The Libertines - Manchester Academy - 20.10.02

NEWSFLASH: The Libertines are not the saviours of British rock!!!! Worse than that, as we said last time, they're a band who take all the worst bits of the Crockett's and Crashland and then try to pass it off as their own.

Out on the road supporting Supergrass and with the debut album "Up The Bracket" in the shops their faults are even more apparent and obvious than were first expected. Sure, they have the sort of anarchic energetic live shows that are the anti-thesis to that stagnant mire that is Coldplay or dare I say it the Strokes lethargic attitude to live gigs - but then if were just looking at Britain for energetic bands then you only have to look in Hoggboy's direction for a band that has everything the Libertines are supposed to have and more so. The only difference between the two is that the Libertines happen to drink in the same pubs as several notable hacks and if the alleged rumours are true also have the money to buy frontcovers of weekly music magazines.

Despite the influence of the Clash's Mick Jones who produced the bands debut album it seems that the recorded versions are just as unrehearsed and dire as the live shows. Saying that though the band singles "I Get Along", "Boys In The Band", "Time For Heroes" and the albums title track "Up The Bracket" would have a made a fantastic one-off EP and it's these tracks which provide the highlight of the live shows. Everything else merges into a tuneless dirge while the band themselves look as cliched as a band ever could.

When bands like this are being championed as the best british white hopes it's no wonder why the music industry is in such a state of disrepair. When Supergrass released their debut single "Caught By The Fuzz" it had everything we ever wished for and looking at them now they're everything we could ever want in a band. The same sadly can't be said about the Libertines and it's unlikely it ever will be.

Alex McCann

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