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- Posted on Mar 31st 2010 6:22PM by Farah Ishaq
Led by Pete Doherty and Carl Barat, the band -- including drummer Gary Powell and bassist John Hassell -- regrouped for the press conference, only a mere 30 minutes late, to announce that "it feels like the right time" to reunite. The band will play this year's Reading and Leeds festivals on Aug. 27 (Leeds) and Aug. 28 (Reading).
As Spinner reported on Monday, the Libertines were listed in the Reading and Leeds lineup announcement, making the Guns N' Roses, Arcade Fire and Blink-182 headlined-event their much anticipated comeback. Speaking at the Boogaloo, Pete Doherty said it was "unfinished business" at the Reading festival, as the last time they were scheduled to play there the band's "amps blew up." So they are not so much going to play any new material this year, Pete says, but actually finally "play the old stuff."
On fine form, the co-pairing of band leaders Doherty and Barat -- putting aside past differences -- were charming, friendly and funny in the extreme throughout the 30-minute press conference, where they took questions from the floor. Asked about the fee and possible incentive offered to play the festival, Doherty said it was "actually £1.2 million" [$1.8 million US], but that was just enough "to pay last year's tax bill." Doherty also admitted that if it wasn't for the band, he'd "be writing books or standing on a soapbox now."
Melvin Benn -- director of Festival Republic, who run the Reading and Leeds festivals -- told Spinner, "of course I know how much every artist is paid, but I couldn't possibly comment" on the fee the band claims to have been offered.
Libs fans, don't hold your breath for any new material -- Doherty admits it's "going to be hard enough to remember some riffs from the old days," although he conceded that he's "dying to play some of those songs with the boys and get some new things done."
Making light of his much reported troubles with the law and various drug-related arrests, a police car siren from the main road outside the pub led Doherty to raise his hand and yell "Taxi!" to much laughter from the room.
Asked whether the band would be playing any warm-up shows before the August Bank Holiday festival, the quartet became coy, with Doherty whispering in Barat's ear, "Can we tell?" The answer on the day was was no, but Barat diplomatically said that "time would tell" and "not to count chickens before they hatch" -- so it is feasible that more shows could be in the cards.
The regrouped band, perched on stools -- playing guitars just bought on the day of the conference -- proceeded to play a selection of Libertines songs immediately after the Q&A session ended, even offering to take requests from the floor.
The Libertines' Boogaloo set list was:
'Georgia On My Mind'
'The Good Old Days'
'Music When the Lights Go Out'
'Death on the Stairs'
'Can't Stand Me Now'
'Time For Heroes'