Pete Doherty replaces half of Babyshambles

Babyshambles bassist and drummer absent from gig as Pete Doherty performs with new band member in Soho

Pete Doherty appears to have mislaid half of Babyshambles, appearing this week with a new drummer. While the performance at Soho's Charlotte Street Blues Bar featured usual lead guitarist Mick Whitnall, both Drew McConnell and Adam Ficek were nowhere to be seen.

While some fans allegedly walked out, others stayed for the gig – even chanting McConnell and Ficek's names. Babyshambles performed as a three-piece, with an unknown drummer, rattling through various band classics. According to the NME, Doherty at one point referred to the players as Babyshambles' new line-up.

Online, devotees of the band reacted with horror. Together with the recent reformation of Doherty's Libertines, the maimed lineup seems like a harbinger of doom. "I'm so gutted," wrote one user, Laetitia, at a Babyshambles fan site. "My dream was to attend to a Babyshambles gig at least once in my life." According to her theory, Doherty kept Whitnall "cos he's the only one not to have a side project. And maybe he didn't want him to be jobless."

Although there has been no formal statement, Ficek expressed shock at the news. "Am confused as all [hell]," the drummer wrote on Twitter. "Was looking forward to gigs/new recordz. Headache! Need to smell a rose." In later posts, he was glib: "Perplexed," he wrote. "Such an odd time." Finally, late yesterday, his tone became resigned. "Best put ones head under the rosebed," he said, likely a reference to his other project, Roses Kings Castles.

Though they seemed like empty rumours at the time, tabloids reported earlier this month that Ficek and McConnell had been sacked without warning. The musicians were allegedly pursuing legal action over potential loss of earnings.


Sean Michaels

The GuardianTramp

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