Personalities | The Libertines | Twenty-First Century | Rock

(Vocal/instrumental group, 2001–04)

The Libertines – Pete Doherty (vocals, guitar), Carl Barat (vocals, guitar), John Hassall (bass) and Gary Powell (drums) – hailed from the east end of London. Across their short lifespan they made two albums (Up The Bracket, 2002 and The Libertines, 2004) of exceptionally idiosyncratic indie, with The Clash’s Mick Jones at the production desk and one-time Suede guitarist Bernard Butler occasionally behind the axe.

In Doherty and Barat lay a raucous and compelling songwriting team, capable of bouncing ideas off one another, and presenting them in a ramshackle yet intoxicating way. When the band eventually spluttered out in 2004 (with Doherty sacked for his drug problems, later forming the group Babyshambles, Barat would form Dirty Pretty Things) the music world became a sadder place. Bands quickly sprang up to replace them, but many would deem The Libertines the true originators of post-millennial, post-punk chaos, and their influence is already well felt.

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Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley


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