Don’t know what it is about this song but when I listen to it I automatically think of these lines:-

It was bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.

I know that this is not the kind of vision of England that Doherty was trying to portray but it is that sort of sepia tinged world that comes to my mind. I’m not slagging off the song I love it and especially this demo version from one of the many bootlegs that were kicking about during the heyday of the Libertines.

It is very easy to forget what a talented lyricist and musician Doherty is.

Pete Doherty – Albion

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4 Responses to Albion

  1. Trevor Jones says:

    I know what you mean about the gloomy 1984 reference.
    When he emerged all solo and shiny I thought that we might have a new Ray Davis; someone to document and detail ever changing 'Englishness'; someone to help translate the 'signs of our times'. Shame that he himself has become nothing but a signifier of waste, excess and self obsession; I know that's 'rock and roll' but tragic to see (and hear) an articulate talent's decline to thick tongued twat. He's probably in room 101 as we speak, waiting for them to change the barrel, shoulder to shoulder with Shane McGowan and dreaming about all of the great songs he could (should) have written…

  2. Trevor Jones says:

    Sorry, that sounds harsh; and I know that the booze and drugs were all part and parcel, it's just sad to think what he could have done; a talent (literally) wasted…

  3. davyh says:

    'Gin in tea cups' – what a phrase. I love this too, but I haven't heard anything else by him solo that's anywhere near as good.

  4. drew says:

    Trevor – not too harsh just the truth really.

    Davy – I find the idea of gin in tea cups a bit, home counties. We don't go in for tea cups up here just mugs.

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