Beg, Steal or Borrow - The Official Babyshambles Story

Beg, Steal Or Borrow - The Official Babyshambles Story


Babyshambles. Raw, personal and approachable. Unpredictable and intense. Creating blazing anthems, they – like their legions of fans – are as comfortable in a skanky old back room of a pub as they are on the big stage.

The band and, most dramatically, frontman Peter Doherty, are now embedded in the public consciousness as a consequence of the tabloid feeding frenzy that follows Peter wherever he goes. In their early days, however, the band made only tentative steps towards widespread public recognition. Predominantly embraced by fans of ex-Libertine, Peter – whose staggered, messy exit from the band he formed with Carl Barât was played out under the scrutiny of the public eye – the birth of Babyshambles was overshadowed by the Libertines’ split and the widely reported attempts by Peter to overcome his crack and heroin addiction.

Despite the gross, tabloid-generated caricature of Peter, the band’s reputation as credible artists gathers pace, their music reaching a wider and more appreciative audience not solely on the back of the circus their frontman has inadvertently created.

A couple of albums in, Babyshambles have grown to become one of the music industry's most unpolished pearls. Surviving the kind of knocks that might have seen lesser bands call it a day, while producing some of the freshest, most exciting music around, the learning curve hasn't been realised without a great many growing pains. They have made it through deep personal loss, betrayal, incarceration, severe addiction, numerous no-shows and annihilation in certain sections of an ever-observant media.

Initially a vehicle of creativity and freedom of expression that delivered Peter from what he grew to regard as the increasingly dispiriting, commercially-driven grind of life with The Libertines, Babyshambles have blossomed into a band in their own right. And now, some six years after the band’s earliest, inauspicious shows, it could well be the right time to pose the question: are they standing on the frontier of greatness, or destined for the gutter?


"Honniball…has clearly been granted extraordinary access to Pete Doherty and the motley crew of musicians and assorted hangers-on who inhabit the chaotic world of Babyshambles." (The Guardian)

"Honniball has secured interviews with the band and his book distils the court appearances, crack pipes, used needles and no-shows into a clear narrative." (Q)

"This book gives an amazing insight into the members of the group, charting their wayward journey from playing tiny gigs to headlining large summer festivals." (The Sun)

"Like all good horror stories, this is gripping stuff." (Mojo)

Buy the Book

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