Doherty and Barat perform Libertines festival reunion


Pete Doherty and Carl Barat

After claiming they had "unfinished business" to complete The Libertines have returned to the stage at this year's Leeds festival.

Appearing before headliners Arcade Fire the London foursome played a tight 70-minute main stage set much to the delight of 70,000 fans.

In March, the band announced they'd come back together after a six-year break to play Reading and Leeds.

They were reportedly paid more than £1 million for the gigs.

Libertines fan Richard, from Cheshire with friends Keighley and Megan
Image caption Libertines fan Richard, from Cheshire with friends Keighley and Megan

Many fans reacted emotionally to seeing the band - Pete Doherty, Carl Barat, Gary Powell and John Hassall - back together on stage for the first time in six years.

Richard, 22, from Cheshire said: "Musically Arcade Fire are a better group but The Libertines as an act were just incredible.

"Libertines - there's so much history behind them. It was an emotional reunion. I grew up listening to them so that was special."

See all the performances and pictures from the Reading and Leeds Festivals


Having played two warm-up gigs last week at London's Kentish Town Forum lead singers Pete Doherty and Carl Barat looked relaxed during their hit-packed set - both puffing on cigarettes throughout.

With no new material as yet written and only three weeks worth of rehearsals under their belt for these gigs, they stuck to playing tracks from their two albums - 2002's Up The Bracket and 2004's The Libertines.

The set was stopped briefly after the third song as Doherty, Barat and Hassall left the stage momentarily so the crowd at the front could get some space.

"If anyone goes down… look after each other," said Doherty when he returned.

Huge singalong songs included Boys In The Band, Can't Stand Me Now, What A Waster and show closer I Get Along.

The band will now play the main stage at the Reading festival on Saturday (28 August).

Arcade headliners

The crowd for headliners Arcade Fire was visibly thinner than The Libertines - perhaps down to competition with NME/Radio 1 stage headliners Pendulum.

However, the Canadian rockers played an impactful 90-minute set on a stage themed around their recent UK number one album The Suburbs.

The nine-piece played tracks from across their three albums in front of a billboard video screen and a set of stadium floodlights.

With the weather drier in Yorkshire, fans at Bramham Park haven't had to endure the muddy conditions of those at Reading.

Other highlights from day one of Leeds included a main stage set from Dizzee Rascal (playing with his full live band), The Cribs and Enter Shikari.

Watford punk-band Gallows also played a surprise show under the pseudonym The Rats on the Lock-up stage.

Artists set to take to the stage on day two of Leeds include US punk-pop trio Blink-182, Paramore and Klaxons.

Arcade Fire and The Libertines now head south to play Reading festival.

BBC Radio 1 will be coming live at the Reading festival from 1-4pm on Saturday and Sunday.