Words: Bazza Mills
Arguably the come-back Kings of 2015, The Libertines kicked-off their UK arena tour with a rousing performance at Glasgow’s Hydro. A tasty support bill included Reverend And The Makers and Scotland’s own favourite sons The View. Throw in a boisterous crowd, many of whom have already written-off the next day, and the ingredients are all there to make it an epic night to remember.
Reverend And The Makers (or The Rev as he is known to his fans) opened the stage and entertained the early arrivals with tracks from their latest album Mirrors as well as songs from their back-catalogue. Some songs appeared lost on the youthful crowd while the unstoppable ‘Heavyweight Champion Of The World’ ensured the Rev got the bouncing crowd he commanded.
With the crowd numbers swelling, and chants of the “The View, The View, The View are on fire” echoing from the floor, the band entered to a hero-esq reception. ‘Wasted Little DJ’, followed by ‘Grace’ fuelled the fire as the band tore through their blistering eight song set feeding from the energy of the crowd. ‘Same Jeans’ and ‘Sunday’ closed the set out as fans questioned how long it would be until the explosive act headline the own date at the Hydro.
With the crowd pumped a piper takes to stage delivering Flower Of Scotland prompting the arrival of Pete, Carl, John and Gary (aka The Libertines). Controversial co-frontman Pete Doherty is greeted by a welcoming pint from the crowd that dribbles down his arm. Unfazed, perhaps enthralled by the sight of an adoring army of fans the band open their set with ‘Barbarians’. As Pete sings “all I want is to scream out loud, have it up with a mental crowd” the eruption from the floor confirms the band will be doing just that.
Tracks from 2015’s comeback album Anthems For Doomed Youth feature heavily early in the set with ‘Heart Of The Matter’ and ‘Fame And Fortune’ drawing roars of approval from many too young to remember the Libertines first time round. As Pete and Carl sing “like tin soldiers responding to the call, to Camden we will crawl” the later connects lyrically with those in the crowd donning the red military jackets that have become somewhat symbolic with the band (and sported tonight by bassist John Hassall). Reminiscent of ‘Rock The Casbah’, the reggae fused lead single ‘Gunga Din’ also goes down a storm as pint (plastic) glasses are thrown about in the crowd in appreciation.
The lively gig continues to delight with the set containing the popular tracks ‘What Katie Did’, ‘Music When The Lights Go Out’ and the anthemic ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’. Albeit more reserved, the attraction of the band remains evident throughout and with Pete and Carl crossing swords at the mic throughout the innate chemistry and greatness is both visible and captivating. The tight, disciplined set leaves the crowd panting for some controversy and as the band close out the night with ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ and take in the rapturous applause Doherty gets lost in the moment and to the delight of fans kicks over some amps.
The sound, lighting and stage show are impressive throughout and if tonight is a sign for the future, The Libertines may just be ready to continue their journey and scale those great heights many predicted.
Reverend and the Makers