WORDS AND IMAGES BY WARREN MILLAR
‘It’s noticeable how good Doherty looks, yes maybe with a few pounds on but hell he looks good and looks happy and sounds incredible’
The Libertines and Babyshambles front man Pete Doherty teamed up with the French musician Frederic Lo for a new joint album, ‘The Fantasy Life of Poetry & Crime’ released in March 2022. The pair announced a U.K. and European tour in January to promote the album and tonight they bring this tour to The Arts Club, Liverpool.
This latest collaboration between Doherty and Lo is defiantly not in the Libertines indie sleaze genre. Its more sort of grown up (for want of a better word) it’s more a jangly laid back type of indie loveliness and we for one can’t wait to hear it played live.
The rain comes down as we head to our venue tonight and the skies threaten thunder but it’s warm and welcoming as we head up Seel Street, Liverpool to “The Arts Club” This being a change of venue from the original bigger Olympia venue. We were also a little surprised to find out that the gig was in the smaller Arts Club Loft but this proved to be the perfect venue for tonight’s more intimate gig and without doubt suited Dohertys and Lo’s brilliant new collaboration “The Fantasy Life Of Poetry And Crime”
First up tonight on stage is “Bill Pritchard” a British singer songwriter, instrumentalist (guitars, keyboards), musical arranger and producer little known here but he has achieved considerable recognition in France and elsewhere. What struck us tonight was the way he played his guitar, a right handed acoustic, strung right handed but played left handed. We have only ever seen this once before a few years ago with Irish singer songwriter “Wallis Bird”. A really lovely chilled out acoustic set tonight from Pritchard who was also joined on stage for his last song by Frederic Lo himself.
Next up is Newcastle’s highly rated singer songwriter “Andrew Cushin” and his four piece band. Wow it’s no wonder he has recently been signed by Doherty’s label “Strap Originals” and is tipped for great things. Its artists like this why you should get to the gigs early and catch the supports. Cushins voice is mature for his 21 years and sits nicely with the strong indie rock feel his band belt out. I really can’t rate this set so highly, they were outstanding and with some outstanding songs one of which stood out to us was “Waiting For The Rain” which Cushin Wrote at the tender age of 16. Really watch this space and look out for the name “Andrew Cushin” This Toon lad is deffo going places !!
So the time had come for Pete Doherty and Frederic Lo to come on stage but as well as his band we are also welcomed by two of Pete’s dogs Gladys and Zeus who were loving all the attention they were getting. My self being a massive animal and dog lover just couldn’t resist giving Gladys a stroke and tickle under her chin before the guys got under way and Zeus disappeared back stage and Gladys settled down for the gig under the keyboard on stage which I may add was played by Doherty’s wife and “Puta Madres” band mate Katia de Vidas.
Its straight into the title track of the album for the first song “The Fantasy Life Of Poetry And Crime” what’s so nice about this album beside the fact that’s it’s something quite different is that it shows Doherty’s voice off to the maximum. And with Lo’s influence and song writing I think it’s a match made in musical heaven. It’s noticeable how good Doherty looks, yes maybe with a few pounds on but hell he looks good and looks happy and sounds incredible. Maybe this has a lot to do with his recent marriage to Katia or the fact that he has a settled life in France now, who knows but what ever it is is so lovely to see him on the very top of his game.
The album is played in full and is lapped up by his fans. Stand out live songs for us tonight would be “Invictus”, “You Can’t Keep It From Me For Ever” and “Abe Wassenstein” a tender, acoustic homage to Doherty’s friend and longtime Libertines collaborator Alan Wass.
With a Three song Encore ending with “For Lovers” the gig was over. This was Pete Doherty at his very best in my opinion and together with Frederic Lo they have created a master piece in “The Fantasy Life Of Poetry And Crime” You really should listen to it.
What also struck me tonight being in the photo pit during the two supports of “Bill Pritchard” and “Andrew Cushin” I noticed that Pete was side stage watching both support artists doing their sets Just Brilliant !
Thank you Pete Doherty and Frederic Lo for such an enjoyable night in Liverpool it was a real musical delight in many ways.
1/ The Fantasy Life Of Poetry and Crime
3/ The Monster
4/ The Epidemiologist
5/ Yes I Wear A Mask
6/ Keeping Me On Fire
7/ The Ballard Of
8/ The Glassblower
9/ Rock & Roll Alchemy
10/ You Can’t Keep It From Me For Ever
11/ Abe Wassenstein
12/ Far From The Madding
13/ Last Of The English Roses
15/ Someone Else To Be
16/ For Lovers
FOLLOW PETE DOHERTY AND FREDERIC LO
FOLLOW BILL PRICHARD
FOLLOW ANDREW CUSHIN
Warren is a live music and festival photographer based in Cheshire and covers gigs/festivals mostly in the North West of England. He has been photographing live music for over 10 years and has covered major artists and festivals