What Katy Did – The Libertines

Many can (and I’m sure will) argue that The Libertines were a groundswell of democratised indie music not Landfill in the slightest. It’s a solid case. They played outside of all of the industry rules. They did nothing they were supposed to do. They were for all intents and porpoises the one band who marked the death knell of the old industry model that spawned one final gold rush for the labels to have a neutered ‘Libertines’ of their own.

‘Shoop shoop shoop doolang doolang’

‘The Kids’ went mental for the Lib’s and ‘The Man’ could not turn a buck on it. They played shows in squats, gave demos away to fans and purposefully fucked up every opportunity ‘The Machine’ threw their way.

The fever and fervour was apparent in the NME and on the internet but the flabby old A&R machine could not find a way to turn that into more cocaine and yachts. And that’s why you got The View, The Kooks, The Rumble Strips and The Holloways shoved at you with big budget poster campaigns and iTunes Sessions.

‘Oh whatcha gonna do, Katie? You’re a sweet sweet girl but it’s a cruel, cruel world’

The Libertines broke the record industry good and proper before their fan-base bequeathed the world the new standard by making Artic Monkeys their successors.

‘My pins are none too strong, Katie, hurry up, Mrs Brown I can feel it coming down and it won’t take none too long’

I’ve chosen What Katie Did here because it is one of their more playful and incidental songs. You can tell that it’s the part of the band the industry felt it could replicate easiest because it is in part already a pastiche. After this you got Mumford and Sons and John Lewis adverts as indie…

‘Safety pins are none too strong, Katie, they hold my life together and I’ll never say never and I’ll never say never again but since you said goodbye polka dots fill my eyes’


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