Junkie or genius? Doherty is back and on the road
After two albums, several fall outs and career-threatening drug addictions, Babyshambles have made as much noise with their guitars as they have in the pages of newspapers.
The indie-rock band, which formed in London a decade ago and will perform in Lincoln on September 10, received critical acclaim for their LPs Down In Albion and Shotter's Nation, while garnering a raucous army of die-hard fans in the process.
And after a brief hiatus, frontman Peter Doherty, bassist Drew McConnell, guitarist Mik Whitnall and new drummer Jamie Morrison have returned with a new Babyshambles' record entitled Sequel To The Prequel.
Speaking about the band's decision to make another album, Drew says: "I think we all felt it coming.
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"Around December time Peter started turning up at my flat in East London with an acoustic guitar at 1am, as he tends to do.
"Then we started writing songs together and by January I started making a habit of travelling to Paris to visit Peter at his place.
"By March we thought, 'we've got 20-odd songs here, this could make a record'."
This fresh period of creative productivity has provided welcome respite in a band which has been through its fair share of ups and downs. It's no secret Doherty has been labelled everything from a junkie to a genius.
So what is life as one quarter of Babyshambles actually like?
"It's certainly turbulent. There is the occasional moment where you get the sign from the captain to fasten your seatbelts," says Drew.
"But we're grown men and we can take a bit of jostling.
"I have never expected being part of this band to be a permanent thing. I learnt very quickly not to have expectations and that way anything great that happens is very exciting."
Drew's outlook on life and music was undoubtedly affected two years ago, after he was involved in a serious road accident which left him very nearly paralysed.
"I broke five ribs, my shoulder, my arm, my leg, my knee. I was in hospital for five weeks and couldn't walk for two months.
"It happened and it was one of those things that reminded me life can spin on a dime."
It has been claimed that the enigmatic, yet volatile, Doherty is the reason for the temperamental nature of the band. But Drew knows a different man to the one portrayed in the media.
"Beyond his omnipresent sense of humour I'd say he's one of the most intelligent people I've ever met.
"As he said, 'clever ain't wise'.
He's fooled and he makes some bad decisions now again, but he's also super sensitive and is affected by the media attention he receives."
Babyshambles will play Lincoln's Engine Shed on September 10, and Drew looks ahead to the date with fond memories.
"I played in the city with my other band, Helsinki. Everyone was very friendly and I found that people from Lincoln were generally warm and receptive."
Show time: 7pm. Strictly 16 years and over. Tickets: £23. Box office: 0844 888 8766, www.engineshed.co.uk