There was a danger that Pete Doherty was going to be more famous for being a regular tabloid fixture than for his music. That's still a distinct possibility of course, but the last Libertines album proved the man did have talent and following the seemingly irreparable split with Carl Barat, his new band Babyshambles attempts to carry on that good work.
It's impossible not to come to this with a sense of wariness - without the chemistry that Doherty had with Barat, could Babyshambles even come close to touching the Libertines genius? Well, on the strength of this, they surely can. It's a spiky little guitar pop tune, up there with the best of Doherty's former band. With lyrics that are bound to be analysed to death ("why would you pay to see me in a cage that some men call a stage" runs the opening line) and a effective production job that gives the song an endearingly ramshackle air, this is one of the more surprising singles of the month.
The backing track, The Man Who Came To Stay, is equally good, indicating that those who have written Doherty off as just another rock'n'roll junkie should start eating their words.