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Libertines reunion was ‘hard work’

Reading and Leeds boss speaks about getting Carl and Pete back together

  • 30/03/2010
The Libertines

The Libertines will reform to play this year's Reading and Leeds festivals in August, six years after the quartet last shared a stage.

“It’s been a lot of hard work as you would imagine getting the boys all back together in the same room,” Reading and Leeds organiser Melvin Benn said.

“But they’re absolutely committed to it. I think it’s something that’s so important for the British music fan.”

Peter Doherty, Carl Barat, Gary Powell and John Hassall will appear at Leeds on Friday 27 August and at Reading the following night.

They will play before headliners Arcade Fire. The headliners on the festivals’ other days will be Guns N’ Roses and Blink-182.

Mr Benn credited Neil Pengelly, who books the bands for the festivals, with engineering the reunion. He “really put it all together”, he said.

“I don’t think there was anything else that would have tempted them out of their self-imposed separation. Reading & Leeds is their core audience,” he added.

"I think it’s something that’s so important for the British music fan."

Melvin Benn

The Libertines emerged at the start of the last decade, quickly attracting a devoted following with tracks like What A Waster, Up the Bracket and Time For Heroes.

But Doherty was kicked out of the band in 2004 amid well-publicised drug problems and after being jailed for burgling Barat’s flat. The band went on to perform at Reading and Leeds that year without him.

Barat soon disbanded the band and formed Dirty Pretty Things, while Doherty returned with his own group Babyshambles.

Barat and Doherty have been reunited on several occasions at impromptu gigs but this will be the first full Libertines comeback.

Other acts on the Reading and Leeds bill include The Cribs, The Maccabees, LCD Soundsystem, Pendulum, Klaxons, Phoenix and Mumford & Sons.

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