Tickets had sold out for tonight in minutes, but after the second show which was announced (which happened last night), many cynics are wondering whether Pete Doherty, renowned for not turning up to his gigs in Glasgow, will be there for the second night of his band The Libertines’ second Glasgow comeback show.
Fears are allayed at half past nine when Will Fyfe’s ‘I Belong To Glasgow’ rings out, and the band walk on to stage together for only the second time in four years, as well as the second time in two nights.
Firing straight into ‘Vertigo’, the first track from 2002 debut Up The Bracket, it seems like Doherty and co-frontman Carl Barat, who dons the archetypal Libertines London guard’s jacket, haven’t been away.
As more fan favourites are played, including ‘The Delaney’, ‘Time For Heroes’ and ‘The Boy Looked At Johnny’, the sold out Barras crowd go wild as they throw pints, hats and their t-shirts around.
Doherty and Barat share microphones and cigarettes on numerous occasions throughout to rapturous cheers, while the entire crowd, many of whom are too young to have seen the band before, sing along to every word, inciting a real feeling of togetherness.
Feedback problems during final song ‘Tell The King’ don’t stop the band from coming on for an encore, which includes the acoustic ‘France’, ‘What Became Of The Likely Lads’ and their usual set-closer, ‘I Get Along’.
For a band that split up in 2005, The Libertines still have that freshness and raw energy about them that inspired the crowd into a feeling of sheer euphoria.
With a show to 65,000 people at Hyde Park this Saturday (July 5), most people walking down the famous Barrowland Ballroom steps, many still trying to wipe the sweat away from them, appear to be genuinely ecstatic about being lucky enough to see the band that defined a generation in such an intimate venue.
Words: Neil Hayton