Live Review - Babyshambles @ O2 Academy Brixton, 14th September

Brixton Academy is full to the rafters with revellers who are about to witness (after a predictably long wait) a set full of chaos, crowd surfing and general carnage- but what else would you expect from a Shambles gig? 

Deadcuts open the night, and for the first band on, they draw in a decent sized crowd. The lead singer looks like one of the walking dead so it's a surprise when he opens his mouth and reveals a brilliant singing voice. They sound like an older and slightly more haggard version of The Horrors. 'Speed Sister' is a highlight of the set, bringing a bit of much needed deadbeat glamour to Brixton.

The Lipstick Melodies are up next and impress the crowd with their Stones/Dylan-esque tunes. 'Go it alone', driven by lead singer Alan Wass’s 60’s rock inspired vocals, sees the audience gently warming up and by the time the recently released single 'Hired Gun' comes around, everyone is in high spirits and raring to go for Babyshambles.

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After a long wait, which includes hearing the same interval songs twice, the band is introduced on-stage by a friend who thanks the crowd for "eradicating poverty", as tonight's proceeds are going to the homeless. 

On waltz the band, Doherty blowing kisses to his adoring fans, and they tear straight into Shotter's Nation's 'Delivery'. The crowd go apeshit and people down the front surge from one side of the venue to the other, desperately trying to stay on their feet which remains a constant battle throughout the whole set.

'Nothing Comes To Nothing' is the first new track up and it exposes Doherty's first-rate song writing skills.

Most of the band's third album, ‘Sequel to the Prequel', gets an airing tonight and the band seem tighter than ever. It’s definitely not a one man show as the rest of the band keep it together when Doherty goes off on a bit of a tangent, prancing around the stage and bashing his microphone against his head or his hands, causing a racket to evade from the speakers.

'Fall From Grace' is a catchy number which reflects on Doherty's love/hate relationship with the public and press ("Can we go some place they won't know my face?").

Fans are treated to Babyshambles classic tracks, 'Loyalty Song' and '8 Dead Boys', which ends with Doherty diving head-first into the drum set.

'Picture Me in a Hospital' proves popular with the crowd but 'Pipedown' sends them over the edge with many people at the front ending up on the floor in a heap, frantically trying to get back up. 

Due to the late start, Doherty tells the crowd they only have time for one more. He reels off songs from the original set list and inevitably, the song which gets the most cheers is ‘Fuck Forever’. It's a late finish (11:15) but everyone leaves satisfied.

When Doherty is involved there is always the question of 'Will he turn up?', 'How late will he be?' or 'How off his head will he be?' He did turn up, he was late, and it appeared he was rather high spirited, glugging an orange coloured concoction and Guinness simultaneously throughout the set but it's one of the most energetic and enjoyable gigs I've been to in a long time.


I Wish 
Nothing Comes To Nothing 
Carry On Up The Morning 
Dr No 
Farmer's Daughter 
Fall From Grace 
8 Dead Boys 
Picture Me In A Hospital 
Gang of Gin 
Loyalty Song 
The Man Who Came to Stay 
New Pair 

Fuck Forever

Words by Lucy Howell