Watch: The Libertines: “Gunga Din”
Few bands have been as on-again-off-again, as will-they-won’t-they, as The Libertines. Formed in 1997 by BFFs (Best Frenemies Forever) Carl Barât and Pete Doherty, the group had line-up and punctuality problems from the start. Their rough shod, jangle punk sound garnered a heap of attention from British fans and press alike, but drug use, inter-band squabbling, and some light B&E tore the group apart. Doherty went on to focus on his similar-sounding side project in (the aptly-named) Babyshambles, and Barât soon followed suit with Dirty Pretty Things. The Libertines officially disbanded in 2007, with Barât refusing to continue under its name until Doherty quit his various drug addictions for good.
As it happens, Doherty completed a Thai rehab treatment in January of this year; the time for heroes just might be nigh . This past weekend, The Libertines announced Anthems For Doomed Youth, their third album, slated for a September 4 release. We now have a first official glimpse of what it’ll sound like in the music video for “Gunga Din”. The song’s verses almost have a reggae vibe to them, and they seem a little too clean cut considering the loose, untuned sound that made this group famous. But when the feel-good amiable pub chorus hits, full of Britpop glory as the whole band sings along, it really does feel like a comeback. The video itself has the likely lads galavanting around Thailand, sweating through their wrinkled suits and giving each other bear hugs. Our fingers are crossed that the tabloid drama stays far in the background, because it’s good to have these limey bastards back.