Part calling card from the stars, part postcard from the gutter, when The Libertines made their first introductions there was no time for a gentle warm-up or an orienteering session to point out all the fire exits. Hell, there was no way out anyway because with their first single Pete and Carl and Gary and John dropped you straight in the middle of the energy and chaos that surged through their lives and fuelled their band. A storm of Bond-theme like riffs and ‘Carry On’ entendres, that charged forward with brakes-off drums, bass and the singers’ intertwined vocals, ‘What A Waster’ wasn’t a song to help you get your bearing with a new band, it was a track that made you realise this group would become your whole world.
With its Hogarth set to music visions of society’s underbelly, and a Gerald Scarfe-like sharpness to its wit, though The Libertines debut single – backed by equally energetic B-side ‘I Get Along’ – might have come out of the blocks at full speed, but there was a preciseness and a thought behind ‘What A Waster’’s ramshackle charms. Twenty years on from its release, The Libertines’ opening salvo retains a freshness that is as much down to its wisdom beyond its years as it is the youthful exuberance it inspired in band and fans alike.
What A Waster – The Libertines has been added to your bag.