Pete Doherty – Hamburg Demonstrations
It honestly hurts – we shit you not – to write the words: the latest Pete Doherty album doesn’t make me want to ram a rusty screwdriver into my ears. It’s actually *swallows pint of hot bile* quite pleasant. That isn’t to say there aren't things here that make us want to physically harm random strangers (some of his song titles – Oily Boker, for one – are as reliable as syrup of ipecac for inducing vomiting, and often his vocals sound posed, sung on the hearth of a country retreat fireplace). Once upon a time the mere idea of Pete Doherty was enough to put this writer off ever listening to music again.
But. But. There are four or five songs here – Flags From the Old Regime, I Don’t Love Anyone (But You’re Not Just Anyone) V2, The Whole World is Our Playground – that we’d listen to voluntarily. Which may either mean this is the album that sees Doherty start to win praise from people who formerly hated him, or the album that has his devotees shrieking, 'What the fuck is that?' Either way, it’s a slightly boozy, bluesy, badly tuned, occasionally winsome collection of songs that treads a neat path between pseud’s corner and authentic alley.
Listen to: Flags from the old Regime, The Whole World is Our Playground