Pete Doherty was in Paris during last November’s terrorist attacks and he’s the first artist scheduled to headline the Bataclan when it reopens later this year. In a recent interview with NME, the Libertines frontman revealed he’s written a new song to pay tribute to the 89 lives that were lost at the venue.
It’s called “Hell to Pay at the Gates of Heaven,” and NME describes it as a “jaunty, Pogues-esque” rocker, which draws inspiration from John Lennon’s acoustic guitar of choice, the Gibson J-45. “‘Come on boys, choose your weapons / J-45 or an AK-47?’ the song goes.
Doherty says the song is about the decision to fight or create music:
“It’s about the f-cking Bataclan… About how we’re under attack. At that age, when you’re desperate to fight for something it can catch you off balance. When you’ve got the faith and belief, you’ll put as much into it as a lad who’s obsessed with guitars.”
Doherty debuted “Hell to Pay at the Gates of Heaven” earlier this year on a solo tour of Europe. He’s considering it — along with a myriad other demos — for his next solo album, the follow-up to 2009’s Grace/Wastelands. On tour, he performed the Bataclan ode with his backing band, which included partner Katia de Vidas on keys.
“I went down [to the Bataclan, after the attacks] and just sat outside with my guitar. Just to be there. Katia lost about five people she was at school with.”
Doherty (who splits his time between the U.K. and Paris) has a number of European solo gigs lined up for the rest of 2016, as he plots his next release. The Libertines released their comeback album Anthems for Doomed Youth, in Sept. 2015.
For more, check out Billboard’s report on the Bataclan’s 2016 reopening.