Dirty Pretty Things
@ Leeds University

Following the unprecedented success of the Libertines and the disappointment (only my humble opinion!) of Babyshambles, and the below-par performance of the Dirty Pretty Things at this year’s Leeds Festival this summer, I was apprehensive to say the least about the Refectory gig.

Larrikin Love and Hot Club de Paris, although putting in a stellar performances, failed to satisfy the raucous crowd – a mixture of old and young, fans of both the Dirty Pretty Things and the Libertines. There was even the odd Babyshambles t-shirt thrown in the mix.

“Dirty, Dirty, Dirty,” stood in the pit at the front, the sound of the crowd chanting resonating through my ears as Carl, Anthony, Didz and Gary bounded onstage, opening with latest single ‘Wondering’, then bursting into album favourite Drs and Dealers. Any apprehension I had about the gig subsided.

The melodies and Englishness of the Libertines have been mixed with a grittier, punkier sound. Although the influence of the Libertines is still evident, the style has somewhat evolved and is far more melodic than anything created by Doherty and Barât.

Whilst Carl takes centre stage for the majority of the show, bassist Didz Hammond and guitarist Anthony Rossomando flank either side of him and all three switch places throughout, sharing vocals. The Dirty Pretty Things is no longer just ‘Carl Barât’s Band’ and it is this sense on one-ness that makes them a success.

The band move effortlessly from song to song, playing the majority of their album – ‘The Gentry Cove’, ‘B.U.R.M.A.’, ‘Deadwood’, ‘Blood Thirsty Bastards’, ‘Gin and Milk’, ‘You Fucking Love It’.. Favourite Libertines’ tracks ‘Death on the Stairs’ and ‘France’ are even thrown in, clearly demonstrating that Carl is happy to embrace his legacy that is the Libertines, rather than shun it, as many would believe.

The band finished their set with ‘Bang Bang’, sending a sweaty, energetic crowd into frenzy. The encore begins with a cover of The Jam’s ‘In the City’, a song which not only embraces the influences of the band but could also be construed as an attack on their critics, with the lyrics “And I know what youre thinking, You still think I am crap, But youd better listen man, Because the kids know where its at”. ‘Last of the Small Town Playboys’ follows before the final song, the Libertines’ ‘I Get Along’, drawing the crowd into one final bout of hysteria, before leaving the stage shitless and sweaty, but clearly satisfied.

Raucous, exhilarating, foot-stomping, frenetic, utterly English – what more is there to say? I loved it!

Becci Crowther