Down in Albion

by Sloth
Crack Cocaine Drives This Band
I have never freebased cocaine. I have never injected heroin.

I wouldn't want to do these things. Peter Doherty, however, has.

Pete has also head-butted talentless neo butt rocker Johnny Borrell and dated the lovely Kate Moss.

I would of course have loved to do those things.

But what about the music?

Well, the infamous ex-Libertine has just released Down in Albion, the long waited Carl Barat-less album. First of all, the main question: is the aptly named Babyshambles more of a twenty-first century sideshow or a proper rock band capable of putting together a decent album of music?

There was cause to be worried. The NME printed that Pete would smoke crack DURING his interviews with them. Not a good PR move.

Peter Doherty was after all half the creative talent of The Libertines and a hero of literary street urchins everywhere. While most of us spent our late teens trying to escape from our hometowns, Peter was bartending at Filthy McNasty's in London and living in a squatted apartment fighting with prostitutes.

Earlier this Fall the first glimmer of hope for Babyshambles was the release of Fuck Forever, where Pete sings:

"What's the use between death and glory?
It's one in the same
No, it's not supposed to be the same!"

The rest of the disc lives up to that shattered enfant terrible realization. This is rock-n- roll versus poetry versus ska versus drug addiction.

Another shining rock n' roll moment is the song "Paddy Put the Pipe Down." Which is of course is about band member Patrick Walden smoking crack. Apparently he told his mum the lyrics were "put the pint down" but anyone who sees a band photo would know that isn't true.

All in all, this is probably the last good thing we'll hear from this crew. As Damon Albarn once predicted crack will "Make Doherty History." But apparently that's only rock-n-roll and I still like it. And we may yet live to find ourselves surprised by another story about people choosing Art over addiction.

Note: A hearty and hairy fuck you to all the British tabloids who put Kate through Hell and blamed Pete for corrupting Ms. Moss. We know that a few lines are harmless fun and anyone with a brain knows that Peter didn't really "corrupt" Kate after all those sober years spent playing Yahtzee with Johnny Depp and Bobby G.
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