By Clare McCabe
Released August 26th, 2013 - Warner Music
Welcome back Mr Doherty (that's pronounced Dock-erty thanks) and chums - we have certainly missed you.
It's been six years since the wonderful Shotter's Nation was released and a lot has happened to the Shambles boys in that time. BassistDrew was involved in a horrific car vs bike accident in 2011 which has taken a long time to recover from. Guitarist Mik Whitnall went back on the drugs (although he is now clean) and good old Peter moved to the depths of Paris, made a film, supposedly had McCauley Culkin staying at his house and has also recently opened a shop in Camden Market selling memorabilia and vintage knick-knacks. They are joined by their new friend Adam Falkner on drumming duties.
The new album has been recorded in Doherty's current home-town of Paris at the Question Du Son Studiosand was mixed at the Bunker in London, with legendary producer Stephen Street bringing it all together. And what a job he has done - he certainly seems to know Peter well after all this time and is able to bring out the best in him (maybe even boss him around a bit it seems when he is being particularly difficult which I suspect is quite often).
Early highlights are Nothing Comes To Nothing, the first single, which is a super-catchy pop tune (I literally cannot stop listening to it), then we swing into Sequel To The Prequel, a fabulous music-hall style number which Peter will own when he plays live. Picture Me In A Hospital, a song inspired by Drew's accident, is another gem, and then there is the reggae/ska number Dr No. Peter switches between his usual melancholy way of singing to positively upbeat moments over the course of the album. So. Damn. Good. The more you listen, the better it gets.
Thanks Peter for moving to Paris. It has certainly agreed with you, proven not only by the fact that you still know how to pen a catchy tune, but that you are totally back on form, along with the rest of the Babyshambles family. In Peter's own words (courtesy of NME Magazine): On hearing the final version of the single ‘Nothing Comes To Nothing', Peter stated "it actually made me cry."
Speaking of live, Babyshambles popped down this way (well Australia anyway) in July but were only able to play the one gig (due to immigration restrictions I believe). Please boys, would you be so kind as to sort these issues out and get yourselves down to New Zealand on this tour. You have a lot of fans down this way.
In conclusion, if you like any slightly Peter Doherty-influenced music, whether it be The Libertines,Babyshambles or his solo stuff, this album is a total must-purchase. As will the tickets to their concert be when they venture down here.
5 / 5