I know...I couldn't believe it either, is there no end to this bohemian oaf's talent? A difficult one to defend I won't deny but I maintain my respect for Doherty's determination to live life entirely on his own terms - two fingers to the red tops and dreary suburbanite haters, (styled by Primark, engaged to university sweetheart, holidays in Mallorca) lurking around office water coolers across this green and pleasant land accusing him of leading the kids astray with his blatantly drug-addled buffoonery or worse - obvious lack of talent. Lets face it, the guy is hilarious with his antics and if he was good enough for Cocaine Kate then hes good enough for me. Its called rock'n'roll people!! Nobody gave a shit when Keef spent half the '70s on the nod.
Peter, being a Rimbaud-reading boho now lives in Paris where his brand of louche decadence is perfectly acceptable, positively encouraged in some arrondissements. Everything about Peter from his nonchalant sartorial elegance to his pretty-boy-lost-in-a-dream-world-of-fey-literary-heroes-adrift-in-Arcadia countenance seems to fit like a glove with the je ne sais quoi, that indefinable charm of the City of Light. His reported recent friendship with a certain Madame Sarkozy seems the perfect Parisian fusion of his charisma and her inherent rebellion. Underneath the artifice...they are two sides to the same coin, the post modern Birkin and Gainsbourg.
|LL Cool P....Parisienne mademoiselles know the score...|
Far more striking were the installations in the gallery's basement. Featuring all manner of symbolic, Dohertyesque objects (Babycham anyone?), the subterranean opium eater's cave was draped with threadbare flags, sweat-stained backstage passes, ancient typewriters, vintage guitars and beautiful antique crucifixes. The only things missing were burnt foils, dirty spoons and a crack pipe stained with Amy Winehouse's lipstick. Vinyl punk albums littered the floor and a decrepit Beatles poster from the (sadly) now defunct News Of The World gave the installation a real sense of authenticity, as though you were poking through this genuine music fan's own personal wreckage of the Albion Rooms circa 2001. Which I probably was. I love Doherty's celebration of his Englishness and pride in the ancient motifs of a once great country now consigned to the imagination of poets and dreamers. As a songwriter, Doherty's talent lies in evoking this lyrical imagery of a lost utopia. As a visual artist he offers up the tangible, literal interpretation.