A shambolic band, or did they deliver?

September 26, 2021

I walked into The Sunflower Lounge, an indie venue full of students in the heart of Birmingham, notorious for its grungy dive bar feel. I found my friends, and after shouting my order over the din to the bartender, I managed to squish in next to my somewhat intoxicated companions. Spirits were high, and everybody was singing Babyshambles ‘Delivery’ that thumped through the speakers. When it had finished, my friend, who had stolen Pete Doherty’s style straight from the mans back, declared them to be the greatest band.

“Say’s someone who is literally dressed like a druggy.” One of my other friends swiped at the trilby on his head and he skillfully moved, pulling down his black skinny tie.

It is true that when people think of Babyshambles, the first thing they talk about is frontman Pete Doherty and his turbulent personal life. He was the perfect trashy tabloid fodder of the noughties, moving from one famous girlfriend to the next and flitting in and out of rehab and prison for his drug use.

However, their songs were underrated, constantly overshadowed by the frontman’s exploits rather than exploding for the talent they were. Their single Delivery came out in 2007, the second track off their second album Shotter’s Nation, and the single was originally released and given away as a demo for NME. Few have speculated that the lyrics were a direct insight into Pete’s lifestyle. The track itself can be argued that it was influenced by The Kinks with its almost dirty chord changes and vintage sound, but its lyrics such as ‘I had a lick, it caved my skull in like a brick’ and ‘Call now, what use am I to anyone…Don’t sing along or you’ll get what I got,’ seemed to be a warning to his fans about his rock and roll antics. Petes cry for help was executed with crazy talent that rode the indie train of ’07, but unfortunately, it still stopped at every platform to accommodate his hedonistic lifestyle. Babyshambles thus went by the wayside, leaving behind a sprinkling of songs like Delivery that didn’t get the recognition they deserved. Coming in straight off the back of Pete’s first band The Libertines, Babyshambles never reached their destination to truly become one of the greatest rock and rollers of our generation. However, I’ll always remember Delivery as a classic that had everybody up and singing in a grungy dive bar right in the heart of Birmingham. 

I’m Bonita Louise, writer, business owner & all-around creative misfit. Growing up in the overlapping decades of 80’s excess and 90’s chic formed my music taste, which can be quite eclectic. You’ll find me trying to be most awesome and bodacious somewhere in the past the majority of the time.

Website:  bonitalouise.co.uk    | IG/TikTok:  @BonitaLouise_    | YouTube:  Bonita Louise

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