This is how urban legends are born – there is always a soupcon of truth, a bit of conjecture and a sprinkling of fabrication and an out and out lie to top it off.
Picture the scene – it’s Carlisle AD2021, it’s a quietish evening in the centre of town around a watering hole called Bar Solo. The word on the street is that Pete Doherty is in town staying overnight in The Halston as he has a gig up in Glasgow the following day.
Now Peter is no stranger to Carlisle; as a good few years ago he and his band at the time Babyshambles performed at the Brickyard. This was at the time when poor old Pete was in the eye of the storm with issues from drug misuse, to problems with the boys in blue, the prison system, a bit of catburgling and some identity theft – oh, and let’s not forget the on/off relationship with a certain acting A-lister – so arriving in Carlisle in a large tour bus blocking off half of Fisher street in the process was never going to go smoothly as Fleet Street’s finest hacks were not far behind the ‘King of Albion’.
The gig itself was neither memorable or unmemorable – they performed, the press were disappointed that no fisticuffs ensued and that for the most part the good people of Carlisle went home happily – except for Natasha Ellis who somehow got on one of the band’s tour buses as it left Carlisle, police were called and said ‘young’ lady was rescued from the ‘debauched’ rocker’s grasp – allegedly!
So to Tuesday; Pete has a bite to eat and heads off to Bar Solo with his lady friend, where he orders a Guinness and something refreshing for the lady, then takes a seat outside to sample the early evening of Carlisle.
Somewhere the idea is concocted that Pete might want to go to the Source and join in the ‘extra / quickly arranged’ jam night. Whether this is actually proposed directly to him is open to interpretation, but word does end up on social media saying that there is a possibility that he might appear. The media rumour is strong enough to get people off their couches to sit on the couches in The Source in anticipation. The owner of the establishment was helped to carry his saxophone up the staircase as he opened the café up by the first rock’n’roll revellers who arrived. The house-band then set off at a steady pace with some standards in an R’n’B / Blues vibe in anticipation of the great man’s arrival.
Back at Bar Solo Pete was nodding to people who recognised him and entering into small talk with members of the public who were brave enough to speak. But time was moving on and the word behind the counter at Bar S was that it was looking less likely that Pete was up for it; so the post online was removed. Finally a member of a well known local hip combo rocked up, ordered a red wine then proceeded to sit in the vicinity of Pete and his girlfriend, he nodded knowingly in a ‘I’m in a band too kinda way’, sipping slowly he got out a book to read. Pete looked over at the book said his goodbyes and exited stage left. The young man noticed his Skullduggery book was upside down, sighed, turned it the right way up and quaffed some more wine – another collaboration slipping away.
Pete and his lady friend were seen going back to the Holsten, ordering a warm milk before having an early night, while the jam session in The Source carried on obliviously as no-one said on arrival ‘has he been on yet?’
The following day Pete spent some time wandering about Warwick Bazaar checking out ‘the new stock’ – as advertised on The Instelgram before leaving for Glasgow to carry on the tour.
Now, as I said; most of this is true, some bits are conjecture, and one or two observations are completely fabricated – a pick and mix smorgasbord of Carlisle life. Thank you and goodnight.