A big fan of the rock n roll yarn, I picked up Peter Doherty’s book A Likely Lad in a Ranelagh gift shop (Rosalins) just off Edenvale Road where I used to live in the mid 90’s. I was strolling down memory lane as you do, a few weeks back and came across the shop (42 Dunville Ave, Dublin 6, D06 VX34).
Off to Playa de Palma on the 12th of May, I packed the book away for the holiday read and was delighted I did. Whats probably most surprising is the level of detail Doherty recalls of his many adventures while at the time being under the influence of various substances. I was aware of him from The Libertines and Babyshambles bands but didn’t really know his music prior to buying his debut solo Grace/ Wastelands produced by Stephen Street which I loved. A great collection of songs.
Since reading his memoir, Ive started to listen to his other solo albums. The early stuff has past me by at this stage but Im really into the solo stuff. Hamburg Demonstrations, the follow up to Grace/Wastelands is spectacular. Very mature songwriting, great production by Johann Scheerer and the sound of the band including violin is so loose it’s just perfect.
His latest album ‘The Fantasy Life of Poetry And Crime’ with Frèderic Lo is a piano based collection and easily his best work yet.
There has been a hell of a lot written about the man, a tabloid regular, his battles with addiction, his brushes with the law maybe far more than has been written about his creative output but when I think Peter Doherty, the words that spring to mind are musician, songwriter, singer, poet, painter, maybe even Jack The Lad but mostly I think Artist. His work speaks for itself. I really enjoyed reading A Likely Lad and learned a few new things I didn’t know including he has started his own record label (strap originals) and has a hotel / recording studio in Margate (The Albion Rooms).
More recently, he has toured UK and Ireland to huge audiences with the Battered Songbook. Like his pal Amy Winehouse, he may have had his fair share of troubles but his resilience, determination, family and friends have kept him where he belongs, on stage singing original songs.
#peterdoherty #alikelylad #book #goodread