Victoria Dillingham writes: Frontman of The Libertines, Dirty Pretty Things and father-to-be Carl Barât added 'perfect host' to his never ending repertoire of talents last night when he hosted an exclusive album playback party at Soho's Sanctum Hotel.
musicOMH was among a select few invited along to this first outing of the much talked about, self-titled solo album released on 4th October.
Much like the venue, the new album is in stark contrast to anything you'd expect or associate with the singer/songwriter following his much publicised and controversial wayward years of rock.
While there's no mistaking the distinct quintessential Libertines vocals, the album rides a more upbeat wave throughout best depicted by So Long My Lover and Run With The Boys – the first single he'll release alongside the album.
"Run With The Boys was an obvious choice for first release as it marks a definite departure from everything I've ever done before," Barât explains, and he's not wrong.
A happy-go-lucky sing-a-long track that has most in the room instantly tapping their feet, it's like something Madness might have crafted in the face of yet another comeback.
Fans of the nonchalant and more melancholy sounding Barât will find traces of anguish in tracks such as She's Something, What Have I Done and the beautifully simplistic favourite, Shadows Fall.
Barât, who cuts a slick, almost Dickensian outline in his white shirt and grey tailored suit, hopes long-standing Libertines fans will like the new album, but is equally keen to connect with a wider audience.
"I hope this album forms a scaffold for people's emotions and that through listening to it people identify with (it)," he tells us.
Barât is due to appear at this year's Reading and Leeds Festivals with a certain Pete Doherty. Those selected from a ballot get to witness the warm-up gig, set for London's Forum in Kentish Town on 25th August. He'll then embark on an intensive UK and European tour before his girlfriend Edie Langley, of The Langley Sisters, gives birth to their first child in December. His memoir Threepenny Memoir is published by HarperCollins on 30th September.