“He started bashing out all these lovelorn ballads. Like, really uplifting, melodic songs”
Pete Doherty has revealed that he’s planning to sign a prisoner he met at a Glasgow jail to his record label.
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The Libertines frontman met the prisoner while involved in a project that saw him playing to prisoners as part of a life-drawing class. Doherty would play guitar while the prisoners at Barlinnie Prison drew him.
Speaking to Craig Charles on 6 Music, Doherty opened up about the experience saying: “It was nice, actually, to keep my clothes on. Because when they first said, ‘you’re going to do a still life at Barlinnie Prison for the still life class’, obviously the first thing you think of is a nude model.
“So I went there with a bit of trepidation, thinking, ‘well, I’m not going to be able to say no because I’ll just look like I’m bricking it’. But they wanted me fully clothed so that was a huge relief.”
He then opened up to Charles about meeting a prisoner who played him some songs. Doherty was so impressed that he promised to sign him to his label.
He explained: “They’re an amazing bunch of lads from right across the board. Obviously all stuck in Barlinnie for one reason or another. But at one point, one of the lads took me aside and said, ‘Pete, I’ve been playing guitar a bit since I’ve been in…I’ve taught myself how to play and I’ve written a few songs’
“And I said ‘Oh alright…’. So, I said ‘Go on, give us a few songs then’…And he went ‘No, I’m not doing it in front of the screws and that!’ And I said ‘Now, come on!’
“So he took the guitar and I took the pad and the pencil. We swapped places and he started bashing out all these lovelorn ballads. Like, really uplifting, melodic songs…And you should have seen the jaws drop.”
He continued: “Not just from the other prisoners but from all the officers. They couldn’t believe it. They didn’t even know that he could sing or play. He’d just been teaching himself in some back-room in the gym with an old guitar.”
When Charles asked Doherty if he was going to sign him, he replied: “I have to because I promised him I would now and I don’t want to get on his bad side. Do you know what I mean? He’s a tasty geezer.”
Last week (February 4), The Libertines announced a special show in Newcastle this summer for the city’s Rock N Roll Circus festival.
The band will headline the festival on Saturday June 11 as part of the 20th anniversary celebrations of their debut album ‘Up The Bracket’. The album was released on October 14 2002, and is known for tracks like ‘Time For Heroes’, ‘The Boys In The Band’ and its title track.
Rock N Roll Circus, set to take place in the Town Moor, mixes live music with elements of circus like aerialists, contortionists, stilt walkers, acrobats and more. Noel Gallagher’s High-Flying Birds have been confirmed for the opening night on Thursday June 9, and DMA’S will join The Libertines on the Saturday bill.