The Libertines
Cambridge Boat Race
October 2nd 2002


Heralded by the likes of NME as the next big thing, The Libertines have been turning heads where ever they go. Having already supported The Pistols and been produced by Mick Jones, R*E*P*E*A*T caught up with them on the eve of the release of “Up The Bracket” to find out if they are really the next new wave of new wave or just more indie chancers.


- (Looking at R*E*P*E*A*T’s Fuck the Jubilee issue) You’ve been working hard haven’t you. When did you put this out?
*Late as usual. We put out a single too to celebrate the Jubilee, a split 7” with Neo and The Virgin Suicides. I’ve probably got one in my bag if you’ve got a record player.
- Yeah. (looks at very battered 7” from the bottom of Rosey’s bag). What a great present this is! Coloured vinyl too!!
* So The Libertines - who, what and why?
- (reading from Neo interview in R*E*P*E*A*T) Greg, Kirsty and Glen. Why? because we want to do something different from the usual banal poppy (so called punk) shit that we’ve been hearing lately.
* What, you mean American punk?
- No I was just reading from your old issue! No, it’s me (Peter) and John, Carl and Gary, because we met and fell in love.
* What about the name?
- It chose us really! One really windy day when the doorman was late at a venue, someone left us an anonymous package and it was a copy of “The Lust of The Libertines” by The Marquis de Sade - we’re not sadists though. Do I know you? You’ve got a really familiar face...
*Do you like the different connotations of the word as in the sexual one and the political one?
- Yes, and it had to have an “i” in it so we could put a little love heart above it.
* It’s got two “i”s in it...
- We used to spell it “Liberteens” until we stopped being teenagers. Apart from John who still is.

* Who’s “A Waster”?
- You are. Our support bands are. We are.
* What did you think when you heard about the affair between John Major and Edwina Currie?
- Back to basics isn’t it? She’s alright you know, she has very soft hands. She made those Fairy Liquid adverts - it’s true! And you remember that film, set in an Irish village with a goat in it, what was it called?
* I dunno!
- Just say you do know!
* Yes of course, it was Edwina Currie that played the goat!
- That’s right. She played the front half and John Major played the back.
* You know that single I gave you, and that interview you were reading out, well Greg from Neo he lives in John Major’s back garden. Do you see yourself as part of the ‘Scene with No Name’ or any other scene?
- No, absolutely not. But I have danced with Seymour (Seymour Glass of Miss Black America - Ed). He had writing all over him. I think they’re more pop than punk anyway. We enjoy jamming with other bands but we don’t ally ourselves with them. We’ve only just stuck our heads out of our rabbit hole after five years, we were called The Strand for about a week, I liked that name, and then when we played with the Sex Pistols I said to Glenn Matlock that I used to be in a band called The Strand and he gave me the funniest look, and then I remembered that when The Pistols had Wally Nightingale playing for them they were called The Strand!
* What was it like supporting the Pistols?
- It was a great day, I loved it! It was the best mosh pit, we got bottled which I thought was a sign of affection. The Pistols bottled the crowd!
* Did you get the feeling you were booked to give the gig some credibility or to help sell a few more tickets?
- I got the feeling we were booked as a comedy warm up, like a compere in the old days! We went on in army jackets and the crowd were saying “fuckin’ hell it’s the Beatles”, we felt like playing “Yellow Submarine”!

* Who does your art work?
- We do, it just has to be that way.
* What are your hopes for what the album can achieve?
- It’s already achieved what we wanted, it’s something we’re proud of and like listening and dancing to.
* Are you looking forward to playing with Supergrass?
- Yeah! We played with them the other week at the 12 Bar Club, just jamming, we were well out of time, we asked if we could get up and do something and everyone left!
* That’s that tiny place with a very low ceiling? The Virgin Suicides played their the other week. What size venues do you think you’ll be playing with Supergrass?
- The Academies in Birminghan, Manchester and Bristol, Barrowlands, places like that. Bigger than we’ve done before. I don’t know if they’ve sold out, have they still got a big following?
* I don’t know, I guess they’ve reached their peak and are on the way down. But I’ve seen the new single on MTV...
- (singing) “Save your money for the children, woo hoo hoo...”
* What do you listen to when you’re hoovering?
- We sing The La’s to each other.
* How did you get to work with Mick Jones?
- He just turned up at a rehearsal with loads of alcohol. He heard a cry in the darkness and that was us.
* What’s best, chips or cream buns?
- Chips with gravy. And saveloy, trotters and fish cakes.
* How much of what you’ve told me has been true?
- All of it, 100%. Apart from the bit about the goat.

Thanks to the band for their time and to Janine at Coalition for setting things up.