The feelings never quite go away. I started listening to the Libertines too late to catch them in their prime—it was just before their final show in 2004—but that was still the right time to fully grasp the tragedy and romance of Pete and Carl. The following years were filled with bizarre headlines about Pete giving drugs to cats, that time he was in the same rehab center at the same time as Justin Hawkins and the singer from Keane, and the whole Kate Moss debacle. Meanwhile, Babyshambles, Dirty Pretty Things, and Yeti were all making new music, which I liked or convinced myself I liked to varying degrees. That was all well and good (sort of), but nothing came close to the level of excitement felt whenever it was hinted that Pete and Carl might meet again, that they could repair their relationship again. They just seemed too perfect together to actually stay together, yet the bond between them was undeniably, mythologically strong. There’s been many a troubled songwriting duo, but Pete Doherty and Carl Barât came together and broke apart when I was at the prime age to become invested in them. If I had been able to attend one of their reunion shows last year, I’m sure I would have cried my eyes out, happy to see the good ship Albion sailing once again.
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