The Libertines send Times Square into meltdown!
The Libertines – Live At Times Square (Newcastle) 3/08/2017
It’s been 13 years since the stylish kids in the riot last strutted their stuff on a Newcastle stage, and Thursday night’s crowd were fully aware of the miracle of this reunion.
When The Libertines announced their comeback in 2014, every Libertarian believed it would be a short lived affair intertwined with rehab trips, bust ups and dramas. But after a new album, and further on the way, The Libertines look tighter than ever, and like they finally enjoy playing the great songs they wrote.
Opening the show with Time For Heroes, the four piece set Times Square alight with a flurry of energy, as Peter and Carlos exchanged romantic mic interchanges. Vocally they were on point, effortlessly spilling out the words of this iconic indie anthem, as Gary Powell pounded the kit behind them, and John Hassall remained as cool, calm and collected as ever on bass.
2015’s Anthems for Doomed Youth has given The Libertines a real variety in their set. Gunga Din, Heart of The Matter and You’re My Waterloo are firmly rooted in The Libertines’ unique sound, but ring of a wiser band that are no longer find themselves caught round the houses with their trousers down.
These new fan favourites received a stunning response, but it was the big hitters that really set Geordie crowd into meltdown. Horrorshow, Can’t Stand Me Now, Death On The Stairs, What Katie Did…. The list goes on – pure, unbridled ecstasy.
For non-Libertines fans these songs may not mean a lot, but these tracks inspired a generation. The jaunty, scratching sounds, the dual vocals, the flurry of guitars and the sing along styles were not heard for so long – many thought they’d never see them live again. Thursday night’s show was a testament to the work this band have done to claw their way back through a sea of personal demons.
As The Libertines wrapped up the set with The Good Old Days, the crowd were only just getting started. And, so it seemed were Pete, Carl and especially Gary, who looked like he’d eaten a tank for breakfast!
Appearing back on stage, they strummed their way into a whimsical version of Suicide in the Trenches, which saw Peter and Carlos share a mic with trademark intimacy. This was quickly followed by a beautiful rendition of Music When The Lights Go Out, which was met with a thunderous response that spilled into the night sky.
As the pace of the encore increased, The Boy Looked At Johnny came bursting through the speakers. With people roaring back the lyrics, drinks flying through the air and perpetual pogoing, a real Libertines show was truly in action, and What A Waster could not have been timelier.
After such an enthralling encore, Don’t Look Back Into The Sun sent Times Square into chaos. Pushing, shoving and unrivalled joy spread through the crowd, as Peter and Carl battled the volume to be heard – a perfect way to finish off an incredible show.
With a seaside tour approaching and a new album set for release next year, the north of England will surely be united in saying – get back here as soon as possible!
Northumbria University Journalism graduate, rock and roll enthusiast and co-editor of RUSHONROCK.com.