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Carl Barat

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Let It Reign (2015)

Carl Barat (2010)

Carl Ashley Raphael Barât (born June 6, 1978 in Basingstoke) was the frontman and lead guitarist of Dirty Pretty Things and co-frontman of indie rock band The Libertines with Peter Doherty. He has also worked as a model and, more recently, as an actor and solo musician. He currently resides in Muswell Hill, North London and plays with his newest band, Carl Barat & The Jackals.

Early life
Carl Barât spent most of his childhood in the Hampshire town of Whitchurch. In a September 2004 interview with Blender Magazine, he mentioned having a French, Polish, and Russian ethnic background, although other sources have suggested that Barât is also part Spanish. As a youth, Barât divided his time between his divorced parents, who he describes as hippies. His father, Raf, worked in an armaments factory, and his mother, Chrissie, was part of the commune-dwelling counterculture and peace groups such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. Barât spent part of his childhood living with his mother on a commune in Somerset. He has one sister, actress-turned-singer Lucie Barât, a member of London band The Fay Wrays, and has five half-siblings, including half brother Oliver Barât who is guitarist with Basingstoke band The Guns of Pig Alley and half sister Kirsty, an accomplished classical harpist.

In 1996, Barât was studying for a drama degree at Brunel University in Uxbridge. He was somewhat disillusioned by his fellow drama students, but became well-acquainted with Peter Doherty's sister, Amy-Jo. Through her, Barât met Doherty. Barât initially disliked Doherty, who had a habit of being rude and irreverent on meeting people. However, they soon developed an intense friendship. The Libertines were subsequently formed with a fluctuating line-up including bassist John Hassall and drummer Paul Dufour (also known as Mr. Razzcocks); however, Hassall and Dufour left in December 2000. Johnny Borrell of Razorlight briefly replaced Hassall but was touring with Alabama 3 and so missed all of the gigs. When John Hassall heard that The Libertines had been signed to Rough Trade, he offered to reassume bass duties with Gary Powell being brought in on drums. Barât and Doherty shared songwriting and singing as well as guitar duties.

The Libertines
The Libertines' first album, Up the Bracket, was released in 2002 to critical acclaim. The band's rapid rise to fame was due, in part, to their volatile stage performances, which were characterised by intense bouts of mic-sharing and fighting between Barât and Doherty. This paralleled their off-stage relationship, which had progressed to verging on dysfunctional and abusive, with Barât and Doherty equally competitive and possessive of one another.

In 2003, Doherty's addiction to heroin and crack cocaine led to Barât asking him not to participate in the band's next tour. When Doherty discovered that The Libertines had left without him to perform in Japan, he broke into Barât's Mayfair flat and stole various items, including an antique guitar and an NME Award. He was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison. The sentence was later reduced to two months, during which Barât and Doherty reconciled through correspondence. Barât warmly welcomed Doherty back to The Libertines on the day of his release, and they later performed an impromptu "Freedom Gig" at the Tap 'n' Tin pub in Chatham, Kent on October 8, 2003. A photograph taken by Roger Sargent prior to the gig adorns The Libertines' self-titled second album, The Libertines, and the cover of Sargent's and Anthony Thornton's book, The Libertines: Bound Together.

Doherty's drug addiction continued while the band worked on their second album in 2004, which strained his relationship with Barât. Bodyguards were needed in the recording sessions, allegedly to prevent Barât and Doherty from physically assaulting each other (though this is claimed to be an exaggeration by the press in Bound Together) and to keep Doherty's fans away from him. Before the release of the album in 2004, relations between Barât and Doherty reached a breaking point and Doherty was once again prevented from performing with the band before addressing his addictions. Doherty did not take the ultimatum well, especially as The Libertines continued touring without him to fulfill contractual obligations.

Barât disbanded The Libertines after a final gig in Paris on December 17th 2004, citing his lack of desire to continue the band without ex-partner Doherty and an "ongoing problem with his health." In 2005, Barât underwent surgery to remove a benign tumour from behind his right ear and spent several weeks recovering from the operation. The tumour and resulting surgery left him partially deaf.

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.

Post-Libertines
In February 2005, The Libertines won NME's Best British Band award and Barât paid tribute to Doherty in his acceptance speech. Days later, it was officially announced that Barât had signed to Vertigo Records as a solo artist.

Barât's first work as a solo artist was providing vocals for the European electro duo Client on their single, Pornography. Barât had set up the London club, Dirty Pretty Things, in June 2004, where he regularly served as a DJ. In July 2005, he contributed an album to the "Under the Influence" series, where musicians select tracks that have influenced them in their career. In the same year, Barât was chosen by clothing brand J. Lindeberg to front their "21st Century Lifestyle" campaign alongside U.S. actress Juliette Lewis.

Dirty Pretty Things
On September 15, 2005, it was announced that Barât was forming a new band. His bandmates included former Libertines drummer Gary Powell; Anthony Rossomando, who filled in as guitarist following Peter Doherty's departure from the group; and Didz Hammond, formerly of The Cooper Temple Clause, on bass. It was later announced (via a post by Barât on the Libertines.org.uk site) that the band's name was "Dirty Pretty Things".

The group played their first show on October 10th 2005 at Qube in Rome, followed by two more shows under their own banner and two further gigs as support for The Others. In November 2005 the band decamped to Los Angeles, California to begin the recording of their first album; Waterloo to Anywhere. It was released on May 8, 2006 in the UK and August 8, 2006 in the US. This coincided with the latter part of a sold-out tour of the United Kingdom and a short series of dates in North America.

Dirty Pretty Things' second album, Romance at Short Notice, was also recorded in Los Angeles in the September of 2007 and released in the UK on June 30th, 2008. Mainly produced by American producer Nick Leman, it features substantial songwriting contributions from both Hammond and Rossomando. Their album failed to chart highly despite heavy touring schedules. Powell wrote in the band's message board that it had been a difficult year.

The band were forced to postpone their Real Fits fundraiser gig, which had been set to take place at the London Hackney Round Chapel on Friday, June 20th 2008, as Barât was rushed to hospital on June 17th with acute pancreatitis. A further European festival date taking place on June 22nd was also cancelled.

Dirty Pretty Things announced their separation on October 1st 2008 and played their final show on December 20th 2008 at London's Astoria 2 venue.

Solo Career and Other Notable Work
In a statement to the NME regarding Dirty Pretty Things' separation, Barât claimed no specific future plans but confirmed his intention to continue writing music.

In 2005, Barât and his friend, Adam Green of The Moldy Peaches appeared in a documentary following the pair on a night out in London. He also modelled for clothing brand J. Lindeberg, along with Juliette Lewis.

In mid-November 2008, it was announced that he would be playing as a special guest opener for Glasgow band Glasvegas on their North American tour. Barât had previously performed a well-received solo set at the Glastonbury Festival's Left Field Stage on June 29, 2008. Between January 8 and January 14, 2009, Barat played four solo acoustic slots in America, with a setlist of Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things songs, including "What a Waster," "The Man Who Would Be King," "BURMA," "Bloodthirsty Bastards," "Ballad of Grimaldi," "Music When the Lights Go Out," "France," "Deadwood," and "Time For Heroes."

Barât played his first headline solo shows on 6 and 7 March 2009 at the Wakefield Escobar and at the KU Bar in Stockton-on-Tees.

On 28 February 2008, Barât and bandmate Anthony Rossomando presented Glasvegas with the Philip Hall Radar Award at the NME Awards.

In October 2008 Barât wrote a blog entry for The Pepsi Maxcast, a MySpace site where musicians from various genres discuss the music they are currently listening to.

Barât is a founding member of supergroup The Chavs, alongside Tim Burgess of The Charlatans, Primal Scream keyboardist Martin Duffy and drummer Andy Burrows from Razorlight. Tim Burgess stated that The Chavs planned to record their debut album in August 2008, but nothing has been heard of the project since.

In 2008, he featured as actor in the film Telstar in the role of Rock'n'Roll singer Gene Vincent. The film premiered at the London Film Festival on 25 October 2008 and was released on 19 June 2009. He also featured in an advertisement for BBC Two's The Culture Show, being asked about British culture. A longer version of his interview can be found on the Culture Show website

Barât featured in BBC Two's "The Culture Show", answering questions about British culture.

Carl Barât played his first headline solo shows on 6 and 7 March 2009 at the Wakefield Escobar. He also played at the KU Bar in Stockton-on-Tees on 8 March.

In May 2009, Barât featured as himself in a pilot episode for 'Svengali', alongside former manager Alan McGee and Welsh actor Jonathan Owen.

On 9 June 2009, Barât debuted two new songs, "So Long" and "Monday Morning" at a solo show at Dunfermline's Carnegie Hall. On 25 August, a short video entitled "Two British Dudes" featuring Barât and fellow musician Har Mar Superstar was released on crappyholidays.net. Barât also produced the debut EP "Scapegoat" of London-based singer-songwriter Kieran Leonard which was released in October.

In January 2010, Barat appeared in the stage play Fool For Love alongside actress Sadie Frost. The play ran until March 2010 at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London.

Barât also narrated a new artist documentary, Mark Donne's "The Rime of the Modern Mariner". The film had its world premiere at St Anne's Church in Limehouse, East London, during the ninth East End Film Festival. Barât's former Dirty Pretty Things bandmate Anthony Rossomando composed the score for the film.

He released his self-titled, first solo album on 4 October 2010. In an interview with C.B.Liddell of Metropolis magazine he described the album as "the first album I've done that is kind of introspective rather than escapist." In the same interview, he also talked about "stepping away from big loud guitars" as the album is stylistically more diverse and less rock-oriented than previous work. The release of Barât's first solo album also coincided with the release of Threepenny Memoir: The Lives of a Libertine, an autobiography documenting his years in The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things.

In January 2013 Barât announced that guitarist Johnny Marr (formerly of The Smiths) and drummer Andy Burrows (formerly of Razorlight) would feature on his second solo album, due for release in 2013. Barât revealed demo versions of tracks 'War of the Roses' and 'Victory Gin' from his second solo effort online.

In 2014, Barat announced the formation of his new band, Carl Barat & The Jackals, with three band members that he had met by holding auditions via social media.

He is part of the supergroup The Bottletop Band with Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys), Andy Nicholson (Arctic Monkeys), Drew McConnell (Babyshambles) and Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals). The band's single, "The Fall of Rome", was released in December 2010

Reunions with Peter Doherty
Barât was seen with Doherty on April 18, 2005, where the two publicly reunited at the Boogaloo Bar in Highgate, North London. On April 17, 2006, Barât said about Doherty's drug addiction, "It's just sad and I wish he would sort it out. I would really like to work with him again some day. I don't deny that but I've not seen him really."

On the July 7, 2006 episode of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Doherty said that he did not have a relationship with Barât anymore, shooting down rumours that the pair spoke regularly. However, Doherty stated that he would like to work with Barât again.

On July 18, 2006 Barât and Doherty met in the Dublin Castle pub in Camden, London.

On April 12, 2007, Doherty and Barât played 13 songs together at the second of Doherty's "An Evening with Pete Doherty" gigs at the Hackney Empire, London. At the end of the concert, Barât and Doherty swapped trilby hats, a symbolic reference to the Libertines song "The Good Old Days". Soon after, the pair recorded a cover of The Beatles' "A Day In The Life" as part of a BBC Radio project marking the 40th anniversary of the release of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

In May 2008, it was said that Barat and Doherty would co-write a musical for the Donmar Warehouse, possibly to be staged in early 2009. This was later refuted by Barât in a short interview with The Daily Star published on June 26th 2008, where he stated, “I haven’t seen Pete for donkeys. The musical is off – the window closes. I’m too busy concentrating on my other projects right now.”

On September 17, 2008, Barât surprised Doherty by joining him on stage near the end of his solo set at the Prince of Wales pub in Camden, as part of London Fashion Week. The pair showed signs of their trademark chemistry while performing several Libertines songs and a cover of Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger."

On November 25, 2008, Doherty attended Dirty Pretty Things' last gig in Paris. Though it had apparently been planned that Doherty would join the band on stage for an encore performance of "I Get Along", this failed to occur.

In February 2009, Doherty claimed that he and Barât had been offered 2 million pounds to reform and headline the Reading and Leeds Festival. Although Doherty had been keen, Barât, wary that events would repeat themselves, turned down the offer. When asked separately about the possibility of a reunion, Barât stated, "I’ve just freed myself up so the last thing I wanna do is completely burden my mind [with a reunion]. No, not right now... I'd rather do a film really, or I might do a play one day, learn the craft." He also mentioned the possibility of releasing a solo album.

At the Shockwave NME Awards on 25th February 2009, Barât stated that he and Doherty were still The Libertines, while Doherty admitted that he was trying to "twist [Barât's] arm" about a reformation, before mentioning "2010" as a possible date. Barât also reiterated his plans to release a solo album.

On 15th May 2009, Doherty, Barat and Gary Powell reunited at the Rhythm Factory to play a tribute gig for Johnny Sedassy (Johnny 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.

In 2015, The Libertines began to record their third album on Virgin/EMI, following Doherty's successful drug treatment at The Hope Rehabilitation Centre in Chon Buri.

NameCarl Barat


Full nameCarl Ashley Rapael Barat


Born39 years, 6.Jun 1978
Basingstoke, Hampshire, England


Instrum.Vocals, guitar


BandsCarl Barat & The Jackals
Dirty Pretty Things
The Libertines