There was much anticipation for Carl Barât to emerge on the small stage of The Kasbah in Coventry with his band of bandmates, The Jackals. One Libertines fan approached me, ‘Is he really going to play here?,” asking in disbelief, as if it standing within spitting distance of a Barât performance was just too good to be true.
Yes, this was a far cry from the Hyde Park show at the British Summer Time festival, where the masses pushed their way towards the stage, crushing many of us and sending a few to hospital. We both agreed that this intimate setting was much, much preferred.
With guitar guns a blazing, The Jackals broke out their new material, “Victory Gin” and “A Storm is Coming” off of the debut album, Let It Reign, due out 16 February, 2015 (Cooking Vinyl Records). Although the crowd was not yet familiar with these songs, they drank them in like the beloved Barât nectar they’d grown to love over the years. And he fed their craving, pouring out Dirty Pretty Things’ “Gin & Milk” and “Bang, Bang, You’re Dead” as everyone sang along.
There was more sing-along to come, with the Libertines ditty “Death On The Stairs,” and a dance-along to Barât’s “Run With The Boys” (recommend viewing the video if you haven’t seen it) and more DPT “Deadwood.”
That fervor continued when The Jackals peeled out the only released song to date from Let It Reign, “Glory Days” with marching candor, as hands flew through the air and smiles were as bright as the stage lights.
Moments of acoustic interludes came through from Barât via the Pete Dougherty ballad, “Ballad Of Grimaldi,” but for the most part it was as expected, an all-out music party, fast and furious and fanatical, with the kids in the crowd exerting as much energy as the four musicians on stage, including Jay Bone who played with a level of craft beyond his years.
The new songs from Carl Barât and The Jackals embody the signature style of brash with rock and roll eloquence, but with their own spin, story-telling with tales of every day life, every day people, the high and lows and everything in between. It won’t be long before everyone will be singing along to “Let It Reign” as they did to the encore number “I Get Along.”
Tonight they play Sound Control in Manchester, the last of two U.K. dates, which includes the sold-out London show at the 100 Club. I hear beer is good for your hair, so if you see people walking London on Sunday with bouncy locks yet a bit worse for wear, they just may have been Jackal'd.