Friday, 23 January 2009

Pete On Sunday

For the first, and most likely last, time I was in the MTV offices in Camden the other day for an exclusive screening of their up and coming documentary on Peter Doherty (which is being being screened this Sunday, which is the... 25 January I believe), and i have t admit to being surprised.

It was quite a long time before i got around to enjoying the music created by The Libertines, though these days i will certainly admit they had some great tunes. Though i felt they were by no means a life changing band, but each to their own i suppose.
Babyshambles, conversely, i immediately gave a chance having just come to the conclusion that maybe The Libertines weren't so bad after all. No luck, they have never done anything for me. At all.

When this is combined with all the negative press (i know one shouldn't really judge, but when someone has so much negative press it is hard to form a positive image of them within one's mind, and this stems from the biography of the band (his first band) written by a close friend of the guys) i just found Peter to be a fairly ridiculous, and possibly slightly pathetic figure, though also as a sad gentleman who has been betrayed many times and has a small, to the point of negligible, group of friends he can or could trust.

With this in mind, then, i found this documentary in which MTV filmed him in a twenty-four hour period leading up to a small catwalk show he was enlisted to partake in in a little Camden pub, a rather heartwarming experience. It is certainly an interesting insight into Peter and his life, when one doesn't take everything at face value and remembers that he is not quite the innocent child he frequently resembles across the course of the hour long show.

He immediately welcomes the MTV crew into his house, offering them tea, before beginning to show them around his countryside house. We are quickly regaled with stories of the house being haunted and of strange men living in his car, stories of which you can neve rquite be sure of the full extent of the truth, as there is always that change they have sprung form the imagination of the man in front of you. Though whether that would be the result of wanting to tease the crew or for or, potentially more sinister reason i shall leave for you to decide.

Peter comes across as a kind and gentle host as he tours us around the house, from his bedroom (now the cats') to spare rooms set aside for his kid and others. The house is in total chaos, of course, with one room, seemingly, being unsuitable for filming, of which we only see a slightly charred and limbless mannequin in the door way (i have since found from a neighbour that this has spent a certain amount of time hanging from the window of said room. Interesting... or weird?

We see hi prepare a little greeting for his friends coming to pick stuff up for the catwalk show and cut to the next day.
Six house to go, Pete is contactable to the people running the show (the catwalk show), as he skips, minces and cartwheels his way around the countryside surrounding his home and is seemingly destined to miss the show. I shall go no further than to say the documentary reaches an emotional, humorous and, occasionally, frankly bizarre climax.

Whether one hates, love or bears a benign indifference to this usually polarising character, this is an intriguing documentary into the life of a much maligned musician who is of great interest, on way or anther, to much of the world's music loving and journalistic communities. That aside, it is simply a rather wonderful piece of television, and one of which i could have watched hours more of.

Screening this Sunday, i suggest you watch.




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