as the best new band in Britain. The double-A-side song "I Get Along" earned Single of the Week on BBC Radio 1. The London-based band, who inked a deal with Rough Trade in December 2001, featured Carl Barât (guitar/vocals),
gained momentum on the U.K. charts.
The group's Coachella Festival appearance later that spring, meanwhile, introduced their kinetic live act to the States. In June 2003, the band's playfully volatile chemistry began to go awry when Doherty
didn't show up for a tour of Europe. The rest of the Libertines
went ahead with the dates while Doherty
formed another group that he initially also called the Libertines
before changing the name to Babyshambles.
The following month, while the remaining Libertines
were on tour in Japan, Doherty
was arrested for breaking into Barât's apartment and stealing items including a harmonica, laptop computer, and antique guitar. In August -- around the same time that the band's single "Don't Look Back into the Sun" became one of their biggest hits -- Doherty
pled guilty, and also confessed to addictions to heroin and crack cocaine; in September he was sentenced to six months in jail. However, his sentence was reduced to two months on appeal, and with time off for good behavior, he was released from jail in early October and the complete Libertines
lineup performed at the Rough Trade 25th anniversary show later that month. In November, Doherty
played two shows in his own apartment that featured a mix of Libertines
and Babyshambles songs. The band closed out 2004 with a string of local dates, and began 2004 by writing and recording new songs in France.
Their first U.K. dates of that year, a three-night residency at London's Brixton Academy, unfolded in a typically chaotic fashion when Doherty
smashed his guitar and left the stage in the middle of the band's final performance. As the band continued to record, Doherty
and Barât also appeared on "For Lovers," a single by their friend Wolfman
; it became a surprise hit and the biggest Libertines
-related release yet. Meanwhile, in April 2004, Babyshambles released their self-titled, limited-edition debut single. Later that month, the band was joined on-stage by Peter Perrett
of the legendary new wave band the Only Ones
, and performed "Don't Look Back into the Sun" and the Only Ones
' classic "Another Girl, Another Planet" with them.
But by May the Libertines
' future looked grim again: Doherty
was in and out of rehab clinics, such as London's Priory, in rapid succession. His ongoing troubles led the Libertines
to cancel their performance at the Love Music Hate Racism concert that June; the event was subsequently canceled altogether. The band's appearances that month at Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight, and Morrissey
's Meltdown festivals were also canceled and Doherty
went to the rehab program at the Thamkrabok Monastery in Thailand; after a few days there, he left for Bangkok. Just after returning to London in mid-June, Doherty
was arrested by London police, who detained him for a traffic offense and found a switchblade in his possession. The rest of the bandmembers carried on with their obligations for July and onward, saying that Doherty
was welcome to rejoin the band once he had his addictions under control.
recruited guitarist/vocalist Anthony Rossomando
for their upcoming gigs, which included a performance at the T in the Park Festival. Doherty
, meanwhile, set up a string of solo shows and dates with Wolfman
, but failed to appear at several of the performances in early August. "Can't Stand Me Now," the debut single from the Libertines
' self-titled second album, entered the U.K. charts at number two; in mid-August, Doherty
appeared in court and pleaded guilty to the charge of possession of an offensive weapon. The Libertines
arrived late that month, and the band -- minus Doherty
-- toured the U.K. and the U.S. that fall in support of it. Doherty
, meanwhile, put his efforts into Babyshambles. Carl Barât formed Dirty Pretty Things, named after a club night he founded, with former Libertines
drummer Gary Powell
, Anthony Rossomando
as second guitarist, and Cooper Temple Clause's bassist Didz Hammond. After releasing two albums, 2006's Waterloo to Anywhere and 2008's Romance at Short Notice, Dirty Pretty Things disbanded.
In 2009 Barât and Powell reunited with Pete Doherty
for a Libertines
reunion at a tribute show for promoter Johnny Sedassy at the London Rhythm Factory, and a year later the full band reunited for gigs at the Leeds and Reading festivals. In 2010, Barât released his self-titled solo debut. Babyshambles returned in 2013 with their Stephen Street-produced third album, Sequel to the Prequel. Meanwhile, Barât formed another band, the Jackals, who released their debut album, Let It Reign, in 2015. Most excitingly for Libertines
fans, the group's sold-out 2014 shows at London's Hyde Park and Alexandra Palace led the band to work on another album that was due in 2015.