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What did actual teenagers make of The Libertines at Hyde Park?

We asked some brats who were still pissing the bed when 'Up The Bracket' came out.

by Lisa Wright
07 July 2014, 1:53pm

The last time an indie Year Zero came along, it was 2001. Some bunch of guys called The Strokes reinstated New York as the epicentre of cool, made it compulsory for jeans to be tight enough to see the outline of your scrotum, enforced a "leather jacket or death" rule and made some of the most exciting music in years.

Across the pond, a bunch of ragtag oiks looked up from their Bethnal Green squalor, decided they wanted in and ditched the poetic whimsy they'd been previously touting in favour of sex, danger and poetic rock'n'roll. It was called Plan A and it threw The Libertines head-first into a whirlwind three years that provoked some of the most fervent fan dedication, idealised mythology and general wide-eyed devotion of any band this century.

A decade on from when the Arcadian dream all went spectacularly smack-addled arse over tit and with one reunion under their belts already, this weekend saw the good ship Albion set sail straight into a Barclaycard-sponsored port where pints cost over a fiver and you needed a gold card or a tenuous connection to Alan Wass to get you into the massive "golden circle" which took up about half of the whole arena. For a band reliant on dreams and idealism, it was a weird choice. But when it came down to it, the sight of Pete and Carl, eyeball to eyeball reciting alternate lines of Siegfried Sasson's 'Suicide In The Trenches' just like they did back at the NME awards in 2004, or bringing out old demo "Love On The Dole" with matching Union Jack-coloured stripes wrapped round their knees, was enough to ignite the old love all over again.

But that's probably because I'm nearly 26 and the formative years of my life were largely spent MSN messenger-ing demos downloaded from to the only other person I knew who cared and cursing the gods for making me not live within reachable distance of the Albion rooms.

There were a decent whack of other people, however, that were still wetting the bed when The Libertines were at their myth-making peak.

I went and spoke to a few of them after the gig to see why they cared, what they thought, and if anyone gave a flying fuck about the jokes support bill of The Twang, The Enemy, Reverend and the Makers and all the #ladsofthelate2000s.

Ewan, 15

"My parents play The Libertines a lot in the house and they're big fans so my mum brought me along. Most of my friends haven't really heard of them but the few that have like them. I thought the Pogues were pretty good, but I didn't know any of the rest of the bands on the bill. I think I've maybe heard of a couple of them, but I didn't bother watching them or anything."

Sarah, 16

"We got here early at about 2 and we just stayed and watched everything on the main stage. I hadn't really heard of any of them except The Enemy, I wasn't bothered. The Libertines were really good though, you hear them mentioned all the time when other bands talk about them so it was cool to see them. I know quite a few of their songs, but I don't know loads about them from before I guess. They're just good songs."

James, 16

"It's the first time I've seen them, but they're one of those bands that when you get into that kind of music they just come with the whole package. I came in pretty late and I wanted The Pogues to play the Christmas song but they didn't. I think The Enemy a good band, they were good for this space."

Finn, 17

"I got their music off of friends, they're still a popular band even though they haven't done any shows for a while. If they got back together properly, people would still go and see them. They define a style, they're one of the original indie rock bands."

Jack, 18

"I don't think it matters too much that Pete's a mess, he's not in great shape but he makes good music and that's what matters. I don't hold it against him, but his music's good to dance to. I don't know if I want them to bring out a third album though, it might ruin it. All the other bands have finished by the time we got here, but I do quite like The Enemy."

Follow Lisa on Twitter: @LisaAnneWright

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