Despite the ups and downs of Pete Doherty's career and image due to substance abuse, jail time, and the general scandal surrounding him -- which includes missing more than a few performance dates -- when he makes it on-stage, he can still be a charming and talented performer. Even when he does show up, it's not a given that there will be a focused performance. "I never thought we'd make it," he confesses before a rousing version of "Delivery" on Oh What a Lovely Tour, a CD/DVD set chronicling Babyshambles' December 2007 date at Glasgow's SECC Arena supporting the band's second album, Shotter's Nation. The fans at the show were a loyal bunch, following every twist and turn of "Side of the Road" and "Beg Steal or Borrow" and even singing along when Doherty breaks into the Foundations' "Build Me Up Buttercup." The crowd's loyalty was rewarded with a loose, lively show with a set list culled pretty evenly from Down in Albion, The Blinding, and Shotter's Nation, and the band's mostly focused but still rough-around-the-edges performances level the playing field between these songs. Down in Albion suffered from its sloppy recording quality, but "Up the Morning" and "Pipedown" are some of Oh What a Lovely Tour's most electrifying moments, along with "The Blinding" and Shotter's Nation's "Baddie's Boogie" and "Carry on Up the Morning." Toward the middle of the set, Babyshambles lose some of their energy, focusing on slower songs that don't quite work if you weren't in the immediate audience (although "Unstookie Titled," with its pretty and relatively intricate guitar parts and rhythms, is a notable exception). At 19 tracks long, Oh What a Lovely Tour is a pretty lengthy tour document -- and the DVD adds the videos to four other songs -- but fans who want the whole rough, raw, sometimes meandering Babyshambles live experience won't be disappointed.
AllMusic Review by Heather Phares
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2