I spent this afternoon at a friend’s party to celebrate the publication of her book. The do was at The Rosemary Branch in Islington, in one of those parts of London where poverty and riches lie side by side as in a Dickens novel.
While fetching drinks in the downstairs bar a scruffy young sod ambled in. It was Pete Doherty.
The first thing that I noticed was his height. He is a six footer. I am only 5’7″ so he dwarfed me.
Then I noticed the tattoos on his neck. Not a good look, Peter.
His hair hadn’t been washed for a few days. I cannot claim the moral high ground on that – when I was 18 I didn’t wash my hair for six months.
Making my way back upstairs he was blocking my way. Whichever way I went he followed. Knowing that everybody was looking at him, Doherty put on a performance. It was like the scene in the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup when Harpo copies Groucho’s moves exactly until they eventually collide.
Doherty asked “Which way are you going mate?” and then finally I was able to pass.
So that is how I “met” Pete Doherty on a Sunday afternoon in north London. I am not a great fan of his music – Carl Barât was the brains in The Libertines, I reckon. And as far as cocky young musicians go, Johnny Borrell of Razorlight is for me the best. He likes cricket, which is always the sign of a gentleman.
My friend Ann Tilyer’s book is called An A-Z of Possible Worlds. It is a collection of 26 short stories presented in a box.
It is great. Please buy it.