Peter Doherty
Hamburg Demonstrations
BMG

Away from the never-ending soap opera surrounding the rabble-rousing Libertines, dandy skag pirate Pete (now with an “r”) Doherty seems to have got his head together to record a second solo album, the follow up to 2009’s Grace/Wastelands. Inspired by The Beatles’ recording sessions in the German city, Hamburg Demonstrations has something of the ramshackle approach heard in everything the British songwriter touches but there’s a noticeable shift in focus. Whimsical tales of hazy romance and debauchery are, of course, his bread and buttah, but Hamburg Demonstrations sounds as though it was recorded before he embarked on a week-long bender – rather than during. Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of literary references and nostalgic nods to Britannia wrapped around the sweet melodies, but on songs such as the Amy Winehouse tribute Flags From the Old Regime and the gorgeously mellow I Don’t Love Anyone (But You’re Not Just Anyone), Doherty is beginning to prove he’s far more than a hipster Chas or Dave.