They are a band who have headlined the biggest festivals and arenas but are now set to play one of their most intimate gigs for years in Southampton.

The Libertines, one of the great bands of their generation, will headline The Engine Rooms on Monday (February 12) before the release of their fourth studio album, All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade, in March.

And bassist John Hassall told The Daily Echo that, after nearly 25 years together, making the album with band mates Pete Doherty, Carl Barat and Gary Powell was “the best recording experience” the band have had.

“For four weeks, we were able to really live with the music,” he recalled, adding, “There was a great creative atmosphere in the studio. Everyone was working as a unit and were on the same page. It was contagious.”

The bassist has fond memories of The Joiners, a venue The Libertines played twice in 2002 before releasing their debut record Up the Bracket.

“We broke about 10 strings, it was just one of those gigs. I remember it was a very good and chaotic night.”

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The Libertines’ connections with Southampton also include them supporting Supergrass at The Guildhall in 2002 and drummer Gary’s wife being from the city. Local band The Dead Freights, who have previously supported The Libertines on tour, are also signed to Gary’s record label.

Playing with their original line-up nearly 25 years after getting together is an achievement for any group, but especially for The Libertines who have had plenty of well-documented ups and downs.

“It is hard to believe we are still recording music together, but we have a solid friendship in the band," said John. 

John first meet Pete and Carl in Camden in the late 90s. Within a week of finding Gary, the last part of the jigsaw, they played their first gig.

John looks back on the early days of The Libertines as “a more carefree time”, adding: “It may have been because I was younger, but it does seem like a different place and time in the world. I think that is why music is so important, as it goes on regardless and that is what it is all about.”