Just as you already know exactly what Noel Gallagher’s new album will sound like, regardless of year or what member of The Coral it will feature, you’ve probably got a very accurate idea of ‘Hamburg Demonstrations’ – another Peter Doherty rag-tag record of Knees Up Mother Brown, head-in-the-clouds vocals made up of round vowels, audibly sung with tragically innocent, massive eyes, and references to Brighton Rock (literally on ‘Kolly Kibber’) and other tomes of a dusty Britain.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing, as Peter’s less-than-prolific output (he sat out of writing the songs on the last Babyshambles record) means that his voice alone has become wholly nostalgic for a certain generation.
The other side of that double-edged sword has led to one track being included twice (‘I Don’t Love Anyone (But You’re Not Anyone)’ – decent, but not two times decent), as well as a reworking of an Amy Winehouse collaboration, ‘Flags From The Old Regime’.
After six months in a Hamburg recording studio you’d have thought that 11 original songs wouldn’t have been an unreasonable ask, while it’s impossible to tell if ‘Hell to Pay at the Gates of Heaven’ – written after the 2015 Paris attacks – is incredibly insensitive in tone, or the very sardonic bomb that could bring down ISIS by its second jaunty chorus.
Still with glimmers of melodic genius and daft romance, I still believe in Peter Doherty, I just wish he would a little bit more, too.
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