[4] The Libertines, ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’

The Libertines

“An ending fitting for the start” – the CD clicked and spluttered in the car stereo until this song became a succession of quickfire tuts. “Is that the Easter Bunny?” asked Junior. I wouldn’t like to see Pete Doherty prancing around my garden, hiding foil-wrapped items among the pine needles.

Earlier she’d sought confirmation that it was two people singing. Fair enough, it’s hard to tell with Doherty and Carl Barât, their voices interchangeable as they exchange barbs and pleas and let their life’s work crumble around their ears. This almost-swansong comes from a patchy second album, but the debut’s vim and swagger trumpeted a band of huge promise – promise squandered by a ghoul-faced buffoon of a smackhead with idiot “light fingers”. Here’s to that solo album, Peter!

Is this record really so great? Does it just profit in context? Something stirs me – the control-free guitar, the sourness and release of the singing, the bye-bye harmonica (“I’ve got a pink one of those, Daddy”). It’s the Noughties ‘Ballad Of John And Yoko’, served up to the same mixed feelings.

The boy kicked out at the world:

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9 thoughts on “[4] The Libertines, ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’

  1. I think Pete Doherty gets a hard time of it. I mean, he’s a drug-addled mess, but that used to be mandatory in the business. God knows, a good dose of smack would improve most of the dross out there.

    And he’s got a voice that reminds me a bit of the Clash, and generally makes the day better.

  2. Aye, crazy autocomments. I don’t know what they’re doing.

    OK, yeah, smack’s great obviously – but he could have done so much more. Good music, I mean, not drugs.

    I should finish this chart. (Maybe) coming up later on: music for girls to dance to.

    • Well, he did manage a few ace tracks with Babyshambles too. “Down In Albion” is something lovely.

      And that’s the game, isn’t it? Smack yourself to bits before you turn into Phil Collins or something.

      • OK, I like ‘Sedative’ too. And ‘Deft Left Hand’.

        I think we’re concluding that drugs are great, kids.

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