Monday, February 09, 2009

Doherty Does Dublin

So the Babyshambler himself turned up (whatever about on) and delighted his Dublin Liberteenies with a display of detached dissolution. Pete Doherty was in town last Friday, to visit TCD's Philosophical Society and made an appearance on the Late Late Show. Much discussion online about the resulting shenanigans (or lack thereof). Whatever about Doherty, Pat Kenny seems to have come off as wooden and misguided as ever - without the aid of any chemical handicaps whatsoever?

But there's an interesting article by Peter Murtagh in today's Irish Times which relates how his teenage son was enthralled by Doherty, to the point of digging (out) some Yeats, and even a bit of Wilde. It brought to mind those comments that Seamus Heaney made about Eminem a few years back.

Now, I share a reasonably common view that Doherty is a mediocre talent 'bigged up' by the UK celeb machine. He's obviously got charisma and ability - as well as a serious dependency problem. I just can't see him as some kind of cross between Bowie and Baudelaire for our hollow age.

Yet it seems he's capable of firing genuine enthusiasm and inspiration in his youthful admirers - hopefully encouraging literate curiousity rather than narcotic. Is this a good thing, I wonder? Or does it simply re-affirm certain (misconceptions?) and stereotypes of the poetic personality - and not just in teenagers?

EDIT: There's an edited transcript of Doherty's interview at TCD now online at the Irish Times. Not particularly inspirational or anything - but quite 'funny old rock'n'roll' in parts, whether intentional or otherwise, e.g;

"I’ve bought a book about the psychology of cats, trying to get inside their heads, but they just piss on the duvet. They don’t care."