English indie rock trio Babyshambles have an almost mythological emanation about them. That is partly because the band’s rise into consciousness came at a seminal time in popular music when guitars suddenly became cool again (a movement led by the Strokes and other signees of English imprint Rough Trade Records), and partly because of the band’s charismatic supermodel-charmer of a front man, Peter Doherty – who eventually became more recognisable as a fixture on the Daily Mail front page for his public heroin and crack escapades than for the music.
For the first time ever, Babyshambles will be performing live in Australia as part of the 2013 Splendour In The Grass lineup, and a crop of headline shows across the capital cities. In fact, Australia is getting a rare treat, as bassist Drew McConnell explained to Pedestrian when we got him on the phone this week.
“We’re really excited because we’ve never really played outside Europe before, so we’re jolly excited,” Drew told us.
When Pedestrian asked whether the high profile police incidents that Pete had previously been involved with impacted the band’s ability to tour internationally, Drew gave a flat “yes” and we quickly moved on to another, more welcome topic: the first Babyshambles album since 2007’s Shotter’s Nation.
At the time of the phone call, the band was in the process of mixing the new record in London, which McConnell said was due for release “in early September” of this year and “man, I am so excited about this record”.
He compared the new album to the band’s earlier material as thus:
“I guess the first one sounded like a band falling down the stairs. The first record was like a teenager being yelled at by his mother to get out of his bed and tries to come down for breakfast, and falls down the stairs on the way there because he’s still half asleep. That’s what the first record was.
“The second record was, you know, we’re having our breakfast and we’re kind of composing ourselves. We’re having a cup of coffee. The third record is: we’re walking outside, we’re taking it all in and we’re on our way to work.”
The analogy makes it pretty clear: Babyshambles has grown up. It’s an evolution we’re looking forward to finally seeing in the flesh.
Babyshambles Australian tour dates:
Thurs 25 July – Palace Theatre – Melbourne
Fri 26 July – Splendour In The Grass – Byron Bay – SOLD OUT
Sun 28 July – Enmore – Sydney
Mon 29 July – HQ – Adelaide
Wed 31 July – Metro City – Perth