Tonight’s gig is a homecoming gig for Swansea’s own Jack Jones. Looking happy to be on his own turf, adorned in trademark green Fila tracksuit jacket, later joined by a Swansea football shirt torpedoed onto the stage by an enthusiastic audience member, the Trampolene frontman treats us to a choice group of songs and verse from the band’s career so far.
The set is opened with a recitation of poem Ketamine from local Trampolene follower and poet Steff Scar, and an introduction from the head of Trampolene’s new record label Strap Originals, Peter Doherty himself. We’re then treated to a clutch of songs that range from a touching rendition of The Gangway, which Jack announces is about a street just up the road from the venue, Lighter Than Paper, a song, he tells, inspired by Esther Rantzen’s love and grief for her late husband, the fierce crowd participation of Ketamine, Alcohol Kiss, and Poundland, before which Jones exclaims how perfect it is that through COVID and the closure of Topshop and BHS, his favourite Great British discount store Poundland has remained stoic and strong.
All performed like a hero with a broken foot in a plaster cast.
Peter Doherty’s set also feels celebratory. A set list free, off the cuff trip through his entire career, the evening takes in songs from The Libertines, Babyshambles, solo work and Puta Madres. Without backing musicians for most of the show, Doherty stands by himself, centre stage with his guitar, appearing relaxed in a suit, flat cap, lace-less brown shoes and a Who’s Been Having You Over? t-shirt, confident in the catalogue of tunes he has spent twenty years building.
Opening with Libertines singalong favourite What Katy Did, part of the evening focusses on lesser outed songs like For Lovers, this blog’s namesake Arcady, Oscar Wilde inspired Salome and Brighton Rock alluding I Love You (But You’re Green), as factions of hardcore fans sing along to every single word. Unbilotitled and Back From The Dead feel particularly stark and poignant whilst Hell To Pay At The Gates Of Heaven sees Doherty belting out the lyrics at full volume, almost begging those “religious fanatics with a military mind” not to go down that route, later offering The Ha Ha Wall as a more positive life option. Time For Heroes, Can’t Stand Me Now and Delivery feel triumphant, with the crowd singing so loud, at times threatening to overwhelm the singer’s own voice. We’re treated to an anonymous new song, an early version of which received an outing on last year’s Libertines lockdown live stream.
During the final segment of the set, Peter is joined by girlfriend Katia deVidas on keyboard for You’re My Waterloo, at times the frontman glances back to his partner with what can only be taken as a look of pride, contentment and love.
The pair welcome their roadie onto the stage to stand in for Carl Barat during the song’s guitar solo. DeVidas remains on keyboards and at takes the lead on harmonica for Babyshambles highlight Albion.
The set closes with a semi Puta Madres reunion as Jack Jones joins Katia and Peter for a joyfully tear-inducing version of the song he penned for the band, Paradise Is Under Your Nose and lastly Somewhere Else To Be – the Ride Into The Sun/Don’t Look Back In Anger medley, with lyrics tinkered for Swansea to become “Ride into the Mumbles sun”. As Peter belts out the Velvet Underground words “I’m looking for another chance, of someone else to be”, in this current post-lockdown mood of hope, positivity, happiness and jubilation it seems like he may now finally be given that chance.