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Carl Barat

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Carl Barat

Carl Barât
Background information
Birth name Carl Ashley Raphael Barât
Born (1978-06-06) 6 June 1978 (age 36)
Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
Genres Indie rock, punk rock, garage rock
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1999–present
Associated acts The Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things, The Chavs, Client
Notable instruments
Gibson Melody Maker

Carl Ashley Raphael Barât (born 6 June 1978) is an English musician, actor and author. He was the frontman and lead guitarist of Dirty Pretty Things, and recently debuted a solo album, but is best known for being the co-frontman with Peter Doherty of the garage rock band The Libertines.[1]

Early life

Carl Barât was born in Basingstoke, England on 6 June 1978, and spent most of his childhood in Whitchurch, Hampshire. In a September 2004 interview with Blender Magazine, Barât mentioned having a French, Russian and Polish ethnic background.[2]

As a youth, Barât divided his time between his divorced parents. His father, a former artist, worked in an armaments factory, and his mother, Chrissie, was part of the commune-dwelling counterculture and a member of peace groups such as the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.[3] Barât spent part of his childhood living with his mother on a commune in Somerset. He has one sister, actress-turned-singer Lucie Barât, who played Helen's handmaiden in the 2004 film Troy, founded publishing house and artistic organization Little Episodes, and is currently the lead singer of The Fay Wrays.[4] He also has three half-siblings, one step brother and one step sister.

In 1996, Barât was studying for a drama degree at Brunel University at the Twickenham campus in St. Margarets, Twickenham. Although he dropped out halfway through, during his time he became well-acquainted with Peter Doherty's sister, Amy-Jo and through her, Barât met Doherty.[3] They soon developed an intense friendship based on a shared interest in music and songwriting. Barât and Doherty also developed a shared mythology in which they were on a ship called 'The Albion' sailing to 'Arcadia'. After both dropped out of school, they formed The Libertines. The band in its final incarnation included bassist John Hassall and drummer Gary Powell. Barât and Doherty shared songwriting, vocal and guitar duties.

The Libertines

Main article: The Libertines

The Libertines' first album, Up the Bracket, was released in 2002 to critical acclaim. The band appeared on the cover of NME before the album was released and rapidly rose to fame in the UK. This was due in part, to their volatile stage performances, which were characterised by intense bouts of mic-sharing and play-fighting between Barât and Doherty. This paralleled their relationship, which by 2003 had progressed to verging on dysfunctional and abusive, with Barât and Doherty being equally competitive and possessive with each other.

In 2003, Doherty's addiction to heroin and crack cocaine led Barât to ask him not to participate in the band's next tour. When Doherty discovered that The Libertines had left without him to perform in Japan he broke into Barât's Mayfair flat and stole various items, including an antique guitar and an NME Award. He was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison (this sentence was later shortened to two months). Barât warmly welcomed Doherty back to The Libertines on the day of his release, and they later performed an impromptu "Freedom Gig" at the Tap 'n' Tin club in Chatham, Kent on 8 October 2003. A photograph of the gig, taken by Roger Sargent, adorns The Libertines' self-titled second album, The Libertines, and the cover of Sargent's and Anthony Thornton's book, The Libertines Bound Together.

Doherty's drug addiction continued while the band worked on their second album (the aforementioned The Libertines) in 2004, which strained his relationship with Barât. Bodyguards were needed in the recording sessions, allegedly to prevent Barât and Doherty from physically assaulting each other (though this is claimed to be an exaggeration of the press in Bound Together) and to keep Doherty's hangers-on away from him. Before the release of the album in 2004, relations between Barât and Doherty reached a breaking point and Doherty was once again prevented from performing with the band before addressing his addictions. Doherty did not take the ultimatum well, especially as The Libertines continued touring without him to fulfill contractual obligations. Doherty admitted in a September 2005 interview that he had not spoken to any of his former bandmates since then.

What was intended as a short leave of absence turned into something more permanent, as Doherty formed a new band, Babyshambles, and the Libertines officially disbanded after their final gig in December 2004.

Post-Libertines

In 2005, Barât underwent surgery to remove a tumour behind his ear and spent several weeks recovering from the operation. The tumour and resulting surgery left the singer partially deaf.

In February 2005, the Libertines won the NME Best British Band award and Barât paid tribute to Doherty in his acceptance speech. Days later, it was officially announced that Barât had signed to Vertigo Records as a solo artist.

Barât's first work as a solo artist was providing vocals for the European duo Client on their single, "Pornography". Barât set up the London club Dirty Pretty Things in June 2004, where he regularly serves as a DJ. In July 2005, he released an album contributing to the Under the Influence series, where musicians select tracks that have influenced them as artists.

Barât was seen with Doherty on 18 April 2005, where the two publicly reunited at the Boogaloo Bar in Highgate, North London.

On 17 April 2006, Barât said about Doherty's drug addiction, "It's just sad and I wish he would sort it out. I would really like to work with him again some day. I don't deny that but I've not seen him really."[5]

On 7 July 2006 episode of Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, Doherty said that he did not have a relationship with Barât anymore, shooting down rumours that the pair speak regularly. However, Doherty stated that he would like to work with Barât again.

On 18 July 2006, Barât and Doherty met in the Dublin Castle pub in Camden, London..

On 12 April 2007, Pete Doherty and Carl Barât played 13 songs together at the second of Doherty's "An Evening with Pete Doherty" gigs at the Hackney Empire, London. At the end of the concert, Barât and Doherty swapped trilby hats, a symbolic reference to the Libertines song "The Good Old Days".[6]

In August 2007, Barât and Doherty recorded a version of The Beatles' "A Day in the Life" for a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. They also both contributed to a cover of "Janie Jones" for Strummerville, but never met during the recording process.

In May 2008, Barât said that he would reunite with Doherty only to make a new album, but also said that he wanted to "let it be for a while" as he was busy with his new band. Despite referring to his relationship with Doherty as "a friendship I cherish" and stating that a reunion would not be difficult, they currently do not have any firm plans to record together again.[7][8]

Barât has said that he wants to work with Doherty again and they have 'supposedly' begun writing a musical together due to be released in early 2009.[9] However, he has recently rubbished rumours that the pair are recording new material, stating that he has not seen Doherty "for donkeys" and the musical "is off".[10]

In a July 2008 interview, Barât said that The Libertines had "unfinished business" and that he missed performing with Doherty, which he was particularly reminded of at their Hackney Empire gig. At the question of a Libertines reformation, he stated that it is "a big maybe".[11]

On 17 September 2008, Barât surprised Doherty by joining him on stage near the end of Doherty's solo set at the Prince of Wales pub in Camden. The pair showed signs of their trademark chemistry while performing several Libertines songs and a cover of Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger". Barât also stated that he had a new tattoo of the words 'let's put our futures behind us', which could indicate a possible forgiveness and reunion with Doherty.[12][13]

In a statement announcing Dirty Pretty Things' split, Barât stated that his new musical project would not involve The Libertines.[14]

In February 2009, Pete Doherty claimed that he and Barât had been offered millions to reform and headline the Reading and Leeds Festival, but although he had been keen, Barât had turned the offer down.[15] Barât has been quoted as saying "I’ve just freed myself up so the last thing I wanna do is completely burden my mind [with a reunion]. No, not right now...I'd rather do a film really, or I might do a play one day, learn the craft." As well as expressing his interest in more acting, he also stated that there is a possibility of releasing a solo album.[16]

At the Shockwave NME Awards on 25 February 2009, Barât stated that the pair were still the Libertines, while Doherty admitted that he had tried to "twist [Barât's] arm" about a reformation, before saying "2010" for a possible date. Barât also hinted at releasing a solo album in 2010[17][18] and confirmed that he had started work on the record in a statement on 2 September 2009.[19]

On 16 May 2009, Pete, Carl and Gary of the Libertines played on stage together for the first time since the split in 2004. The Libertines (minus Denmark-residing bassist John Hassal) came together for a tribute gig for their late promoter, Johnny Sedassy. The six song set, which included "What a Waster", "Up the Bracket" and "Death on the Stairs", was played after Babyshambles appeared on stage. Barât explained that the show was a 'one off', although he admitted that the likelihood of more shows could not be ruled out. Barât also expressed his desire to get on stage with Pete again, although perhaps not until 2010. Drummer Gary Powell also confirmed that he'd be interested in a full reunion, although he wishes to "readdress old ghosts first".[20]

On 16 January 2010, when being asked on a Libertines reunion Barat told the Evening Standard that "It's not definite. I can say 2011, but it's hard to plan The Libertines until next Tuesday. But 2011 is where there's room for that to happen. So if everything's all right, then, yeah, it would be glorious to get on the old jacket and venture forth, into the known."

The Libertines delighted their fans by announcing that year that they would be headline artists at the 2010 Reading and Leeds Festivals. Their set and the characteristic chemistry between the pair, was for many people one of the highlights of the weekend.[21]

Dirty Pretty Things

On 15 September 2005, it was announced that Barât was forming a new band.[22] His bandmates included former Libertines drummer Gary Powell; Anthony Rossomando, who filled in as guitarist following Pete Doherty's departure from the group; and Didz Hammond, formerly of The Cooper Temple Clause, on bass. It was later announced that the band's name was "Dirty Pretty Things".

The group played their first shows in Italy and Paris, France in October 2005, before recording their debut album in November 2005 in Los Angeles, California. This was produced by Dave Sardy, who has also worked with Supergrass, The Dandy Warhols, Jet, Marilyn Manson, Rolling Stones, and Oasis. The album – entitled Waterloo to Anywhere – was released on 8 May 2006 in the UK and 8 August 2006 in the US.[23]

Their first studio recorded demo, "Bang Bang You're Dead", was released on their website in the form of a flash video. Its sound has been likened to that of the early Libertines', mixing punk and reggae influences. This song was released as their debut single on 24 April 2006 and reached number 5 in the UK single chart. This coincided with the latter part of their first tour of the United Kingdom, which spanned from 26 February to 24 May 2006. Their debut album, Waterloo to Anywhere, was released on 8 May 2006, and reached number 3 in the UK album chart. They have since released "Deadwood" and "Wondering".

The band were forced to postpone their Real Fits fundraiser gig, which had been set to take place at the London Hackney Round Chapel on 20 June 2008 as Barât was rushed to hospital on 17 June with acute pancreatitis.[24] He was released from hospital on 22 June.[25]

The band released their new single, "Tired of England", on 23 June 2008, and their album, Romance at Short Notice, a week later on 30 June.

Their album failed to chart highly despite heavy touring schedules. Powell wrote in the band's message board that it had been a difficult year. On 1 October 2008, Dirty Pretty Things split up, though they finished their final tour which began in Glasgow on 4 October and ended in London on 20 December.[26][27]

Solo work

In 2005, Barât and his friend, Adam Green of The Moldy Peaches appeared in a documentary following the pair on a night out in London.[28] He also modelled for clothing brand J. Lindeberg, along with Juliette Lewis.[29]

On 7 July 2006, Carl announced that he would become the fifth mentor in the Road to V competition,[30] which involved a UK search for the best unsigned music talent in the UK with the winner opening V Festival in either Chelmsford or Staffordshire.

In 2008, he featured as actor in the film Telstar in the role of Rock'n'Roll singer Gene Vincent. The film premiered at the London Film Festival on 25 October 2008 and was released on 19 June 2009.[31] He also featured in an advertisement for BBC Two's The Culture Show, being asked about British culture.[32] A longer version of his interview can be found on the Culture Show website.[33]

Tim Burgess has stated that he and Barât's supergroup The Chavs plan to record their debut album in August 2008.[34]

In September 2008, Barât stated that he was set to play Gene Vincent in a new British film, Telstar.[35]

Barât toured as a solo artist with Glasvegas, performing with them at Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations on 31 December 2008,[36] and at the Popscene in San Francisco on 8 January 2009.[37] On 14 January 2009, Barât supported Glasvegas with a solo show during their gig at the Los Angeles Troubadour .[38]

Carl Barât played his first headline solo shows on 6 and 7 March 2009 at the Wakefield Escobar.[39] He also played at the KU Bar in Stockton-on-Tees on 8 March. Barât also featured as himself in a pilot episode for Svengali, alongside former manager Alan McGee and Welsh actor Jonathan Owen, in May 2009.[40]

On 9 June 2009, Barât debuted two new songs, "So Long" and "Monday Morning" at a solo show at Dunfermline's Carnegie Hall.[41] On 25 August, a short video entitled "Two British Dudes" featuring Barât and fellow musician Har Mar Superstar was released on crappyholidays.net.[42] On 2 September, Barât confirmed his intentions to release a solo album.[19] Barât also produced the debut EP "Scapegoat" of London-based singer-songwriter Kieran Leonard which was released in October.[43]

In January 2010, Barat appeared in the stage play Fool For Love alongside actress Sadie Frost. The play ran until March 2010 at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, London.[44]

Barât also narrated a new artist documentary, Mark Donne's "The Rime of the Modern Mariner". The film had its world premiere at St Anne's Church in Limehouse, East London, during the ninth East End Film Festival. Barât's former Dirty Pretty Things bandmate Anthony Rossomando composed the score for the film.[45]

He released his self-titled, first solo album on 4 October 2010. In an interview with C.B.Liddell of Metropolis magazine he described the album as "the first album I've done that is kind of introspective rather than escapist."[46] In the same interview, he also talked about "stepping away from big loud guitars" as the album is stylistically more diverse and less rock-oriented than previous work.

The release of Barât's first solo album also coincided with the release of Threepenny Memoir: The Lives of a Libertine, an autobiography documenting his years in The Libertines and Dirty Pretty Things.

In January 2013 Barât announced that guitarist Johnny Marr (formerly of The Smiths) and drummer Andy Burrows (formerly of Razorlight) would feature on his second solo album, due for release in 2013.[47] Barât revealed demo versions of tracks 'War of the Roses' and 'Victory Gin' from his second solo effort online.[48][49]

He is part of the supergroup The Bottletop Band with Matt Helders (Arctic Monkeys), Andy Nicholson (Arctic Monkeys), Drew McConnell (Babyshambles) and Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals). The band's single, "The Fall of Rome", was released in December 2010.[50]

Personal life

Between 2003 and 2008, Barât had a relationship with DJ, TV presenter and actress Annalisa Astarita. His current girlfriend, Edie Langley gave birth to the couple's first child, a boy named Eli on 9 December 2010.[51] In 2012, Barât was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Winchester for his contribution to the arts.[52]

Equipment

Guitars

Amps

Pedals

Discography

Solo discography

References

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
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