The main talking point amongst tonight’s crowd was ‘How late will Peter Doherty be?’
The answer was just a little after thirty but no more than thirty-five minutes, he came on swaying from side to side, wearing the usual dark three piece suit, not looking that healthy, but he came onto the applause of a non-judgmental crowd, and with the opening line of ‘’I’ve had dentists who have kept me waiting longer…Molars.’’ Had me hooked from the word go.
Doherty pelted out hits from his own record, he dipped into the Babyshambles back catalogue a little, while adding a dash of Libertines playing “Can’t Stand Me Now”, which to be honest, without the Carl, didn’t quite work, but it still made fore a great sing along within the crowd.
In between songs, he was rather pleasantly eager to talk to the crowd; usually he goes on stage and then just runs through the crowd into a waiting car. But not tonight, oh no. We got to see the charming Doherty that fans have grown to love. Aside from talking steadily into the microphone, he went onto read fan mail that had been chucked on stage, concluding with the rather humorous line: ‘‘don’t worry, this letter doesn’t contain knickers or sympathy’’.
Even when a member of the crowd decided it would be fun to chuck a bottle towards the stage, Peter casually kicked it out the way (guessing an angry boyfriend?) and smiled.
The most surreal part of the set was when two ballerinas decided to swirl around the stage, fanning the rather sweaty Doherty down during ‘’Last Of The English Roses’’ and ‘’For Lovers’’ (you don’t get this at a pub gig). He even played a full charismatic ninety minute set, now all we need is some fresh material.
This year Peter Doherty comes back to the fields of Reading and Leeds to headline The Festival Republic stage, this time he is alone without the back up of The Libertines, will he be able to handle the pressure? I think so, his life may have had more up and downs then the average soap opera character, but he has the energy to shine. This is the year people should take notice to Doherty and not just label him “that man in the press”. He is more then that; he is a golden songwriter of our generation. Stand up, take notice and watch him over the rather whored out Muse.