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Albums Of The Week: The Libertines | All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:The Libertines’ fourth studio album All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade is their first new album in nine years. On this long-awaited comeback, the quartet of unlikely lads have gathered from newfound homes in France, Denmark, Margate and London to solder a strongest-ever internal bond and scale new creative heights — resulting in the best music of their extraordinary career so far.

The story of the making of All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade goes like this — in September 20222, Libs glimmer twins Pete Doherty and Carl Barât decamped to Jamaica. Away from any distraction the chemistry between the infamous songwriting partnership began to bubble in earnest. Fast-forward to February 2023, when Peter and Carl regrouped with rock solid knaves to the rhythm — bassist John Hassall and drummer Gary Powell, at The Albion Rooms. Says Doherty: “We really came together as a band. It was a moment of rare peace and unity, with all the members contributing.”

Featuring 11 sparkling new songs with songwriting credits shared among the four bandmembers, the album was produced by Grammy-nominated producer Dimitri Tikovoï (Horrors, Charli XCX) and recorded at The Albion Rooms in Margate. It was cut in just four weeks during February and March 2023, and finished over seven days at La Ferme de Gestein Studios in Normandy, with additional production and mixing by Dan Grech-Marguerat (Lana Del Rey, Liam Gallagher, Paul McCartney).

Opening All Quiet On The Eastern Esplanade is the first single Run, Run, Run, a huge singalong punk rock anthem. Carl says, “It’s about being trapped, and trying to escape your dismal life, a bit like the man in (Charles) Bukowski’s Post Office. The worst thing for The Libertines would be to get stuck in a ‘Run-run-run’ rut, constantly trying to relive our past.”

For Carl, the whole Libertines journey has been leading to this moment. “Our first record was born out of panic, and disbelief that we were actually allowed to be in a studio; the second was born of total strife and misery; the third was born of complexity; this one feels like we were all actually in the same place, at the same speed, and we really connected.”

Peter proclaims: “We’re over the moon, and the ball is in the back of the net… and I’m chuffed for the lads!” He adds, more seriously, “I feel like we’ve completed a cycle of some kind as a band, and finally now we can add these songs to the set list, because we’ve got some bangers in there. Now we’ve opened the hotel and used the studio ourselves and it’s all worked out — more Libertines records? I should hope so!”

Titled as a nod to their hotel’s street address and their enduring love of Erich Maria Remarque’s landmark anti-war novel, the album is an unequivocal triumph.”