The Libertines - Hull Arena 23.09.2017

When it comes to the British Indie scene, there is no bigger name than The Libertines. And tonight, on the cold north coast of England, they bring the not so sunny seaside to Hull Arena as part of their ‘Tiddley Om Pom Pom’ tour.

Opening up tonight’s proceedings we have newcomers, Lock. Already tipped by Radio X as one of the top twenty new artists for 2017, the all-female Dark Pop group take to the stage carrying a lot of anticipation on their shoulders. The crowds are still getting through security and slowly arriving in the venue but those who have arrived early enough get to catch a glimpse are rewarded with an excellent performance from what will surely be band to watch out for. Delivering a fresh, modern sound, Lock manage to overcome the early technical issues interrupting their performance and deliver a brilliant set.

It’s not often that there is a genuine fear that the support band will outshine the headline act, no matter how good they are, but tonight is a bit special. Home grown heroes, The Paddingtons, have reformed for a few shows and are kicking it off tonight with their good buddies in the Libertines in their home town of Hull. Originally reforming for just this one off show, they have since announced additional shows due to the sheer demand and after tonight’s performance you can see why. The crowds have turned out in force to get a glimpse of the local lads and you could easily mistake them for the headliners, complete with their own encore. Storming around onstage, vocalist Tom Atkin and the gang seem at home as if they hadn’t been away at all and deliver an incredible performance. Tonight’s headliners are no strangers to the headlines and in their younger days they were never far away from controversy. Pete Doherty has in some ways, lived life to the full to say the least but has always been open about the darker aspects and troubles of his life but tonight, after a short break away from the music, all the bands previous troubles seem very distant and Doherty, Carl Barât, John Hassall and Gary Powell seem well and truly united again. As part of their ‘Tiddley Om Pom Pom’ Coastal tour, the band walk out to the sound of ‘I Do Like To Be Beside the Seaside’ being played by a vicar on an organ. It all feels very British tonight and the only thing missing from tonight’s stage set is sand and deckchairs. Complete with flags and cabs painted with postcard-esque beach scenes, The Libertines launch into the timeless “Time For Heroes” before going into one for the diehard fans, ‘Bangkok’. Firing back into the more well-known tracks such as ‘The Delaney’ and ‘Barbarians’, the energy levels hit the next notch and the chaotic nature a The Libertines is in full flow.

The set list see’s the band showcase an impressive back catalogue of hit after hit, from 2015’s comeback track ‘Gunga Din’ to the classic, 2004 titan of a track ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ The Libertines deliver a balanced set of old and new.

As brilliant and iconic as these songs are, the one thing that stands out to me is the solidarity of the band. It is so incredible to see them back together and smiling. They all appear to be genuinely happy together and Pete and Carls old love/hate relationship seems like a distant memory as the connection between them seems stronger than ever. Almost appearing like love struck teens that can’t stay away from each other; they constantly come together at the centre of the stage to share the microphone, reminiscent of McCartney and Harrison.

An encore of ‘Music When The Lights Go Out’ ,‘The Boy Looked At Johnny’, ‘Up The Bracket’ and finishing with the massive ‘Don’t Look Back Into The Sun’ sees the night come to an unwanted end, with fans staying long after in hope of another encore.

The Libertines - https://www.facebook.com/thelibertines/

The Paddingtons - https://www.facebook.com/thepaddingtonshull/

Lock - https://www.facebook.com/wearelock/

Review & Photos - Benjamin E. Gladstone Photography

Setlist:

Time For Heroes Bangkok The Delaney Barbarians Heart Of The Matter Tomblands Boys In The Band Campaign Of Hate You’re My Waterloo Horrorshow Gunga Din Can’t Stand Me Now The Saga Death On The Stairs Fame And Fortune Vertigo What Katie Did Tell The King The Good Old Days

Encore

Music When The Lights Go Out The Boy Looked At Johnny Up The Bracket Don’t Look Back Into The Sun

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