An open letter to: The Libertines

Dear acolytes of The Libs © The ‘Tines, the Four Mush-kateers,

As folklore has it  …  back in 2002 your heroes crash, bang walloped a moribund and decrepit culture-scene and now in 2015 there back, making threats about how the future’s about to be claimed by the past. Or some suchlike soliloquy-sonnet.

With yarns from arcane wastelands and urbane rallying cries for the troops, the gang’s newie (and first since 2004) Anthems for Doomed Youth reminds of what has been lacking in the hearts and minds of the faithful and deranged.

Lumme, your bedraggled intoxicunts are back with a whiz-bang, the faux-hemian Arcadian dreamers of Albion markets and cor blimey stone the crows Dickensian etiquette and downright roguery and rapscallionism. The artful disciples of Fagin, forever on the make with a cheeky nod and wink, a crafty fag and a drink. Ramshackle, rambunctious and Rimbaud, they remain the cocktail of the dreamer, the hell-redeemer, the devil-may-carers, the gonophs and the canard-creators. But, just who lurks behind the visage of anarch-aic- aristos?

Abuzz the Doc, (Peter) the turveydrop scion of Major Upright and the most overweight junkie this side of Rik Waller (albeit with predilections for different types of brown), with notebooks full of scrawled blood, the (track)marks of the ‘true’ artisan. He’s Voltaire, he’s Betjeman, he’s the Doc, the first man to make drugs uncool, espousing the belief that not bathing makes him a poet, or summat. His peripatetic spirit blessing his essence with the outsider’s prism of perception, his wry vignettes the equivalent of just the right dose of vinaigrette in the salad of romantique greens and reds.

Immortalised on the info-supra-highway as a pup queueing to buy the third instalment of antecedent-rock Brit-beat bores Oasis, your idol was a fresh-faced whippersnapper unaware of the travails and capers to come, the horrors of listening to the end of that album soon to push his weak-will to self-destruction.  Smack, crack and a regular snack was his staple diet for far too long, but, he’s banished the demons and kicked the sugar, it’s all about the honey nowadays (as reflected in new song ‘Belly of the Beast’).

Deputy Barat, (Carlito/Carlos) the yin to the Doc’s yang, the Mindy to his Mork, the Nancy to Sid with the emotional bruises to prove it. Sometime actor and long-time debonair, he’s the hardy boundary-tester on the waiting list for the Garrick (still), the calmer of the storms, the sun to the crops, the rain that nourishes the eco-system, his ‘libertine’ ink-job indelible evidence that not ‘living it’ is worse than death. Sinceritus in maxmimus.

Sticksman G-Pow, the backbeat, the rock, possessor of the ‘just signed-off’ at the DHSS facade, his grin the look of a man who knows he can walk down the street and look the human race in the eye again. Life is about being acknowledged after all. Who’s the other one?  Jimmy? Dave? Oh, him, he lives in Denmark with 9 cats.

According to the Britannia Encyclopaedia 2.0 (Wikipedia) a libertine is ‘a person, especially a man, who freely indulges in sensual pleasures without regard to moral principles’. Thankfully, Pete’s now free from the moral maze, the sensory heights done with, he’s purely about the art now, with renewed vim and vigour inspired by Geoff’s graffiti in The Hawley Arms’ log-boxes and boy, are we the lucky ones.

As Chuck Dickens would have it, ‘What a Uriah Heep a-shit’

Yours in under-whelmance,

Kemper Boyd