Wednesday, 28 November 2007


Kate Moss didn’t turn up but Pete Doherty did and Babyshambles turned in a set last night that made it worth the trip to that graveyard of English footballing aspirations called Wembley. (I said nothing about the Croatia game here last week and don’t intend to do so now. But Belarus, Andorra and Kazakhstan – the ninth biggest country in the world, bet you didn’t know that . . . aren’t you just itching for them to show us how it’s done in the World Cup qualifiers?)

I was told a possibly apocryphal tale by two lads in the Sports Bar across from the Wembley complex that the last time they’d been to a Babyshambles gig, on the Jools Holland show, Doherty’s failure to show resulted in his replacement with James Blunt of all people. Doherty himself remarked from the Wembley Arena stage: ‘They said that QPR and Babyshambles would never play at Wembley.’ Which might have been a good joke if it wasn’t for the fact that QPR have played there at least four times to my knowledge, including twice in the same year in 1982, when the FA Cup final against Spurs went to a replay.

But let’s not begrudge Doherty his moment of gloating. Given another chance to prove he can perform after a series of drug-induced disasters, he and Babyshambles seized the opportunity. Which is more than be said for the shambles of a football team who failed to turn up last Wednesday.

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