Tramlines festival: Libertines bassist on how band managed to put fractious past behind them

The Libertines
The Libertines
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The Libertines headline this year's Tramlines festival after putting one of pop's most infamous fall-outs behind them to make an unlikely reunion.

The Libertines bassist John Hassall spoke to Rebecca Linnard of Brag Vintage ahead of this year's Tramlines festival about how the band set aside their differences.

Having made their name with Up The Bracket, the frontmen's friendship hit the rocks in the early noughties, culminating with Pete Doherty burgling Carl Barat's flat and ending up behind bars.

But since reforming in 2014, the band have released a third album and the once-fractious relationship appears to have entered calmer waters.

"Everyone gets on really well, but we've all got very different kinds of relationships one on one with each other," says Hassall.

"I personally enjoy playing live more and more. Sometimes people develop a more open and youthful spirit the older they get. I believe this is the case for all of us," he added.

The band were famously unpredictable on stage in their wilder days, not always for the best, and while they have matured Hassall says they retain the capacity to surprise.

"Peter started talking about Maradona's 'hand of god' on stage in Argentina last year. It was an interesting topic to broach!" he recalls.

Away from The Libertines, the band all have their own projects.

Doherty plays in Babyshambles, Barat fronts The Jackals, and drummer Gary Powell tours with The Specials.

Hassall describes his other band, psychedelic folk rock ensemble The April Rainers, as a change of scenery from The Libertines.

"In some ways it's more chilled than The Libertines. Lots of harmonies and many of the songs are flowery and poppy. I guess there are lots of similarities to Libertines too. I've learnt so much from being in the band with the boys," he says.

Tramlines, where other headliners this year include Kano, All Saints and Primal Scream, begins next Friday (July 21).

* You can read the full interview on the Brag Vintage website.

* The Star readers can get tickets for £30 plus the booking fee, a third off the full price of £45, using our exclusive promo code.