since I had last seen them, there had been the headlines: “Pete’s Out!,” “Pete Travels to Thailand to Recovery From Crack,” “Reunited!,” and “Pete’s Out! Again!” It was exhausting really, if you were a Libertines fan. We had to follow every headline to find the Holy Grail. And this was it, my Holy Grail. The show was far from disappointing. The stumbling guitars were unaccompanied by the ribboned rants concerning booze, smack, and dames. Being young, passionate, and unconcerned with the opinions of others The Libertines were to me what Shostakovich was to Stalin. They were uncompromising, now they are irreplaceable.
Molly Rogers, New York, NY