Fresh from a recent tour of China, South Korea and Japan, frontman of The Libertines and The Jackals’ Carl Barat popped into The Social in London for a chat with the host of Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV Gordon Smart. The ‘What A Waster’ star spoke to Gordon about his new hotel come studio come art space venture in Margate, sheds light on Pete Doherty’s altercation with a hedgehog and surprisingly accepts the opportunity to return to the West End stage in Rock Of Ages. Gordon pressed Carl for an update on the new hotel Albion Rooms in Margate, and Carl revealed:
“I’ve got more ideas and ambitions that I could possibly ever achieve. You know, I think the art is not spreading yourself too thin. I spent two years trying to get this hotel, gallery, studio up and running… We are really close now, actually. Sometimes it’s hard. It’s hard doing things by committee where you’ve other people to convince to do something and that’s tough. But I believe I’m acting on behalf of everyone. It’s the point now where I send an email round with a preface that’s of the kind of ‘speak now or forever hold your piece’… I know a lot more than I did before about getting hotels together”.
Unsurprisingly, Carl shares his ceremonial champagne against the boat moment for the hotel. He said:
“I think pouring my first pint to the public, that’s going to be my most magical moment” and confirms he will “definitely be behind the bar”. He says: “We’ll strike up the juke box or the band, you never know, I mean when everything is working in tandem we’ll have the studio going on for gigs, and the two bars – one of them being an art gallery sort of thing, and we’ll have residents – god bless their confused souls – coming down.”
The locals have come to fully accept the Likely Lads since their arrival in the Kent seaside town. Carl said:
“They’ve [Margate locals] been great actually, we’ve been using local labourers, architects and what not and I’ve met this designer, Leanne, she’s a local girl and she’s really good! I think she’s going to be responsible for the final touches.”
Margate already counts the likes of Tracey Emin amongst its own congregation of cultural icons, but Gordon asks Carl why it’s important to invest in music, culture and art. Carl responded:
“I mean, I’m doing my best, I’m setting up – secretly – a new bar with a member of another band in Margate, a live venue. I’ve always been a strong advocate of people having somewhere to play on a front line. I mean if there’s nothing between playing in your front room, filming it and playing in big venues, well, what are you going to do?”
Continuing on the artisan conversation, Gordon suggests Margate is a ‘really cosmopolitan place’ and Carl says:
“Yeah, I think that at times and I meet loads of people down there a bit like me. But yeah, I mean there’s been a tangible exodus of artists [from London]. I meet people every week moving down there, people that are creatively minded and having a community where everything is possible a bit like what it was like in London in the noughties.
Everything is priced out now. There’s a great community down there. I really want the Albion rooms to have that kind of spirit to it and I want to do something when it’s up and running a bit like – you know Josh Homme [from Rock Of The Ages] did the desert sessions? I want to do something like that down there. It’s only like 8 bedrooms at the moment, so before it’s a ‘hotel hotel’ were going to have a bit of fun with it as a residential studio. It’s going to be an inclusive venture.”
Aside from the hotels, new music venue and cultural embrace of Margate, Gordon chipped at Carl for an update on The Libertines new album. Carl said:
“The dates are in our studio diary to make our 4th studio album… We very much don’t want to rely on anything we’ve got up our sleeves. We’ve been down and done a few writing sessions already, but we’re going to sort of bed in and do something a bit less control freak this time, rather doing lots and compiling and seeing what’s working and what isn’t. But there will be quite a few stories around the corner I think.”
To watch the full interview with The Libertines’ frontman Carl Barat on Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV, view this link video:
In the wake of the demise of music TV programmes such as Top Of The Pops, Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV offers aspiring bands a genuine platform to succeed and counts the likes of Tom Grennan and Gerry Cinnamon who’ve since each headlined their own tours, released albums and gone on to become Radio X and Radio 1 regulars amongst its successful alumni.
The interview – which is available to view HERE – is part of the latest instalment of Red Stripe Presents: This Feeling TV – a new music TV show for the digital age that still maintains all the unique charm and quirkiness that typified music TV shows back in their heyday. The show has accumulated over 1 million views, paved a platform for new, emerging talent and helped the grassroots music scene to growth, on and off the stage. To find out more about the activity or to apply for tickets to attend one of the shows, visit the Red Stripe Twitter or Facebook page.