Horrorshow is a track from The Libertines' debut album, Up the Bracket, and is credited to Doherty and Barat. Lyrically, the song touches on the subject of heroin abuse ("the horse is brown"). Doherty has said the lyric; left something in Moscow refers to the British Council sponsored trip to Russia on which he embarked when he was 16 to read poetry. The 'something' was his dignity.
The NME reported in 2002 that an Ex-Girlfriend was planning to sue Doherty over the lyrics to Horrorshow (specifically the line; "I’ve been following your mind’s instruction… I’m gonna screw myself to death"), as she claimed to have penned the lyric.
A short promotional video was made for Horrorshow in 2001, however, it was never shown to the public. To this day, only a select few have seen the video. In the words of director Alexander Strickland-Clarke:
"In the autumn of 2001, a motley camera crew boarded the 'black magic' van to make the Horror Show. The first location was St Pancras church grave-yard. It is the oldest church in England with a suitable romantic-gothic pedigree. Percy Bysshe Shelly met Mary Wollenscraft there, Johann Sebastin Bach junior lay there, and William Blake had mentioned it in his poetic trigonometries of cultural revival.
"The opening sequence shows Carl and Peter in black overcoats and black eye make-up going up the church steps. Peter is brandishing a knife. He puts his arm supportively over Carlos' shoulder. Carl seems distrustful. The leaves in the grave yard were of that beautiful amber rust glow. Peter and Carl fought on the ground with maple leaves cushioning the blow as the blade was thrust back and forth. Carl was winning.
"The beautiful, vampyric muse, in the form of Francesca, ran amongst the mossy graves and prostrated herself below a tree that was contorted as if the souls buried beneath it were malevolent. Peter and Carl were visually kinetic which made things easier. It didn't help that Pete had fed the crew with ketamine, so the camera girls generally disobeyed the auteur theory; as did the crew who wandered into some prime shots.
"In the churchyard, we see Peter falling into a grave, with leaves pouring down upon his cherubic features. Carlos looks on perched from a crucifix, while Francesca writhes in possessed sexuality.
"As three part structure we have the middle section: a solo Pete walking through the extreme cosmopolitanism that is Dalston market. There were stalls selling monsters from the deep (I'm sure there was a congor eel for sale). We went into an exclusively black bar. They were uncomfortable with me filming, but as someone who worked on MacIntyre Undercover, I just put the camera under my jacket and continued filming dudes in fedoras.
"The final act really was a horror show. It was an abandoned hospital which if I'm correct was for German Jews, during WWII. The make-up by this stage had reached glittering proportions, and the crew's attire was also ridiculous. The only light we had were torches and some candles. Peter and Carl did an excellent puppet show, through a hole in a wall, with Pandy the teddy bear. Peter would cry, whether it was real or crocodile tears I'm not sure.
"The wrap party was held at Filthy Macnasty's, where people were surprised to see this giant Chevrolet roll up with young men and women in furs, make up and hats. There was a fine cabaret that evening which ended with the Rabbi singing 'Suzanne' by Leonard Cohen.
"The original storyboard for the film had been breached by rogue camera-work and the fact that I had to edit instead of a top-flight editor who said he would. However the final result had the sort of scrappy, punk-rock cinematic that suited the band's general aesthetic.
"I was excited to show Pete and Carl the piece. When I did they had been up all night, the sun shone on the TV screen and the manager (my ex) tried to bollock me for interrupting the meeting. I pressed play. Carl said it was shit. And Peter didn't like the recording. I was deeply upset. Through blagging and a 'communist crew' I had created the film to the best of my resources. It was not the ultimate vision I had intended - but had I been given two days and some 16mm it would have been formidable."
|Live at O2 Academy Glasgow (1)||The Libertines||Album||2016-02-19|
|Up the Bracket||The Libertines||Album||2002-10-14|
|Rough Enough Stuff||The Libertines||Session||2001|
|Horrorshow in London Town||The Libertines||Session||Unknown|
|RAK revisited||The Libertines||Session||Unknown|
|Festival SOS 4.8||The Libertines||Murcia||2016-05-07|
|AB brussels 2016||The Libertines||Ancienne Belgique, Brussels||2016-05-03|
|Live @ Olympia||The Libertines||Music Hall, Paris||2016-03-09|
|Reading Festival 2015||The Libertines||Reading||2015-08-30|
|Rock en Seine 2015||The Libertines||Domaine national de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud||2015-08-29|
|Ahmad Tea Music Festival||The Libertines||2015-06-27|
|Glastonbury 2015||The Libertines||Glastonbury||2015-06-26|
|Benicàssim Festival||The Libertines||Benicàssim, Spain||2014-07-19|
|BST, Hyde Park, London||The Libertines||Hyde Park, London||2014-07-05|
|Glasgow Barrowland||The Libertines||Glasgow, Scotland||2014-06-29|
|La Maroquinerie||Peter Doherty||Paris, France||2013-02-04|
|Show more concerts|
I've been following
Your minds instructions
Oh how just to slowly, sharply screw myself to death
Ah yes, there is a screw
It's pointed at my head
Then look a dream peddlar
And a stick of light through my bones
"Don't get on the wrong one"
"Oi you and you what's your game"
Laying me down to waste laying me down
Pin me up or put me down
Uh uh uh uh oh
Now let it all go
It's a horror show, you should come on round
Horror show, the horse is brown
Uh uh oh left something in Moscow
She said "I'll show you a picture
A picture of tomorrow
There's nothing changing
It's all sorrow
Oh no please dont show me
I'm a swine, you don't wanna know me
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