Carl Barat & The Jackals @ Hackney Wonderland/The Oval Space, 10/10/2015

After the official reunion of the Libertines this festival summer and the release of their third studio album along with a big arena tour in 2016, it wasn’t to be expected to see the lads carry on with side projects. However, knowing the history of the boys in the band it’s always better to have a plan B. In Carl’s case it is more of a plan AA. He auditioned for the Jackals late last year after starting to record “Let It Reign” and realising he didn’t like his own company all that much.

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It was a late set start at 11.15pm but the crowd was more than willing and needing. With a whole hour and 15 minutes to fill Carl and the Jackals started off with songs from the band’s debut album but eventually giving into what the crowd really wanted. After a quick monologue about whether or not to play Libertines songs Carl decided, f*ck it, why not. And even though playing Libs songs without the other three there felt a bit out of place, it fit right into the set and the sound of it all. Overall the sound of Carl & The Jackals is softer, more pop-punk. But all of that mixed in with songs of the Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things and you get just the right setlist for an amazing gig.

Barat seemed unsurprisingly comfortable and confident in his lead singer role and enjoyed the limelight being on him rather than sharing it with Doherty most of the time, or even stepping back.

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In my own humble opinion, Pete and Carl are best when they write together. Libertines songwriting seems to take both lads’ best talents and brings them together, as can be heard on the new Anthems For Doomed Youth record. The lyrics are deeper and the musical arrangements are more versatile. That’s by no means to say that should the Libs split up again in the future (here’s to hoping they won’t) Carl Barat will be perfectly capable of continuing on his path of musical greatness and cement his place in British music history.

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