Without doubt the biggest surprise of this year’s Reading and Leeds line-up is the return of The Libertines.
We caught up with drummer Gary Powell yesterday to get the lowdown on the return of the Brit indie heroes.
How did the reunion come about?
“It all came about very quickly. The exact details of how it came about, I don’t have much of an idea. But I did get a call asking if I would be up for playing Reading and Leeds about three weeks ago. Previous conversations about getting the band back together and playing festivals happened last summer, but by then I was writing for my new band, Carl was doing stuff for his new play, John had moved to Denmark, Pete was on the road with Babyshambles, so there was just generally no time. We wanted to get back together but there wasn’t the window of opportunity. It’s just that the right opportunity has come about."
Are there any plans other than Reading and Leeds?
“I think we’ll do a warm-up show, Reading and Leeds and maybe a European festival, but I’m not sure. We’ll see how it goes and then there might be more. But, Pete’s just finished the Babyshambles album, so he’s going to want to tour that. It would make no sense for him whatsoever to put that on the backburner and not promote it. It’s the same for Carl with his side project and me with my band."
There had been rumours that you’d agreed to play Reading and Leeds 2011.
“That was me. I got asked a lot about it and I said that if it was going to happen it would be more likely to happen next year because everyone was going to be too busy. That’s how that came about, me talking nonsense!”
Did you always know that the four of you would reform at some point?
“When all’s said and done about The Libertines, we were all only really ever in it for the music, that’s why everyone in the band is still doing something. Whether the four of us would ever get together again, I never knew. Although we never fell out. Everyone still liked each other. We had problems, but we just didn’t want to address those problems. But because we didn’t want to address those problems that didn’t mean we weren’t going to talk to each other. I considered Pete to be a good buddy. I like him, he’s a good guy and he’s never really done me any harm and I enjoy hanging out with him. I’ve never fallen out with Carl, well actually that’s a lie! We fall out a lot but nothing that could ever be remembered a day later. He’s like my brother, so we’re allowed to shout at each other and have two days of not looking at each other. John is just an all-round good guy. It was kind of written in the stars that we would get back together, but how up until now that was going to be achieved, I didn’t know and I still don’t even know how it has been achieved now!“
For more on Reading and Leeds, head here.