Polished and professional, The Libertines' last scheduled reunion show at Reading Festival was a masterclass in why the group were so popular in the first place.
What they lacked in their infamous unpredictability and drug-addled fights, they made up for in a greatest hits showing – if their two-album career warrant such a title – as the crowd joined in along the way.
For the second night in a row, lead duo Pete Doherty and Carl Barat had to go offstage to curtail the crushing at the front of the audience, but they returned to finish a half played ‘Time For Heroes’.
Opening with ‘Horrorshow’, the four-piece left the music to do the talking as they crossed between their pair of LPs and some singles.
‘Don’t Look Back In To The Sun’ was a particular highlight, but ‘What Became Of The Likely Lads’ and ‘What A Waster’ were spat out too, devoid of the heartbreak in which they were first written.
Hardly any words were spoken between songs, and it’s hard to see where the set now leaves the group, but hugs, smiles and kisses towards the end make it look as if Doherty and Barat’s wounds have healed somewhat.
‘Good Old Days’ was a hefty penultimate number before the band went nostalgic with a spiky punk number ‘I Get Along’.
Bowing in unison as the house light went up, The Libertines gave their dedicated fanbase enough hope to see this all happen again in the next few years.
Arcade Fire will headline Reading Festival 2010 tonight (Saturday).