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13:00 05 October 2006

UEA LCR, Norwich


UEA LCR, Norwich

Why go to see Babyshambles live in concert?

Largely to see the tabloid anti-hero of our times in the flesh rather than in the papers, and partly because of the possibility of his supermodel girlfriend Kate Moss showing her face, but less so for the music, at least judging by last night's performance.

The last time Pete Doherty's band came to Norwich, two years ago in a smaller show at the Waterfront, his band were sloppy but the gig carried a certain amount of ramshackle charm because of his innate charisma and his animated performance.

This time it was the opposite. The band have tightened up, but Doherty was well below par, which just went to show that when he isn't burning bright, the music has little to distinguish it.

His old band The Libertines' What Katie Did was delivered in a lacklustre fashion, and Babyshambles' Killamangiro fared little better. There were too many songs that were chiefly enjoyable for playing "spot the influence" - here a bassline from The Buzzcocks, there a vocal hook from The Jam. The buzz that greeted his arrival on stage had largely dissipated by the end of the set.

Before he became quite as notorious as he is now, before his relationship with Moss began, perhaps he was less arrogant.

The abiding memory from last night - far more so than the songs - will be of him deliberately blowing his nose over the front row.

And with tickets at £20 on the door, that's not exactly value for money.




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