Babyshambles – live at Glastonbury 2005 – June 24, 2005 – BBC 6 Music –
Babyshambles, live at Glastonbury 2005 to kick off the week. Recorded by the BBC on June 24, 2005 and aired on BBC 6 Music.
Babyshambles was formed by Pete Doherty (lead vocals, rhythm guitar) during a hiatus from the Libertines. As of 2013 the band includes Mick Whitnall (lead guitar), Drew McConnell (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Adam Ficek (drums, percussion). Babyshambles have released three albums Down in Albion (2005), Shotter’s Nation (2007) and Sequel to the Prequel (2013), three EPs and a number of singles.
In mid-2003, Pete Doherty was banned from playing with the Libertines until he could overcome his substance abuse problems. As a response, Doherty formed an alternative band, and recruited former Libertine Steve Bedlow as vocalist. Initially, Doherty planned on calling his new band T’Libertines, because of the band’s Yorkshire connection – the line up of the band at the time consisted mainly of Yorkshiremen. On the night Babyshambles’ first gig was scheduled to take place, Doherty was arrested for burgling Carl Barât’s flat. After he was charged and released, his friend Dean Fragile organized a new gig at the Tap’n’Tin. The performance received mixed reviews.
Doherty was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for his crime. His sentence was later reduced on appeal to two months. When he was released from prison, Doherty rejoined The Libertines and sidelined the Babyshambles project. However, he found time to record the band’s first single “Babyshambles”, which was released in April 2004 on High Society Records. The artwork was by Sophie Thunder. The single was limited to 2000 CDs and 1000 7″ vinyl copies.
In the early summer of 2004, Doherty once again found himself cast out of The Libertines because of his drug use. As a result, Doherty brought Babyshambles to the fore with Patrick Walden on guitar, Gemma Clarke on drums and Peter Perrett’s two sons, Jamie and Peter Junior, on guitar and bass respectively. Doherty organized several gigs and the band began to gain respect in their own right, even though Doherty missed a number of appearances. The band’s lineup underwent several changes before stabilizing during the late summer of 2004 with Doherty on vocals, Patrick Walden on guitar, Gemma Clarke on drums and Drew McConnell on bass.
In September and October 2004, Babyshambles embarked on a British tour that culminated with two shows at the London Scala. Despite fears that Doherty’s performance would not be consistent, the tour sold-out and received critical acclaim. The band’s second single “Killamangiro” was released 29 November 2004 on Rough Trade Records, reaching number 8 on the UK singles chart. The band embarked on another tour in December 2004, among growing concerns regarding Doherty’s drug dependence. During a gig in Blackpool, the band walked off the stage when it became clear that Doherty was too intoxicated to perform, and a riot broke out at the London Astoria after Doherty failed to appear, with 150-200 of the audience invading the stage and damaging the band’s equipment, including the destruction of Gemma Clarke’s drumkit, an incident that cast doubt over her desire to continue in the band.
After finally stabilizing in late summer, Babyshambles’ lineup underwent another change in January 2005. On 27 January 2005, drummer Gemma Clarke quit the band after disagreeing with their management. The ongoing heavy drug abuse of the band members, especially of frontman Doherty, and James Mullord’s inability to do something about it, made her eventually leave the band. She was immediately replaced by Adam Ficek, who was once a band member of the White Sport alongside Patrick Walden.
As a reminder of their 2005 Glastonbury performance, here it is as it was captured by BBC 6 Music for posterity.
Crank it up and get ready for the week.