hmv.com presents... Albums Of 2015: #16 The Libertines
Every day during January we’re going to be previewing the albums that are going to be hitting the shelves in 2015. Most will definitely come out, some probably will, and some we really hope finally see the light of day (we’re looking at you Adele…). Today we're anticipating the return of the Libertines. Will they get through a new album without breaking up again?
A Little Background…
Anyone who knows anything about The Libertines will know that their back story reads like a sort of tragic soap opera; the fractious relationship between the band's two main protagonists - Carl Barat and the mercurial Pete Doherty – is well documented, as are Doherty's issue with drug addiction, so when the band finally called it a day in 2004 after only two albums, it seemed pretty final.
For brief time however they were, to some, the saviours of a music scene which had become awash with both the baggy-trousered nu-metal of American bands like Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach, and the landfill indie of Starsailor and JJ72. For their fans, the band were an exciting but chaotic blast of fresh air, inspiring hordes of young indie kids to dress in skinny jeans and brass-buttoned blazers bought from the local army surplus store. For their detractors, they were the beginning of a scene that led the whole of Shoreditch to be described - as the brilliant Kate Tempest once put it - as “a place in London where dickheads go”.
Still, polarise opinion as they might, when they reunited for some one-off shows in 2010 the gigs were well received, but even then the chances of a new album or a proper reunion seemed very remote. However, last year it seemed that hell had officially begun to freeze over when an image of London's Hyde Park was posted the band's long-since defunct Facebook page, followed by news of a July gig at the venue, with two more emerging later last year at the Alexendra Palace. Then, just a few weeks ago in December, it was announced that Doherty had successfully completed his latest stint in rehab – this time at a retreat in Thailand – and that he would be joining the rest of the band to begin work on a third album.
What's it called?
We've no idea. According to Barat there are a few new songs, but only one of these has even a working title thus far, so we're some way from learning the new album's name just yet.
What Will It Sound Like?
It remains to be seen what the last 10 years will have done to the band's sound and there is now new music on offer at this stage, but if we had to guess we'd probably have to use the word 'ramshackle' in there somewhere...
Who's Producing It? Are There Any Big-Name Guests?
A producer has yet to be unveiled for the new album, so we're not sure. It's unlikely that ex-Suede guitarist Bernard Butler, who has worked with them in the past, will return to the fray, as he and Doherty always had a difficult relationship. Mick Jones (formerly of The Clash) could be a possibility as he's also worked extensively with the band, but they may be looking for someone new altogether to provide a fresh perspective.
Will It Really Come Out This Year? And When?
Well, Carl Barat seems to think it will surface at some point in 2015 and the band have signed to Virgin / EMI who are likely to want to see the album out this year, but beyond that we can't be sure. This is The Libertines, after all...