Babshambles – Down in Albion
CD Album, 2006
It seems hard to believe, but Pete Doherty maybe the last white rock n' roll decadent figure. He's already a nostalgic presence, and very much a dandy in hell. So far what I have heard, this is the only album I like. I have heard his first band The Libertines, and actually saw them at Cochilla some years back, but to be honest I wasn't into them. Their image is very old-school romantic rock, which strange enough for me is a turn-off. Or at least that type of image – which at the time suggested a community of supporters, very much in the nature of The Clash (Mick Jones produced both of their albums, as well as this album) but I feel is bullshit. Nevertheless I think The Libertines are talented, but not brilliant. Doherty is a guy that I keep rooting' for because I really want him to succeed in his art, and for his vision – which is basically not a healthy lifestyle. But each to their own!
Down In Albion is Pete and his band's masterpiece. Its sloppy when it needs to be sloppy and one gets the whole picture of Pete's world within this album. In other words he doesn't need to make another record, because he says it all on this one album. The charm of the album is that it sounds like it will fall apart from the seams, but the songs are really really good. “Up The Morning” “Killamangiro,” “Pipedown,” and the classic “Fuck Forever” are pretty superb tunes. Also Pete gets good reference points for having a song called “A'Rebours.” If he devotes his time to his natural songwriting abilities, and less on the destruction side of his world, I think he can come up in aces.