Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Doherty and Daltrey

This excellent picture, as I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, shows Albion’s favourite junkie wastrel Pete Doherty welcoming ex-Who frontman Roger Daltrey onto the stage at the Academy in Bristol.

I took it last night at one of the more unusual gigs Mrs Brit and I have patronised (and we’ve seen The Wurzels twice). The charitable circumstances behind this one-off collaboration between Babyshambles and Daltrey are explained here.

It was surprisingly terrific. Babyshambles were unshambolic; they’d obviously rehearsed. Essentially it was a Babyshambles gig with Daltrey (voice still largely intact, for the more guttural tones anyway) popping on in the middle to duet with Doherty for a run of Who classics (from memory it went Legal Matter, Substitute, The Kids are Alright, Magic Bus, and Can’t Explain), then back again for a finale of My Generation.

Daltrey dedicated My Generation to Doherty’s Generation, but in fact most of his fans are a lot younger than him. The crowd was about 50% painfully cool children dressed like Doherty and 30% middle-aged Who fans looking a bit uncomfortable in the Academy’s less-than-salubrious environs. I was part of the 20% in the middle who knew all the Babyshambles and Who songs. Mrs Brit went because she likes Doherty’s voice and finds him an intriguing psychological case study.

What those painfully cool children really are, of course, is tribal. Nothing wrong with that, good on them; I never got the hang of the tribal thing. I loved the Libertines and some of Doherty’s lyrics are wonderful, but I can’t claim to be cool. There was no encore which was odd and disappointing but it did mean that we were home by 11 and I could empty the tumble dryer before bed.

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