Babyshambles live @ Apolo (Barcelona) [1/12/08]

He’s a junkie and one of the favorite celebrities for English tabloids because of his relationship with Kate Moss and his constant bohemian misbehaving. Add that he has released no better album than The Libertines debut, that his last show in town was pathetic (he couldn’t remember some lyrics and he wasn’t playing particularly well) and you’ll find out why the anti-Brit collective hates him. I actually agree with some of the reasons they use to underrate him but here comes another fact: Babyshambles gig yesterday night at the Apolo was a good show. They played their songs well and delivered seventy minutes of entertaining rock and roll.

I arrived at nine o’clock, one hour before the concert, and the place was already full of Doherty wannabees and groupies, all of them wearing the same grey H&M hat trying to emulate their idol. I was able to buy the tickets last week but the venue appeared to be sold out. After twenty minutes the supporting artist came to the stage. He was a Latinamerican singer-songwriter living in Barcelona (probably Argentinean or Chilean) and he barely achieved any response from the crowd, even after telling us how much he loved the city and the country. Anyway, his music was not bad at all and it was a decent warm-up.

By the time Babyshambles were supposed to start playing, a group of the most annoying fans came to the left side of the stage, where I was. They paid almost no attention to the music during all of the show and the groupies spent their time planning how to make Doherty kiss them. At the end of the concert, three of them were finally rewarded with a kiss from their idol, avoiding the stressed security gorillas and getting into the stage.

The show itself was pretty good. The second song they played was “Delivery” (probably the best one from his new album) and the crowd started jumping and dancing crazily. The rest of the concert evolved into a more peaceful atmosphere because they don’t really have tons of super hits and some of their songs are kind of quiet. There was time for some rocky ska too. Pete was sober, or at least sober enough to do his job well. He played his guitar tunes with almost no mistakes and his singing was alright too. After sixty minutes of music and a little pause, they came again to play a calm song with the supporting artist on the ukulele and “Fuck Forever”, a real anthem that we all enjoyed so much.

In conclusion, I don’t really think you have to love or hate characters like Pete Doherty. It should be all about music, so the most reasonable thing is to accept he’s no God but he can still make some beautiful rock and roll songs and entertain us with nice concerts if he’s not too high. -Grey

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