Gig review: The Libertines at O2 Academy Leeds

Pete Doherty turned 40 earlier this year, an age he once thought he would never reach, but this epic performance showed there is plenty of life in the old dog yet.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 6:47 pm
The Libertines. Picture: Roger Sargeant

Volatile and tempestuous at times, the Libertines frontman’s descent into heroin addiction is well documented and even now controversy never seems too far away.

Yet the natural talent of Doherty, and indeed the resurgent Libertines, cannot be denied and here was a reminder of the class of one of the greatest bands of their generation.

The 2015 Leeds Festival headliners served up many of their classic indie anthems during a fine set which included over 20 songs and lasted around 90 minutes.

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Following excellent support from Cruel Hearts Club, the Libertines emerged on stage to an expectant, raucous audience.

They belted out some fine opening tracks including The Delany, Heart of The Matter and Horrorshow and the atmosphere was electrifying in a sell-out crowd.

The Libertines, led by a noticeably trimmed-down Doherty and fellow frontman Carl Barat, overflowed with energy and conviction throughout.

The band’s two lead singers frequently shared their one mic, as is their trademark style, and dovetailed superbly.

Set highlights included Can’t Stand Me Now, What Became of The Likely Lads, What Katie Did and Music When The Lights Go Out.

You’re My Waterloo – a beautiful tribute to the late, great Amy Winehouse – was poignant before a brilliant encore which included the mesmeric Don’t Look Back Into The Sun.

All in all, a superb night.