THE strong line-up of bands secured by North East based promoter SSD Concerts for this year’s Times Square shows continued on Thursday with The Libertines supported by local bands Maxïmo Park, The Pale White and Blackwaters from Guildford

For Maxïmo Park it was a welcome return to the town after their sold out O2 Academy gigs in May. Paul Smith and band delivered a career encompassing set that combined some of their newer, more contemplative, material such as Work and Then Wait, Get High (No, I Don’t), and Risk To Exist with older favourites Girls Who Play Guitars, Books from Boxes and Our Velocity before finishing their set with a hyper Apply Some Pressure.

The Libertines have a deserved reputation for their somewhat chaotic performances, often giving the impression that the band members first met shortly before taking the stage rather than sharing a history going back twenty years.

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This looseness is undoubtedly one of their attractions as is the on/off/currently on relationship between the two frontmen Carl Barat and Pete Doherty, and there was no doubting the love coming from their devoted fans who moshed, sang and launched their pints skyward right from the opening chords of Time For Heroes.

Barat and Doherty regularly shared the mic in that odd, almost romantic manner they have, inches apart, gazing into each other’s eyes. Their set included Vertigo, The Delaney, You’re My Waterloo, What Katie Did, Up The Bracket, and, frankly, a shambolic run through their biggest hit Can’t Stand Me Now all went down ecstatically. Don’t Look Back Into The Sun wrapped proved a nostalgic climax to the evening.

Dave Lawrence