Carl Barât The Chav

Carl Barât has formed a ‘supergroup’ with members of The Charlatans, Razorlight and Primal Scream.

Carl Barât recently signalled he was planning to split The Libertines at the end of the year, telling that he was taking the band off the road for the “foreseeable future“.

Barât has to have an operation and with Pete Doherty now seemingly out of the band for good, and Babyshambles going from strenght to strenght, Carl Barât is looking for future.

For his first venture outside of the Libs, he roped in some old friends to form The Chavs for a festive night of music.

Featuring Charlatans singer Tim Burgess, Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows and Primal Scream keyboardist Martin Duffy. The band played a combination of Burgess-penned Charlatans hits and solo material, Libertines songs, and a cover of the christmas classic ‘Fairytale Of New York‘ which ended with Carl and Tim collapsed in a heap, hugging each other.

Carl and Tim shared the vocals, with Barât even trying his hand at drumming on a ramshackle version of The Charlatans’ ‘A Man Need To Be Told‘.

Speaking about how the band come together, Carl told: “Tim looked after me in LA. Tim phones me up and said ‘Is it alright if Duffy plays?’ I remember that (drummer) Andy (Burrows) was a big Charlies fan and I said, ‘Could he join?’ And there was a glint in his welling eye. He’s the loveliest fella.”

Rehearsals for the gig were chaotic, taking place in a cafe. Carl continued: “Until today I never knew any of the songs… ‘North Country Boy‘, I probably played more like a ‘North Cunt Boy’. We couldn’t get a rehearsal space so we had to do it in a cafe for 15 minutes.”

The show took place at the Tap’n’Tin in Chatham, Kent, the venue made legendary for the gig The Libertines played on the night Pete got out of prison for burgling Carl’s flat. Carl said that the show had inspired the name of the band.

He revealed: “Duffy wanted to call the band The Chilblains. Tim preferred The Overcoats in a rambling northern fashion (laughs). But in my despair, heavy of heart and belly I recalled the history and Dickensian forces of Arcadia and recalled Chatham had a scar on my chin, courtesy of the ‘Freedom Gig‘.

I remembered that ‘chav‘ is that word whose birth and roots are in this very place (Chatham) 90 years ago where we are standing. So tonight we were The Chavs. We proceeded to trudge and bounce through a glorious set. But essentially it was a good old Christmas knees-up.”

© NME 18 December 2004

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