Swansea Sin City, December 6th 2008
Interview by Ben Wright

GUN in hand and a serious looking expression emblazoned on his face, Carl Barat bursts out of the dressing room like a man possessed.
It's 11.30pm and Dirty Pretty Things have just finished playing Swansea's Sin City as part of their farewell UK tour.
In a few days time, the four-piece will be no more.
Bang bang — two shots, one beer can dead.
After hitting his target, the frustrated looking frontman stomps straight back into a graffiti-filled dressing room without so much saying a word.
The dressing door shuts, and I wait outside.
Having seen the London four piece brimming with tension on stage moments before, and now knowing the band have guns, albeit of the pellet variety, this is going to make for one interesting night.
Five minutes or so later a door creaks open. The band's security, a burly and bearded Mexican named Mario, summons me inside.

Hi I'm Carl," whispers a soft-sounding and knackered looking English gent slumped in the corner. "Nice to meet you."
Handshakes and introductions out of the way, and the interview begins.

Lucy: Your band have been quite quiet for the last few months. Are you looking forward to playing gigs again?
Katie Jane Garside: I think I give very obtuse ans

After pulling up a pew next to Barat and bandmate Anthony Rossomando, there's a chuckle, almost of disbelief, when I cut straight to the chase.

So why are you guys really splitting up then?
"It's just a time for a change," mutters a recently single Barat matter-of-factly. "Sometimes it's just necessary."
So, there's no in-band fighting or fisticuffs?
"No," adds Carl in between a puff of a Marlboro Light and a considered pause.
"We probably get on better now than we have done in months."

It's been a funny time for Dirty Pretty Things.
After leaving the druggie dramas of former band The Libertines and Pete Doherty behind in 2004, Barat began a new mission.

He set about to create the kind of life-affirming music oozing attitude and likely to get kids to pick up a guitar and start annoying the hell of their neighbours.

Compromising of fellow Libertine Gary Powell, the annoyingly and effortlessly cool Didz Hammond and New Yorker Anthony Rossomando Dirty Pretty Things were ready to rock.

Their first single Bang Bang You're Dead, rumoured to be about ex-Libertine and notorious heroin pin-cushion Doherty, crash landed into the charts and hearts with such ease.

The three minutes and a half of rancour and attitude was just a taste of great things yet to come.

Debut album Waterloo To Anywhere was the sound of a band, as The Clash would say, in love with the rock and roll world.

Critics, music-lovers, groupies, suited record label types and hangers-on all wanted a piece of the action.

And who could blame them?

But then the music industry is a fickle business. (Barat will later sarcastically say "four months is a long time in the music industry".)
Work on a follow-up soon began, and the band jetted out to LA to record a more poppy second album.

While things sounded hunky-dory, the reality was very different.

The sessions were fractious and tense, with Barat saying that the band "crawled out of that proverbial hole" they had dug themselves into.
When Romance at Short Notice was released, sales were slow and reviews less than favourable.
Guitarist Anthony Rossomando.

"Our record label wanted to turn us in to a pop band and that didn't fit us at all," he ruefully admits.
"Musically, we come from a DIY background. Perhaps we should not have let them meddle so much."

Unwittingly, they had created a monster.

Days before their second album was released, Barat ended up in hospital after suffering from severe stomach pains — citing a mixture of prescription drugs and "possibly too much drink".

By October, enough was enough.

Less than three years after forming, Dirty Pretty Things decided to call it quits.

It was either kill the band off or see their friendships falter.

Barat, who is now chomping on a slice of barbecue pizza, said: "Perhaps it was a bit hasty at first, but we have learned to live with the decision."
"It's better we go our separate ways now," added Rossomando. "It's never a good idea to light a fire under your bed."

So, on December 6, their plush-looking tour-bus rolled in to Swansea.

And within moments of visiting the city, which bassist Didz described as being like Royston Vasey, they hit the shops.

A few quid later, Barat arrived back at Sin City with an impulse buy — two pellet guns and ammo.
However, the most surprising purchase award went to drummer Gary Powell.

He arrived back from town with a bow tie. Ahem.
"I've got a penchant for them — I've got hundreds," he says proudly without the slightest hint of embarrassment.

Come 10pm, 30 minutes later than scheduled, the band take to the stage for their last ever Welsh show.

While musically tight, it all sounds a bit sluggish and slow.

On-stage banter and audience interaction is virtually non-existent.

It perhaps wasn't going out in a blaze of glory like perhaps fans had wanted.

While the fires of passion may have been extinguished, Dirty Pretty Things still manage to play a reasonable song set without so much as a mistake.

Back in the dressing room afterwards, the band seem to be making the most of re-establishing their friendships.

Bassist Didz Hammond, who must be the only person in rock to look cool despite wearing a skinny t-shirt, braces and gaffer-taped pointy shoes, chats amicably about rugby.

Rossomando excitedly declares his love of Curb Your Enthusiasm, complete with a first-rate Larry David impersonation.

The stylish Yank also ends up being the butt of dressing room jokes after he launched an online appeal for the return of a mobile phone with "irreplaceable content". No-one says what exactly was on the phone, but those in the know exchange knowing glances in-between giggles.

Powell, who is possibly the nicest man in rock since Dave Grohl, has all the charm and style of an English cad.

And Barat, after a quick power nap, continues his fascination with his new-found pellet gun.
Countless beers as well as Jack and Cokes later, tour manager Max Mistery (yes that is his real name) gets a call on his mobile saying the driver is outside and that it's time to go.

The band willingly chat to fans, sign CDs and pose for photos before the coach is loaded up and they head back down the M4.

Barat is sure they'll get back together in the future, but for now it's still all up in the air.
Although there is a slight air of defeat around the 30-year-old after tonight's gig, there still lies a twinkle of mischievousness in his eyes.
He said: "Our last ever gig is going to be in Hertfordshire University and we'll probably let the groupies choose the set list.

"It's good not to take things so seriously."

And with that, he and his bandmates head off in to the night.

Where they go from here, nobody knows.

Words Ben Wright, live pix by Camille


wers to questions...It's never about looking forward to it. Actually maybe I should change the
script, maybe we are looeir musicm the 3rd album?