Your mind is made up already.
He is fooling no one with the re-branding to Peter but there is a definite argument for people taking another listen and a fresh look at Mr Doherty. Sure, he’s either the hero or villain regardless of what his music sounds like but underneath the scuzzy stories and those dirty fingernails, there is a good songwriter lurking there. He isn’t as good as his devoted followers make out but equally, he is nowhere near as bad as his detractors make him out to be.
‘Last of the English Roses’ is almost classic ‘almost clean’ Pete, it’s a meandering tale, at times a bit listless, at times bursting with melodies that you pray would burst into life for the rest of the song. Ably assisted by Graham Coxon, the song is a far tighter musical knit than most would expect from Doherty and the charm of the melodica gives it another worldly feel. The melodica is one of the most under-rated instruments of all time, it rarely fails to add a little something to each song it appears on and the same can be said here. The opening of the track is sparked to life with a smoky vibe, akin to some of Ian Brown’s earlier solo work, with the paranoid shuffling beat bringing to life the image of hazy days which Peter knows all about.
There are good and bad bits in the song but the hidden gems, such as the “can charm the bees knees off the bees” line proves that there is a talent at work and if Doherty ever harnesses it fully, he could be a force to be reckoned with. As it is, this song isn’t going to change any opinion about Doherty but it is definitely worth a listen.