English rock band The Libertines have used the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic to get creative – by launching their own online puppet show. Skint and Minted features the band’s lead vocalists Pete Doherty and Carl Barat telling the story of how the group originally formed in the late ’90s, signing their first record deal with the Rough Trade label around that time. The introductory five-minute release, now available on the band’s official YouTube channel, comes complete with typical sitcom canned laughter tracks and informative voiceover from all four band members.
Beginning with drummer Gary Powell’s assertion that he was “the main one from The Libertines,” the video’s musical history continues with an announcement from Powell that, following Barat’s departure from the puppet show (i.e. the band itself), “quitting is some of us Libertines’ favourite hobbies.” He does go on to add, rather cheerfully, however, that “our second favourite hobby is reforming.”
A 30-second promo of the new episode has also been made available on the band’s official Twitter account, @libertines, a tweet that has generated 270 likes and over 50 retweets and likes in the two-and-a-half hours since going live today (June 29th) at 17:39 BST. Fresh content like this is sure to be welcomed among fans, who have already been treated to a digital drip-feed of archival footage from the band’s long and decorated career.
Using lockdown as the prime time to unlock the musical vaults, The Libertines have recently unearthed a recording of a London performance dating from 1999, three years before the release of their debut album Up the Bracket.
Featuring the band in some interesting outfits, and sporting rather more questionable haircuts, the early gig sees the band making the first footsteps of their musical career by playing a version of their single “Music When the Lights Go Out.” This would of course appear on their 2004 album The Libertines, but it makes for all the more fascinating to see it here live before The Libertines really, truly were The Libertines.