Cultissime #6 : Peter Doherty and Le Bataclan
“Faith in love and music”, for ever
Doherty at Le Bataclan, episode 1 :
Where is Peter Doherty ?
April 11, 2006, 10:30 pm, the overheated and overexcited pit of Le Bataclan begins to lose patience. We fear the cancellation of the Babyshambles concert. The roadies begin to repack the gear. The problem: Nobody knows where Peter Doherty is.
” “10:50 pm, we have little hope of seeing the group play. 11:00 pm: we hear in the front rows:” He’s here !! “. An organizer goes up on stage, he confirms that the singer has just arrived. Pete goes straight on stage, still dressed in his raincoat and carrying his guitar case. Immense joy, total relief. ”
The show started, and the performance in accordance with the myth: chaotic, totally improvised, approximate lyrics of the songs, bad sound… This was no problem for the fans, they were delighted with this joyful chaos. Shouts of joy arose from a boiling pit at the beginning of each song, whether it was a Babyshambles‘ or a Libertines‘ song: “It looks like a giant mixer”.
Stopped at customs? Fire on the Eurostar tracks? Asleep in a bush when leaving the ferry? The reasons for this insane delay are still unknown …
Doherty at Le Bataclan, episodes 2 & 3 :
The Last of the English Poets
On March 9th and 10th, 2009 Peter arrived on time on Le Bataclan stage! In solo this time, he made discover live (and in full!) His solo album Grace / Wastelands, released a few days after these Parisian concerts. He performed his solo album Grace/Wastelands. Through his pop and romantic ballads, he revealed the full extent of his talent: The Last Of the English Roses, Arcadie, Salomé, I Am the Rain…
Photo : Dean Chalkley
Photo : Dean Chalkley
Doherty solo but Doherty well surrounded: Adam Ficeck, Drew McConnell (Babyshambles’ drummer and bass player) and Graham Coxon (Blur’s guitarist), as well as two dancers, accompanied him on stage.
Doherty solo but above who the shadow of the Libertines still hangs : he offers his audience acoustic and delicate versions of Music When The Lights Go Out and The Good All Days, which rekindled memories among longtime fans.
More calm, more serene, (probably not) wiser, Doherty has however lost nothing of his spontaneity: “He likes to cover Coxon with kisses all over his face. He twirls, overact,…” (Noémie Lecoq). And its audience doesn’t seem to have simmered down either …
“Contrasting with the calm and serenity that emanates from the stage, the pit is hysterical. Three bras will end up on stage, and also a letter and even a necklace that will end up on Pete’s guitar neck. ”
Doherty at Le Bataclan, episodes 4 & 5 :
On November 16th and 17th, 2016, Peter Doherty gave Le Bataclan its original rock soul back. Doherty stayed true to himself, and that was the best way to do this show. After a Marseillaise performed on the violin, sung in unison by the audience, Doherty continued, in a huge mess, with solo titles or songs from Babyshambles.
|Photo : Alain Bibal|
And then, there was general hysteria. Carl Barât, his lifelong accomplice and co-leader of the Libertines, bursted onto the stage to perform the beautiful song You’re My Waterloo. It was a surprise meeting that recurred later during the concert on Up The Bracket and Time For Heroes. “The fury of the Libertines took over the place” and they revived the rock’n’roll spirit of Le Bataclan, for good.
You may lose your ears when Carl Barât arrives on stage at 2:40, but it’s a great moment
Doherty is irreverent, the material is brutalized, microphones fly and the guitars end up in the audience, where it rains beer. Doherty ends his impetuous performance with the Babyshambles’ song, Fuck Forever, chanted by the whole venue.
“By his chaotic performance, constantly oscillating between tragic disaster and sublime resurrection, Doherty gave Le Bataclan back its rock soul. A spirit of rage, passion, love and anger that has revived the almost lost essence of what should be a live performance.
Doherty at Le Bataclan, episode 6 :
Paradise Is Under Our Nose
In his eternal suit, white shirt and suspenders, Peter Doherty presented the poetic ballads of the new album of his band The Putas Madres. They also revisited the classics of Doherty’s former bands, to the great pleasure of the audience. As usual with this English rock poet, the show was imperfect, but with a lot of freedom, improvisation and a touch of madness. This raw energy is what fans love about Peter Doherty! Paradise was indeed under our noses on May 15th, 2019…
“That’s what we like (or not) with Peter Doherty. He is not meticulous, his concerts are not formatted, just like life. ”
In the venue, everyone was delighted and sang in unison the chorus of Fuck Forever, while a mini-Doherty of about 10 years climbed on stage to share a moment with his idol!
In the video of the TV show Quotidien, you will see this moment of complicity with the young fan, as well as a guided tour of the Puta Madres’ tourbus and behind the scenes of the concert at Le Bataclan,.
Will he be back soon for another show ?