Indie rock legends The Libertines delivered a show-stopping performance for Unity Rocks in aid of ‘Hope Not Hate’ at O2 Academy Brixton.
Having not played a UK headline show for since January, The Libertines gave the perfect comeback performance to represent the concept of Unity Rocks with edgy guitar riffs, loud drum beats and playing with such talented ease.
Support came from Tom Grennan, a singer-songwriter with music similar to the likes of Jake Bugg and Jamie T, with a highlight of his set being his track ‘Something In The Water’. The second support act was Yak, coming onto the stage to intense synth and delivered a fantastic contrast to the first. Loud guitars, hectic drum beats, and raw vocals came together for a brilliant set similar in sound to Pretty Vicious and Hidden Charms. Lastly Rat Boy opened the show for The Libertines, thrashing around on stage, jumping into the audience to sing a song, and encouraging audience members to mosh along with every song; a favourite track being ‘Move’.
Cheers and hollers followed as Carl Barât, Pete Doherty, John Hassall and Gary Powell waltzed onto the stage one at a time. Immediately, it was evident they oozed in the confidence they are known to possess as they started their set with ‘The Delaney’, ‘Heart of the Matter’ and ‘Fame and Fortune’. The whole crowd sung along, everyone in high spirits, moshing and dancing as Barât and Doherty iconically sung into a single mic, battling it out on both their guitars; it truly was a sight to see. Later The Libertines followed with ‘What Katie Did’ and ‘Anthems For Doomed Youth’, the crowd swaying as they jumped, crowd surfing and it was obvious every single person there was enjoying themselves. The atmosphere inside the venue was magical, when the tipsy duo would forget the words, the crowd continued on filling the room with the lyrics of ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’.
Unity Rocks is an umbrella organisation of musicians, artists, and writers founded by Gary Powell (Drummer of The Libertines), created to unify the UK through music. Teaming up with ‘Hope Not Hate‘, this was the first show of many planned across the UK, and all the proceeds will be given to the charity. Speaking about the event, Gary Powell said “The idea of Unity Rocks is to bring people together, regardless of their creed, colour, religion or whether they voted Brexit or not.”
Watch ‘Heart of the Matter’ by The Libertines:
With a 21-track set list, The Libertines did not disappoint anyone when they continued to play tracks such as ‘Gunga Din’, ‘I Get Along’, ‘The Good Old Days’, and ‘Seven Deadly Sins’. As the set continued, both Barât and Doherty became more and more intoxicated and, at one point, there was a long break between songs where they were whispering into each others ears, giggling like two school-boys. To those that were used to the loveable duo, it would have been laughed or cheered at, however for an outsider the novelty wore off after a while and left us thinking ‘Are they actually going to play the next song or what?’. The best moment of the whole gig was at the end of the full set, with Pete Doherty throwing his guitar off stage into the crowd; whoever caught that guitar definitely left lucky and happy.
The Libertines brought everything they had to their Unity Rocks show at O2 Brixton, full of energy and charisma, delivering high powered music that filled the venue and had a stage presence like no other. However, the small slip ups and pauses between songs let them down.
Get ‘Anthem For Doomed Youth’ by The Libertines: iTunes | Amazon