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What is it with NME and Pete Doherty (and Carl Barat)?  It’s bad enough that they insist on force-feeding us his incoherent ramblings and telling us about the latest way he’s found of shortening his life but, come on, an NME cover and a six-page feature about the reasons for reforming for the Hyde Park gig.  We know the reasons, and there are about five hundred thousand of them; it’s not a news story.  But seriously, a cover and six pages; surely music fans in 2014 don’t even care about Pete Doherty any more, but for some reason he’s always been the darling of the NME, no matter what he does.  I mean they even picked him in a taxi after one of his spells at Her Majesty’s for an exclusive interview. I should be more disappointed when the inkies fall for it as well, but who buys the Grauniad or the Torygraph for their music reviews?

The Libertines had a couple of good songs over a decade ago and the NME have been trying to sanctify Pete Doherty ever since; we really don’t care and neither should they. Maybe they just like to be seen hanging around with the bad boys; it wasn’t cool when Nick Kent did it and it’s still not cool now.  I don’t care what he does to his own body but I do care when journalists think that “I’ve seen Pete Doherty taking drugs” is a story that we all need to read. This is a man who once described crack as “a bit moreish”, tongue-in-cheek, maybe, but still pretty dim. What’s the attraction of someone who is willing to steal his own bandmate’s laptop to sell for drugs? It’s not exactly sticking it to the man is it? But it’s made so much worse by NME writers glorifying his every action.

So how do they actually fill six pages with this story? Well, a full-page posed photo and a banner headline take up two pages before Matt Wilkinson describes how he spent an entire day on the phone to members of the band.  While he was speaking to the NME idol, Doherty put the phone down and started to spontaneously work on a new song which, predictably, “sounds fantastic”. You two should really get a room, Matt. I’m not sure how the devoted Libertines fans feel about this, but at least Pete Doherty is honest about the motivation for the reunion and he defends the band’s right to do the Hyde Park gig for the money.

The NME also demonstrates the internal conflict at the magazine by asking two journalists to give opposing views on whether the Hyde Park gig is a good idea; unsurprisingly, both of them love the Libertines. Tom Howard thinks they should do it although it might be pants (or not perfect). Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but if I’m paying to see a gig, my minimum expectation is that the band can actually play the songs, and that’s the bare minimum. But it gets better; Jenny Stevens doesn’t want them to play and tries to convince us of the Libertines’ working-class credentials and solidarity with the workers; Pete Doherty’s dad was a major in the British army and that’s a long way from growing up on a council estate. Pete Doherty chose to be a waster while hundreds of thousands of genuine working class kids worked and studied and made a genuine contribution to society. So don’t try to sell me that spurious social solidarity routine. And can you really imagine Pete Doherty killing a man for his Giro?

If the members of The Libertines insist on repeatedly resurrecting the rotting cadaver of their band and punters are gullible enough to shell out £50 for a shoddy show, then let them get on with it but I can live without the NME giving its blessing to the whole process. There are probably dozens of good bands playing in London on July 5th, go and watch one of them instead.