Hamburg Demonstrations (2016)
Flags of the Old Regime (2015)
Peter Doherty (born March 12, 1979) is an English musician, artist, published writer and poet. He is currently a singer and songwriter in the band Babyshambles, but best known musically for his work with The Libertines, alongside Carl Barat, which reformed in March 2010. In 2005, Doherty became prominent in tabloids, the news media, and pop culture blogs because of his romantic relationship with supermodel Kate Moss and his well-publicised drug abuse.
Peter Doherty was born in Hexham, Northumberland, England, the son of Jacqueline Michels, who was of paternal Jewish descent, and Peter John Doherty, who was of Irish descent. He had a Catholic upbringing and grew up at a number of army garrisons, due to his father's work as an officer in the British Army, living at various times at garrisons in Catterick, Belfast, Krefeld (Germany), Bedworth, Dorset and Larnaca, along with his mother, a nurse, and two sisters, Amy Jo and Emily. Doherty was the second of the three children. He was academically successful, achieving 11 top GCSEs, 5 A* grades and 6 A's, at Nicholas Chamberlaine Comprehensive School in Bedworth and four passes at A Level, two at grade A. At the age of 16, he won a poetry competition and embarked on a tour of Russia organised by the British Council.
After his A-levels, he moved to his grandmother's flat in London, where he said he felt 'destined' to be, and got a job filling graves in Willesden Cemetery, although most of his time was spent reading and writing while sitting on gravestones.
He attended Queen Mary, part of the University of London, to study English literature, but left the course after his first year. After leaving university, he moved into a London flat with friend and fellow musician Carl Barât, who had been a classmate of Doherty's older sister at Brunel University.
In a clip later made famous by YouTube, an eighteen-year old Doherty can be seen in an interview with MTV, on the day of the release of Oasis' Be Here Now album.
Doherty and Barât formed a band called The Libertines in the late '90s, although it was not until 2002, with the release of their debut album, Up the Bracket, that they began to achieve widespread mainstream success.
The group achieved critical and commercial success and gained a dedicated cult following, with Doherty in particular being praised by fans and critics alike as one of the most promising songwriters to emerge on the British music scene for some time. However, Doherty's increasing drug problems led to his estrangement from the band. In 2003, he was jailed for burgling Barât's flat.
The two initially fell out over this incident, but made amends whilst Doherty was in prison. He was originally sentenced to 6 months, but his sentence was cut to 2 months. Upon his release, Doherty immediately reunited with Barât and the rest of the band to play a gig in the Tap 'n' Tin pub in Chatham, Kent. Following his rejoining of the band, Doherty sought treatment for his drug addiction. He attended the alternative detox centre Wat Tham Krabok, a temple in Thailand, famous for its rehabilitation program for crack and heroin users, where he was beaten with a bamboo cane and forced to drink foul herbal concoctions to induce vomiting. He left after three days and returned to England. As a consequence of this, The Libertines cancelled appearances that they were due to make at the Isle of Wight and Glastonbury festivals.
However, while post-production work was taking place on the second Libertines album (also called The Libertines) in June 2004, Doherty was again asked to leave the band. The band cited Doherty's continuing drug addiction as the reason for his dismissal, but emphasised their willingness to take him back once he had addressed his addiction. Although Barât had previously stated that the Libertines were merely on hiatus, pending Doherty's recovery, the group effectively disbanded with Doherty's departure at the end of 2004.
On April 12, 2007, Peter Doherty and Carl Barat played 13 songs together at the second of Doherty's "An Evening with Pete Doherty" gigs at the Hackney Empire, London. The reunited Libertines played "What a Waster", "Death on the Stairs", "The Good Old Days", "What Katie Did", "Dilly Boys", "Seven Deadly Sins", "France", "Tell the King", "Don't Look Back Into the Sun", "Dream A Little Dream Of Me", "Time For Heroes", "Albion" and "The Delaney".
On 15th May 2009, Doherty, Barat and Gary Powell reunited at the Rhythm Factory to play a tribute gig for Jonny Sedassy (aka Jonny Rhythm), a friend of The Libertines who passed away earlier in the year. Their setlist included What a Waster, Up The Bracket, What Katie Did, Can't Stand Me Now and Time For Heroes, and marked the first time the three Libertines had played live together in five years.
On March 29th 2010 it was announced that all four Libertines would be reuniting to play Reading & Leeds festivals, confirming rumors that began circulating on Libertines fan forums weeks earlier. A warm-up show at London's HMV Forum on 25th August 2010 marked the first time all four Libertines had played together since 2004. Both the warm-up gigs and the festival appearances were met with generally positive reviews.
In April 2014, UptheAlbion.com shared a link to an interview with Doherty in an Israeli newspaper, where he had reportedly agreed to reform The Libertines for a gig in Hyde Park. Rumours of a reunion were fuelled online, with The Libertines and BST Hyde Park Facebook page's both posting images suggesting that The Libertines would play on July 5th. On 21st April, Barat told fans in an interview to "keep the 5th July free". The official announcement that The Libertines would headline 5th July at Hyde Park BST came at 8am on 25th April 2014; this marked the first announcement of a gig since summer 2010, four years earlier. Later interviews with Barat suggested that The Libertines may play old (unreleased) and new material at the gig. Later announcements confirmed warm up shows at The Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom, further festival appearances abroad and a small European tour; their first in over a decade.
Prior to the disbanding of The Libertines, Doherty collaborated with local poet Peter Wolfe. Together they recorded the single, For Lovers, which entered the top 10, charting at number 7 in April of the same year. Doherty's bandmate in The Libertines, Carl Barat played on the B-Side track to the single, Back From the Dead.
Later in 2004, Doherty provided guest vocals to the song "Down To The Underground" by the British group, Client. The song was released in June 2004 as a B-side to the group's single "In It For The Money" and appears on their second album, City.
In 2005 Doherty collaborated with the British rock band Littl'ans on their single, Their Way.
In 2006, Doherty was featured on the charity single Janie Jones, which was released to raise funds for Strummerville. A number of artists and bands, such as Dirty Pretty Things, We Are Scientists, The Kooks and The Holloways, also featured on the track.
In August 2006 it was announced that Doherty was recording with The Streets frontman Mike Skinner on a new version of Prangin' Out, from Skinner's album The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living.
On September 7th 2009, Scottish singer-songwriter Dot Allison released her latest album, Room 7 1/2, which features Doherty on two tracks; I Wanna Break Your Heart and Portrait Of The Sun. Both songs where made available for streaming on NME.com one week before the album's official release.
Doherty founded Babyshambles (confusingly originally called "The Libertines") towards the end of his time with The Libertines. The group has released three studio albums, Down in Albion, in November 2005, Shotters Nation in October 2007 and Sequel to the Prequel in October 2013. The band's touring schedule and releases have occasionally been disrupted by Doherty's ongoing legal problems.
In August 2006, Babyshambles signed up with major record label Parlophone, on which they released The Blinding EP, on 9 December 2006, to good critical acclaim. In January 2007, they signed a long term record deal with Parlophone. In November 2007, Babyshambles played their first arena tour, taking in dates at the MEN Arena in Manchester, the Nottingham Arena, Bournemouth International Centre, London's Wembley Arena and Birmingham's National Indoor Arena.
After the departure of drummer and co songwriter Adam Ficek in 2010, Babyshambles recruited former Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey temporarily. In early 2013, NME announced that Babyshambles were working on a third album, with Stereophonics drummer Jamie Morrison replacing Adam Ficek in the line-up. Stephen Street denied this speculation; however, bassist Drew McConnell is said to have broken the news to the music magazine. On 29 April 2013, Babyshambles announced a UK tour for the months of September and October of the same year, kicking off on 4 September at Glasgows Barrowlands.
Guerrilla gigs, writing and solo work
On his own, and often with Babyshambles, Doherty has continued The Libertines' tradition of performing on short notice guerrilla gigs in small venues. On New Year's Eve 2005, Doherty held a guerrilla gig in his North London flat where he showcased some of his solo work, many of which later leaked onto the internet.
In June 2006, Doherty announced that he had signed a deal with Orion Books to publish his journals, in which he had recorded poetry, drawings, and photos over the course of his career. Most of Doherty's journals are freely available on the internet, under the names Books of Albion. The book, titled The Books of Albion: The Collected Writings of Peter Doherty, was published on 21 June 2007.
On 12 July 2008, Doherty played a solo gig at the Royal Albert Hall; his biggest solo show to date. The concert was originally scheduled for 26 April, but had to be rescheduled to a later date due to Doherty being sentenced to 14 weeks in prison for breaching probation on 8 April. The solo show did not get the best ratings but was all in all still well received. According to the critics "whole chunks of the set passed by as listless noodling, with neither Doherty nor the audience appearing to know quite how to behave". The consensus was that - without a full band - Doherty seemed out of place at such a big venue. Friend and collaborater Peter Wolfe had a guest appearance on stage when Doherty performed For Lovers. Wolfe's performance, however, did not meet critical acclaim. The Daily Telegraph stated Wolfe would have ruined the song with "some especially tuneless backing vocals". The gig was forced to an abrupt end during the encore due to a stage invasion by the fans.
Doherty's debut solo album Grace/Wastelands, produced by Stephen Street and most notably featuring Graham Coxon on guitar, was released on March 16, 2009. After years of playing acoustic solo shows including the high-profile gig at the Royal Albert Hall in 2008, Doherty began in February 2009 a spring tour to promote the album. Guests on the tour included Graham Coxon, Dot Allison, John Robinson, Stephen Street, Drew McConnell, Adam Ficek, and a string trio. On February 25, Doherty won the NME Award for Best Solo Artist.
Painting, Writing, Modeling and Acting
In June 2006, Doherty announced that he had signed a deal with Orion Books to publish his journals, in which he had recorded poetry, drawings, and photos over the course of his career. The book, titled "The Books of Albion: The Collected Writings of Peter Doherty", was released on 21 June 2007.
On 15 May 2007, Doherty exhibited his paintings for the first time. The art exhibition took place at the London's Bankrobber Gallery, and was on show for one month. The collection featured 14 paintings. An exhibition of Doherty's paintings titled, "Art of the Albion", took place at the Gallerie Chappe in Paris from 25 April to 25 May 2008. The exhibit caused controversy due to artworks made with Doherty's own blood. According to newspapers, anti-drug campaigners were enraged and accused Doherty of glamourising illegal substance abuse. Art experts were similarly unimpressed; David West, the owner of London's Decima gallery, for example, slammed his work: "It's not got any artistic merit. He's using his blood to make them interesting, but when you look at them they're what any four-year-old can do."
Following in the footsteps of model and ex-fiancée Kate Moss, Doherty became the face of Roberto Cavalli's Fall 2007/2008 fashion advertising campaign. The photos have gained praise for depicting a much cleaner and more handsome Doherty. The '50s-style photographs are also being compared to images of the late Marlon Brando. Doherty has also modelled several times for Manchester based clothing company, Gio-Goi.
On 9 December 2010 it was reported that Doherty would be taking the lead role opposite Charlotte Gainsbourg in Confession of a Child of the Century, Sylvie Verheyde's film adaption of Alfred de Musset's autobiographical novel La Confession d'un Enfant du Siècle. The film was screened at the 2012 Cannes Film Festiva. The film has received mainly negative reviews from critics.
In interviews, Doherty has listed his favourite books as George Orwell's 1984, Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, Our Lady of the Flowers by Jean Genet, Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire and the complete works of Oscar Wilde. He has also mentioned Emily Dickinson and Tony Hancock as influences; Doherty and his father were once members of the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society. Doherty mentions Hancock, and makes an allusion to his famous phrase 'Stone me!', in an early song entitled You're my Waterloo. However, numerous literary and musical allusions occur throughout Doherty's ongoing Books of Albion. He places particular importance on the Romantic poets and on existential philosophers such as Albert Camus and Miguel de Unamuno. Doherty has also alluded to work by the Marquis de Sade and Thomas De Quincey. On the Babyshambles album, Down in Albion, there is a track entitled A'rebours, which is significantly influenced by the novel of the same name by Joris-Karl Huysmans. His favourite films include British films of the 1960s and seventies such as Billy Liar, Poor Cow, O Lucky Man! and the film versions of Steptoe and Son. He cites Lee Mavers of The La's as a musical influence, as well as The Only Ones, New York Dolls, The Stooges, Buzzcocks and Chas & Dave, and is also particularly fond of The Smiths and The Clash.
Doherty has also supported up-and-coming British bands, such as indie bands The Paddingtons and The View.
Speaking to Socialist Review in spring 2004, Pete said of his musical awakening: "I was a bit of a late starter with bands. It just passed me by, even though when I was at school, bands like Nirvana and Oasis were around. Looking back, I remember people being into them, but at the time I was in another world. And then, at 16, 17, I heard The Smiths and a whole new world opened up. I suppose obsessed would be the right word - not in a morbid way. It broke my heart when I realised they had split up 12 years previously. After discovering The Smiths, I followed the trail back to The Buzzcocks and I was well into The Only Ones - melodic bands who had a bit of a dirty sound. And then New York Dolls - I fell in love with them - and The Stooges. The driving aggressive stuff that I like is the English punk and the New York era."
Doherty is also known to be a devoted follower of Queens Park Rangers football club. As a youth he wrote a fanzine entitled All Quiet on the Western Avenue. He sold copies of the fanzine on the club's grounds, and received recognition when an article from one issue was published in the book 'Survival Of The Fattest', which compiled articles from various football fanzines each season.
A frequent lyrical theme for Doherty is Albion, the ancient name for Great Britain. Doherty also uses Albion as the name of a ship sailing to a utopia called Arcadia; a place without rules or authority. Doherty and Barât shared a flat in London, at 112a Teesdale Street, Bethnal Green, affectionately known as 'The Albion Rooms', despite being rather run down. Doherty named his diaries, in which he writes poems and other thoughts, the Books of Albion.
Drug abuse and legal problems
Doherty has been repeatedly arrested for drug offences and those arising from drug misuse, such as driving under the influence, car theft, and driving with a suspended licence. He has plead guilty to possession of crack cocaine, heroin, cannabis and ketamine. His addictions have resulted in jail time and multiple trips to rehabilitation facilities.
In 2003, while Doherty's band The Libertines were performing in Japan, he broke into Carl Barat's flat and stole various items, including an old guitar and a laptop computer. On 7th September Doherty was sentenced by Judge Roger Davies to 6 months in prison, however the sentence was eventually shortened to two months on appeal, with the judge commenting, "We feel that a custodial sentence was justified in this case but sufficient credit was not given for his timely plea of guilty which it should have been. We have reduced his sentence to two months which will allow for his almost immediate release." Doherty was released from jail on 8th October.
On 2nd February 2005, Doherty was arrested after an altercation with documentary filmaker Max Carlish, who was making a rockumentary about the singer and sold photos of Doherty and Kate Moss taking drugs to tabloids. Doherty and his friend Alan Wass had been charged with robbery and blackmail. On 7th February, Doherty was released on bail after ROUGH TRADE put up £150,000 in bonds. All charges against him were later dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service due to a lack of evidence.
On April 8, 2008, Doherty was jailed for 14 weeks by a court for breaching a probation order, after a string of brushes with the law for drugs and driving offenses. On the April 18, 2008, he was moved to a private area of Wormwood Scrubs prison after learning that fellow inmates were planning to attack him, therefore making it safer for the singer. On 6 May, 2008, he was released after his sentence was cut in half and he was released from prison a further 18 days early due to a government plan to reduce overcrowding. He also had another 2 days off for being in police custody (after serving just over 4 weeks of a 14-week sentence). He described prison life as "a lot of gangsters and Radio 4" and showed a certificate confirming he had passed a drugs test while inside.
Family and personal life
Doherty has an older sister and a younger sister, named Amy-Jo and Emily, respectively. His mother Jacqueline Doherty is a nurse, who recently published a book about family life with Doherty and his drug problems, called Pete Doherty: My Prodigal Son. Doherty's father, Peter Doherty Sr., is an Army officer.
After numerous attempts to convince him to start a serious rehab, in early 2005 Doherty's father decided that he was tired of broken promises and vowed never to see his son until he was clean of drugs. The sensitivity surrounding the issue became apparent in the BBC Two Arena documentary about Doherty, on 12 November 2006, which included footage of him talking about this aspect of his personal life. He was visibly upset and had to politely ask the interviewer at one point to stop filming. In October 2007, Doherty said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 show, Front Row, that he had reconciled with his father after 3 years of no contact, when his father came to visit him in rehab. Following his relapse in November 2007, they have again become estranged, much to Doherty's sadness and frustration.
Doherty has had a tumultuous relationship with Kate Moss, frequently covered by the press. They met in January 2005, at Moss' 31st birthday party, and had an on-off relationship until mid-2007, when they reportedly split. Moss also sang at some of Doherty's shows.
In October 2007 it was reported in the tabloids that Doherty was engaged to fashion model Irina Lazareanu.
Doherty has a son named Astile Louis Doherty (born Camden, London, 2003), with singer Lisa Moorish, of the band Kill City. He also has a daughter ,Aisling Doherty, with Lindi Hingston.