Carl Barat @ Koko, London 04/04/2011
April 10, 2011 by Guy Farrow
Camden’s Koko was the venue for now sometimes Libertine Carl Barat’s solo outing tonight. Backed by a standard four piece and the musical talent that is The Langley Sisters, the stage of the magnificent venue certainly didn’t have much room to spare.
On the back of the singer’s first solo release, the London leg of Barat’s eight date UK Spring tour was unsurprisingly largely centred around the solo album with the odd Dirty Pretty Things and ‘Libs’ number thrown in for good measure.
Tracks ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ and ‘Death On The Stairs’ provided opportunities for fans of Barat’s ‘other’ band to launch pint glasses into the air and reflect on the old days. Getting in on the act, even former Cooper Temple Clause and Dirty Pretty Things bass player Didz Hammond swaggered onto the stage to belt out BV’s for the latter band’s tracks ‘Deadwood’ and ‘Bang Bang You’re Dead’.
Nevertheless tonight wasn’t really about the past or what might happen with The Libertines, it was about Barat’s relatively new and slightly theatrical solo work. Track’s Running With The Boys and So Long My Lover went down a treat with the latter really standing out as one of the singer’s stronger solo efforts. The crowd also appreciatively lapped up other tracks such as Sing For My Supper and She’s Something.
Despite such positives the aforementioned inclusion of Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things tracks did feel like a token gesture, placed to keep the faithful of these bands content. Whilst and arguably, yes they did inject a shot of familiarity to proceedings their inclusion did feel a tad unnecessary as old Barat couldn’t really be any further from the new and as such, in places, the variety of tracks did make the set seem a little disjointed.
Never the less and despite such a glitch, Barat gave it his all tonight and whilst the solo work may not be everyone’s cuppa char, the crowd assembled were suitably appreciative and it is clear that the singer certainly has a future on his own.