Having sidled back from the brink of oblivion, Peter Doherty has finally got a handle on a semblance of normalcy. One reunion later, the indie prince of Albion has compiled his first solo album since 2009.
While ‘Hamburg Demonstrations’ doesn’t have Doherty retiring his military guards jacket, there’s definitely a greater helping of wholesome maturity to be found in this patchworked and homey collection of ballads both old and new.
Peter finds a sentimental way to articulate his experiences and character dealing with romances on two-parter ‘I Don’t Love Anyone’ as well as addressing the Bataclan attack with a defiant jaunt on ‘Hell To Pay At The Gates Of Heaven’.
On closing track ‘She Is Far’, a song penned originally by teenage Doherty, whispers of the past run perpendicular to a production and performance that exudes experience and candour. It’s a marriage of the past and present coagulating with dignity to create timeless songwriting.
The same can be said of ‘Flags Of The Old Regime’, where Peter’s vocals creak with familiarity like the floorboards of your childhood home.
Many years ago Doherty sang: “If you’ve lost your faith in love and music, the end won’t be long.” ‘Hamburg Demonstrations’ embodies this hopeful ideal above all.
Words: Will Butler
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