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Long-term Pete Doherty fans Alice Concannon and Cameron Maynard take us on a wild and emotional ride around his recent show in Manchester
We’ve always been fans of Pete (or Peter as he’s now known) since the age about 15, during those rebellious stick-a-nose-ring-in-and-shout-at-our-parents years.
Alice has seen him perform with the Libertines and Babyshambles a handful of times and always had the best (and most drunk) of times and Cameron was supposed to see him on these occasions but for one reason or another never had the chance. You can imagine our excitement, then, at finally seeing him a few years later, together, as we approach our 30s - kicking and screaming, of course.
We got our brashest outfits on and filled a hip flask of whiskey to drink en route to The Ritz, Manchester, where the gig was happening.
We got inside and got robbed at the bar of almost 25 quid for three pints but we didn’t care because we were in. As we looked over the sea of Fred Perry shirts and crew cuts we got prepared for a good night of music and nostalgia.
The opening act, Dirty Laces, from Manchester, put on a belting performance, full of energy and genuinely buzzing to be a part of it. Bottles of water and drumsticks were thrown from the stage into the crowd with which the band had a really good rapport.
They’d definitely won us over, between their chats with members of the crowd and the raw talent they possess. A seriously good opener that got people in the mood for the main act, and we'll definitely be keeping an eye on their future music.
Peter & The Puta Madres came on around 9pm, opening with a candid version of 'All At Sea', which made the crowd erupt. People were on shoulders mouthing every word. Pete looked the same as always, apart from a bandage on his hand after a run-in with a hedgehog, but holding the mic close. Katia DeVidad on keys was lively and energetic, and Jack Jones (lead singer and guitarist of Welsh band Trampolene) on guitar was clearly loving the performance. They were very at ease with each other and were set to put on a hell of a show.
As the opener ended they went quickly into 'Hell to Pay at the Gates of Heaven' and after that the songs all merged into one after another, until he belted out 'I Don't Love Anyone (But You’re Not Just Anyone)' which brought back the memories of being lovestruck and heartbroken at 17 as we sang our hearts out with arms around each other. We then went back to 2011 as he brought out 'Last of the English Roses' where the atmosphere changed and felt a bit more melancholy.
There were a few brief intermissions including Pete inviting someone onstage for a hug and reading a passage from a book he was given.
It wasn't until the encore hit that he played 'Fuck Forever' (a personal favourite) and suddenly we were pushed left and right, bags flung across the floor nowhere to be seen. We didn’t care who saw, we jumped around like teenagers screaming the lyrics, full of cheap cider and puffing on an e-cig, not giving a hell what the consequences would have been, we went right back in time to being carefree, and most of the crowd shared that moment.
Peter is without question a very talented man, his lyrics beautiful and his stage presence is as majestic as it ever was - and the same goes for the band - Peter Doherty and The Puta Madres are collaboration forged in heaven. All in all definitely a gig worth not missing!
Photos by Andrew Twambley