After a well acclaimed tour with the Libertines, Peter Doherty kicked off his solo Eudaimonia Tour in Bristol over a week ago.
To do so, he gathered a great bunch a musician from very different horizons. Drew McConnell who's been playing bass with Babyshambles for over a decade, violinist Miki Beavis who has be accompanying Doherty on his solo shows for a couple of years, film-maker Katia De Vidas who plays keyboards, as well as two new recruits; Rafa on drums, and Stefany Kaberian on accordion.
Yesterday, at the breathtaking Hackney Empire, the musicians arrived one by one and started playing their respective instruments, until the stage was taken over by what seemed to be a folkloric band!
Doherty opened the show on a nostalgic note with "Down For The Outing"; the first of a series of new songs that set a melancholic atmosphere, balanced with contrasting cheerful melodies.
By the 4th song, it felt as if we had entered a saloon through the swing doors, and "The Steam" sounded like standing in the middle of a duel.
Throughout the night, five other new songs made their way in between a few classics, including the unheard gem "Hell To Pay At The Gates Of Heaven"; but also a new version of the very old "The Whole World Is Our Playground" (released on Record Store Day), after which the first surprise of the evening appeared on stage.
That is - of course - Carl Barât who joined his fellow Libertine co-frontman with the harmonica on Babyshamble's classic "Albion".
The night before, Peter Doherty had reappeared alone on stage to open his encore with Alan Wass' masterpiece "Hired Gun", in memory of his friend who passed away just a year ago.
Last night, in the same spirit of commemoration, Doherty restarted the show with the very emotional and brutally honest song about Amy Winehouse - "Flags Of The Old Regime" - which was preceded by a long and poignant intro, building up the tension and preparing the crowd for "Time For Heroes".
It was not long until The Libertines were called onto the stage for an unannounced shambolic reunion, which whipped the crowd into a frenzy and sent beers flying from side to side throughout the venue.
The original lineup got back on stage for an additional new song, before the boys in the band met again and closed the gig with "Don't Look Back Into The Sun".
The Eudaimonia Tour - as the name implies - seemed to be a celebration of a new and healthy life for Peter Doherty; but when The Libertines showed up for an unexpected performance, there was a feeling that regardless the years, this is still the good old days.