I’ve never been shy when it comes to falling in love, but there’s one love that really stood the test of time. Conveniently I’ve never actually met the guy – Pete Doherty.
I don’t follow his every movement anymore as I stopped liking what I was following. Even a hopeless romantic like me soon realised the path of destruction he was heading down like a mad dog on heat was NOT a path to be stalking. The drug abuse and wild nights turned into death – people actually started dying. I freaked out. And much to his dismay, I abandoned.
But from the age of 15 to 24 I would have done anything for that man. I incessantly watched interviews with him and each time he said ‘Kate’ I’d hear ‘Grace’. If Pete wasn’t in my ear (his music or chat) I was miserable. I did an A Level in Pete Doherty. Sadly for my school and UCAS form – he was not actually on the syllabus. I would read my poems for Pete out in English class and go all Carol Ann Duffy’s onion on it. Shit loads of layers of false realities.
I don’t know how to de-Gorgonzola this, so I won’t try… his music spoke to me. I couldn’t handle the likes of Coldplay boring on about science and stinking of dettol or Razorlight’s empty threats to piss off to America. There was no science or logic to be found in Pete’s songs – only the beauty and misery of the human condition.
When it comes to love, nothing speaks louder than action and a few of my actions certainly showed my obsessive love…
After a Babyshambles gig my best friend and I lurked around Shepherds Bush Empire, intent on finding some action. On spotting the tour van which was momentarily unguarded by security, we jumped in the boot with all the equipment. We planned to stay put until Pete reached his destination, at which point we’d jump out, declare our love for him and snog his face right off. Unfortunately, we were busted. We jumped out screaming and were put in the next day’s Evening Standard, labelled ‘rampaging groupies’. But we were actually failed, rampaging groupies and there’s nothing worse.
Another night Babyshambling in Leeds, I climbed some anonymous shoulders and flashed my tits before crowdsufring to the front. I lost my shoes in the surf and a bouncer plonked me to the side. I did some shoeless moshing when suddenly, I felt splashing down my leg. Cripplingly naive, I assumed the venue was spraying us with a hose in attempt to cool us down. Much to my horror, I turned to find an enormous lad pissing on my leg. On asking him what the hell he was doing, he replied ‘have you seen the queue for the toilets?’ I couldn’t argue with his logic – the queue was pretty damn long.
Less stories about being a groupie covered in piss (we’ve heard it all before) and back to PETE. The Libertines have reunited and I HAD to get myself to a gig. So a few Fridays ago I headed down to Alexandra Palace with some mates. I’m not going to lie – I was skeptical. I was certain Pete’s talent would be in tatters after years of living in a crack pipe. I was very wrong…
They were completely amazing. The guitar solos were phenomenal and Pete’s beautifully gentle and tortured voice made me shake in exactly the same way it used to. They played for hours and when they sung ‘what became of the likely lads’ I thought actually ‘these lads are still looking quite likely’.
Rather extraordinarily, Carl Baratt’s diet of smoothies and kale has left him looking more worse for wear than Pete. Carl was also slightly overplaying the we’re best mates again thing and kept dribbling on Pete. I can’t lie – I was jealous. I want to dribble on him.
We moshed for hours and all stubbornly refused to go to the bar or toilet despite being disturbingly thirsty and desperate to pee. In fact, at one point I considered copying the stunt pulled by the lad in Leeds. There was no way I was going to leave until they’d finished. They were that insanely good.
Looking around was very amusing. We were all there – the same crowd from gigs years ago – fucking the system and angrily moshing. Just fatter, older and working in media. There was no crowd surfing. People had children (in them and at home) and gout and shit – not a people surfing vibe. Yes – I got on my friend’s shoulders but I was gutted to discover the dress I was wearing was far too grown up to allow any sort of tit flashing.
Alexandra Palace was the best venue for it too. It’s completely enormous, the sound is fantastic and there is NOWHERE to sit, which is essential when you’re watching a gig like The Libertines. Sitting is not on.
As it came to an end, the devastation hit. It was an unusual ending to a gig – Pete held up a QPR flag and shouted the chant. As a QPR fan, I was delighted. (I promise I’m a fan because I grew up in Bush not just because of Pete) Pete then somehow managed to magic up a burger and stuffed it in his face… nothing better than seeing a lad I fancy armed with fast food. After the gig I left feeling tingly and high like I used to – jumping up and down to incredible guitar playing accompanied by poetry will do that to you.
Although I won’t be resuming the unrequited love affair I spent the majority of my life indulging in (a bitch needs to grow up) I was relieved to get why he did it for me for all those years. There’s NOTHING worse than feeling repulsed by a past crush…
Actually, SCREW THAT – let’s face it – older, fatter and media careered I may be, but when push comes to shove, if Pete was to utter those longed for words ‘Grace, please rescue me’ I would bloody give it a go…