In the heart of Toulouse, France, lies a venue renowned for its electric atmosphere and warm embrace of musical talents from around the world – the fabulous Le Bikini. This week, the stage was set for a performance that would test the sands of time! The question on everyone’s mind: is it worth seeing The Libertines in 2024?

Last Tuesday, the French magazine Les Inrockuptibles organized a Festival. They invited one of Britain’s most iconic bands, The Libertines, who are soon to release a new album. As dedicated music lovers and bloggers, we hopped in our car and drove through the picturesque French countryside. Work construction on the highway extended the journey from 2 to 4 hours. But what wouldn’t we do for live music?

The opening act(s)

The night began with a local trio, Croy, who stormed the stage with a unique blend of influences, reminiscent of the glory days of New Order infused with the spirit of French 80s sound. Their performance, quite catchy, but maybe a bit repetitive to our ears, was a nice prelude to the main event.

But it was the arrival of the fiery Lambrini Girls that truly set the tone for the evening. With their out-of-this-world energy and commitment to spreading messages of tolerance and kindness, much like bands like Idles, they blew everyone’s mind with their intense performance. Amongst the many topics, these girls talked about transphobia, homosexuality, misogyny, and Great Britain’s politics. Kindness is the new punk, people!

Lambrini Girls setting the place on fire

We have to admit we were as eager to see Lambrini Girls as the Libs. We had the chance to discover this band a few months ago at a Dream Wife gig and they stole our hearts. It’s quite the experience to watch a band in different configurations. Last time, they played in a tiny, club-like venue. This time, 1400 music lovers could fit in the room. But we tell you: these girls could move a whole stadium. My, my, my, this new generation of punk is as refreshing as it was electrifying!

Lambrini Girls working their magic

Fun fact, last time we had a chat about their both goofy and rebellious artwork, and thought it would make great cakes, so we brought a few treats. But that’s another story.

How was The Libertines’ show?

Perhaps you can relate: we always feel a bit anxious when we go to see a band we’ve been listening to for more than 20 years. Do they still have this sparkle that made you fall for their music? Do they still manage to bring to life the lyrics they wrote in their early 20s?

Teenage selves crying. <3

We waited a few minutes in front of a wall of Marshall amps. A toddler’s red military jacket was hung on one of them, near Pete Doherty’s microphone. A cute souvenir from his baby girl and certainly, a new lucky charm. Also, there was a bottle of water there. We wondered: have the British rockers mellowed?

The Libertines finally took the stage. With Pete in his signature British landlord attire and Carl exuding charisma in his leather perfecto, the band wasted no time and was ready to fight!

Let’s address the elephant in the room: How is Pete? He appeared to be in good shape, having sobered up, and seemed genuinely happy to be here. This man doesn’t receive enough praise for his quality as a guitar player and his delicate, colorful playing.

The band kicked the set with ‘Up the Bracket’ and ‘Vertigo’. Of course, we were immediately sold! They delivered a setlist that spanned their illustrious career, gracefully blending classics with new material. It’s hard to believe they only released three studio albums considering the impact they had on the indie scene in the 2000s. Of course, they do have an impressive catalog of B-sides, rarities, and acoustic songs, like ‘France’ which was played that night.

Tracks like ‘What Became of the Likely Lads’, ‘Don’t Look Back into the Sun’, and ‘”‘What Katie Did’ made us all nostalgic, while newer tunes like ‘Shiver’ showcased the band’s continued evolution and creativity. Boy, these new songs sound so good! Apart from the singles from the upcoming new album, they also played Mustang, a brand new song with intense country vibes (watch out Beyoncé!).

But it wasn’t just Pete and Carl who commanded the stage. John Hassal on bass and Gary Powell on drums added much vitality to the performance. Some people just radiate with light, Gary is certainly one of them, and watching him perform always brings us so much joy!

The audience was surprisingly quiet, with no mosh pit in sight, quite the opposite of the usual frenzy at Libertines gigs in the UK. Perhaps many attendees came out of curiosity for Britain’s rebellious children. Nonetheless, we seized the opportunity to sing and dance. Audrey, who’s the biggest fan between the two of us, lip-synced every single song. I have some pretty exclusive footage to sell for those interested (just kidding… or am I?😈).

What a delight to see Pete Doherty in such a great spirit

Of course, no concert is perfect, and for the Encore, The Libertines played “Gunga Din.” While not our personal favorite, it shows the band’s willingness to embrace their entire repertoire.

What became of the likely lads

Do meet your idols!

At the end of the evening, we went to congratulate the Lambrini Girls at their merchandise stand. These girls are gold, don’t be shy if you attend one of their gigs, they’re as lovely in real life as they’re fierce on stage.

Little did we know that a few moments later, we would unexpectedly meet Mr Peter Doherty himself. How do you feel when you meet an artist whose work moves you deeply? Shy? Anxious? Awkward? For us, it was all of the above. Thankfully, he swept these feelings away in seconds with a big smile and a warm hand shake. Pete is a true gentleman, very calm, friendly, and courteous and we couldn’t feel more grateful for this out of time moment we will cherish for long.

It’s always a pleasure to meet our fans.

We finished the evening as everybody should after such an emotional evening: eating fries in a dodgy parking lot at almost 1 am before heading back home. What a night!

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