The Libertines are back and recently released new single; Gunga Din shortly before their not so secret surprise slot at the prestigious Glastonbury Festival a couple of weeks ago. Upon my first listen, I wasn’t too sure what I thought about it and therefore didn’t review it because I’m a big fan of the band as a whole and didn’t want to write a negative review. So, why have I decided to write one now? Well, because I now know what I think of the track…

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After a few more listens of Gunga Din, it really grew on me and I’m now on countdown for the release of Anthems For The Doomed Youth, their highly anticipated third album. So; what the hell is Gunga Din? Not many people know this but the band are big fans of Mr Kipling, the poet/novelist; Rudyard Kipling. (Not the cake fella) Kipling wrote a poem by the same name and this is one of several Rudyard references to feature in The Libertines catalogue. A little bit of pointless knowledge there for you. Keep that in the pub quiz answers section of your brains!

The more I listened to the track, the more I thought that the song was trying to emphasise that the band have had time to reflect since their indefinite split way back in 2004 (other than a reunion in 2010) up to the point of reconciliation in 2014 (where I was lucky enough to witness the band perform at Alexandra Palace – phenomenal gig. Everyone in attendance was pleased to finally see them back where they belong. Even managing to make my little sister, Chelsie cry with sheer happiness!) Whether or not I’m just looking too much in to it, it’s nice to see the boys finally in a good place with both themselves and each other. 

“Woke up again, to my evil twin. The mirror is fucking ugly and I’m sick and tired of looking at him. Been up all night, I probably picked a fight. ‘Cos I can’t help it; I’m a bastard in the morning. So, I try to write, I think I have the right.”


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Gunga Din is available now with the album being released 4th September.

Words by Robert Smith (@robertmsmith)


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