The Libertines' Hyde Park Reunion: Can We Expect The Good Old Days?

Today, tickets for The Libertines’ Hyde Park reunion gig this July went on sale. Since the announcement that Peter Doherty and Carl Barat were reuniting for the summer festival it’s been hard to properly assess whether or not this is really a good idea. Though if you’re a Mayfair resident it seems you have your own (less valid) reasons to object. So with the admission that the reunion is a financial move and ten years after their break up, is it worth buying a ticket for Hyde Park?

The libertines at reading and leedsPeter and Carl will share a stage again on July 5th

Peter Doherty has plainly admitted that the upcoming Libertines reunion is based more on his financial circumstances than anything else. When Doherty originally mentioned the reunion, he said his financial situation meant that he “couldn’t say no” to the offer on the table. As fans wondered wether the Hyde Park show would actually happen before any official announcement was made, the debate began, will The Libertines this time round, for the money, be worth investing our emotions in all over again?

More: Why are Mayfair residents objecting to The Libertines' Hyde Park gig?

Maybe the admission that they were doing it for the money was just a bit too honest for some to digest. If it’s all about the money does that mean the original spirit of The Libertines is lost? There’s few bands in recent history whose music invokes the same emotional fan response as The Libertines does. Their songs are synonymous with a certain generation of music fan. Those who lived through the post Brit pop lull that gave us bands like Travis and The Stereophonics and were looking for something that would excite and ignite their spirit. The Libertines gave them this. Their songs were anthems fans could believe in and for the first time in years the youth had something which seemed to speak directly to them.

More: The Libertines' Hyde Park gig details

In an interview in this weeks NME, Doherty said it was “completely in the spirit of the band to play Hyde Park for the money!" and added that early in their career the band had signed to Rough trade “Purely for the money.” In fact, very early in the band's career, they would play gigs in their front room for as many hungry fans who could fit in before the police came. Sure those ‘guerilla’ gigs were an example of the rock and roll spirit at its freest, but it was also just two guys finding a way to make a bit of money to keep the eclectic on. Really things haven't changed that much.

The libertinesThe Libertines' last reunion was in 2010

For a concert such as the Hyde Park show, which could see the band playing up to 50,000 fans, money was always going to come into it. But instead of having us debate wether it was all for the money or if the two frontmen had rediscovered their magic together and been compelled to reunite, we were told the truth straight off.

The honesty is actually admirable, Peter and Carl will reportedly get £1 million between them from the gigs, an amount that few could afford to turn down. Will it be the same as the glory days? Sadly nothing ever is. But it is worth remembering that at Reading and Leeds four years ago they delivered and their music sounded as fresh and relevant as ever, and there was a hefty pay check involved there too. As Peter put it “it's a f—ing horrorshow, it just happens to be amazing rock'n'roll music,” and it is. Amazing rock'n'roll music which we need right now, even if they just need the money. Rest assured that when The Libertines take the stage again, the money will be long forgotten and only the music will remain.


Tags: Pete Doherty - Carl Barat


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