The first big name casualty of the Music Industry’s collapse in revenues has been revealed.
Instead of retiring into a life of tripping over supermodels on Caribbean beaches, The Libertines are having to make ends meet by moving into the hospitality industry.
Peter, Carl, John and Gary have announced they will be opening a hotel in the seaside town of Margate, Kent, named The Albion Rooms.
The extent to which they will be manning the front desk, bell hopping or changing the linen is, as yet, unclear.
They should be good housekeepers, having been used to hoovering up substances in bathrooms, while guests will probably be best advised not to allow any of the band to valet park their car if they want to keep their paintwork intact. Oh, and to use the safe.
Given The Libertines’ reputation, could we expect room service to turn up two hours late in quite a disheveled state?
What we can be sure of, however, is that even a hotel run by one of rock’s most dysfunctional bands won’t be as bad as what was there before. As unlikely as it sounds, The Libertines are coming in to improve the hotel’s reputation. That’s from the only band in history who were able to damage the reputations of crack cocaine and heroin.
The Palm Court Hotel in Eastern Esplanade, Cliftonville was once one of the UK’s worst seaside hotels. And that’s up against some pretty stiff competition. According to the website Kent Live, 57% of people who stayed there rated it on TripAdvisor as “Terrible” which is an approval rating slightly lower than The Four Seasons at Guantanamo Bay.
The various grumbles included semen-stained sheets, mouldy bathrooms, and dated decor. Even Stig of the Dump left a scathing review.
Tired, unhygienic, and in desperate need of a good hose down, The Libertines formed in 1997 and spearheaded a Garage rock revival in the U.K.
They know a good thing when they see one and snapped up the hotel last year.
The squat-dwelling Londoners must have seen it as a home from home. They probably just threw a few stray needles on the floor and settled down for a kip.
The previous management of the hotel made a point of stating on their website they were a “God-fearing couple” with “strong Christian beliefs”. Because that’s what you look for in a caterer. Perhaps a “dirt-fearing couple” with “strong hygiene beliefs” would have been more useful.
How bad at your job do you have to be if Pete Doherty can come in and tell you how to improve things? What’s next? King Herod as Supernanny?
It’s as unlikely as Keith Moon popping in to the Continental Hyatt House Hotel in LA during his heyday, repairing the TV, hoovering the floor and dredging the pool in case someone parked their car in there the previous evening.
As for the decor, while some guest houses hang twee, quasi-motivational messages on the wall such as “A stranger is just a friend you haven’t met yet” or “Home Sweet Home”, perhaps The Libertines will provide quotes from some of their quirky, beautifully-observed East-London inspired vignettes? A beautifully written calligraphy of “What a waster / what a f—-n’ waster / you p—d it all up the wall / two-bob c—-“ would certainly make a very unusual, perhaps unique, decoration.
So what’s this all about?
Well, it looks like the band bought the hotel to use as a creative space to write and record a new album – the follow up to 2015’s Anthems for Doomed Youth – and now plan to open the space up to the public.
No doubt they will be taking bookings, and allowing bands to rehearse there. The neighbours must be delighted.
Not sure having an indie band recording a new album in your hotel’s basement is going to improve those TripAdvisor ratings though.
Their only hope is the the caterwauling of indie band singers will be partially drowned out by the whining of sleep-deprived, dissatisfied guests…