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What Happened To…Pete Doherty

Guys! Pete Doherty is back! And while it may not be The Libertines reunion we have all been longing for, the mere trickling of Pete’s strained vocals from the Babyshambles camp is enough to send a rush of blood to my head. I’m not talking about a rock-star-come-drug-addict intoxication, this is an all-natural and musically induced inebriation from the reunion of Doherty et al.

It has been almost six years since the post-Libertines outfit released their last studio album, Shotter’s Nation, but in less than a week’s time we will be able to rekindle that 2007 love affair with a new Babyshambles album. So what has Pete been up to during his time away from the band? (Disclaimer: This is not a lengthy timeline documenting every illegal substance he has consumed in the last 6 years.)


Four years ago the misunderstood romantic packed a bag full of trilbies and eloped to the boho centre of the world, Paris. Supposedly the regurgitating echo chamber of British media combined with a desire to get clean was enough to tempt Doherty across the channel. While the latter didn’t go too well, the quintessential rock star adopted a cult hero status in France, adored by Parisiens for his poetry and dandy-like persona. Sounds a lot better than a daily dose of paparazzi harassment, right?

Earlier this year Pete started to get lonely and called upon the expert in solo living, Macaulay Culkin (Holy Cow!), to move in and share his humble abode, where the two bonded over poetry and acting. I guess that gives some indication as to why his foray into film plummeted as fast as, well, Culkin’s post-teen career. Which leads me onto…


Apparently there is a stage in every musician’s career where it becomes completely acceptable to dip into the film industry, regardless of talent. It’s like a desperate attempt to claim the ‘triple-threat’ status they always dreamed about when growing up. Pete was no different, and in 2012 he starred in the critically berated ‘Confessions of a Child of the Century’, playing a young romantic who falls into depression and debauchery after a lost romance. Sound familiar?

Solo Material

When recording with Babyshambles reached an indefinite conclusion, Pete continued to build his repertoire of solo material and released Grace/Wastelands in 2009, alongside a steady stream of demos and teaser tracks. One of these included a questionable one night stand with the rap game. Yup, you heard correctly: Pete Doherty, the cherub of indie rock, switching drainpipes and brogues for sweatpants and Air Max. Fortunately, the collision of genres was short-lived and rumours of a hip-hop album disappeared into the depths of the blogosphere.

Let’s not forget the end of the forever-in-turmoil relationship with Kate Moss. Eventually things got too much and culminated in a typically rock ‘n’ roll break up – complete with smashed guitars and broken hearts – bringing an end to la belle et la bête. It’s not all bad though, at least Pete can sell her used cigarette butts at a stall in Camden. I mean, who wouldn’t want to get hold of those?

Babyshambles upcoming album, Sequel to the Prequel, is due for release on September 2nd and I’m pretty stoked to hear it.

- James Embiricos

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