Libertines co-frontman Carl Barát on why his family will make the full-time move to Margate

Carl at the Albion studio Photo Jason Knott

Cliftonville’s resident band The Libertines are a focus of national media for everything from their music and international gigs and singer Pete Doherty’s occasional scrapes to Dalby breakfast challenges and Carl Barat’s role in award-winning short film Running Man shot at the Walpole Bay Hotel.

Out of the limelight the band are part of the isle’s community, sponsoring Margate FC, bringing in visitors with the Albion Rooms hotel and Waste Land bar, taking part in the former Wheels and Fins festival in Broadstairs and giving a platform to local artists, performers and poets.

Co-frontman Carl Barát spoke to Kathy Bailes about why the lads love Margate and how he and his family plan to make the town their full-time home.

Walpole Bay, Dreamland and the isle’s treasure trove of antique and curio shops are among the attractions persuading Libertines co-frontman Carl Barát to move full time to Margate.

The musician and actor, who spends time each week at the band’s Albion Rooms hotel on Eastern Esplanade, says he, partner Edie Langley, and sons Eli, nine, and Ramone, six, aim to make Thanet home after falling in love with Margate on “so many different levels.”

Carl and bandmates Pete Doherty, John Hassall and Gary Powell recently announced the opening of seven rooms at the Albion hotel, bar, studios and restaurant – completing a three year transformation of the five storey Victorian building.

Photo Jason Knott

There is a distinctly local feel to the venue with art and design from town artist Chu, framing by Lovelys gallery in Cliftonville, the appointment of chef Joe Hill – who runs Table in Broadstairs – and supplies from Margate’s seaweed-based body care and perfumery business Haeckels;  Junk Yard Deluxe, Paraphernalia, Scotts and Valentine’s Vintage in Whitstable.

Carl, 42, said: “I was in Margate, writing, for about six weeks. I’m there every week and am looking to move to Margate full time with my family. I love it on so many different levels, I love the light and the Old Town and its closeness to London and those communities. It was not massively affluent after the 90s and that attracted a lot of DFLs to start communities with local artists, creating a really nice energy.”

The Albion Rooms, Photo Jason Knott

Carl says he particularly likes venues including Cliffs, the Digby, Table in Broadstairs and that the “rock pool, tidal pool, sands, arcades and Dreamland” make it a brilliant place for his boys.

He said: “Dreamland is pretty banging without being big and expensive. I also love all the antique, junk and curio stuff. I really like Sunny Vintage and Retro (in Northdown Road) and the second hand places.”

Carl, who has also checked out the offerings at Ramsgate’s Pettitcoat Lane Emporium, says the whole band has a love of cool curio items, which is evident in the art and furnishings of the hotel and bar, and all enjoy being part of Thanet’s community.

He said: “We all have a real affinity with the place and are really happy to be part of the community and hopefully of service by bringing people down here.”

Libertines studio Photo By Peter Morris

Buying the Albion Rooms in 2017 has given the band a real base to work together. The studio, which was the first area to be completed and has been used by numerous local and out of town artists, gave the lads a “standard to match,” for the rest of the venue.

Carl said: “It means we can make the most of the area and the most of what we do as a band. Before we didn’t have a physical building to share and were all living separate lives This gives us an organic unity and where we are is inspirational as well.”

The building work may now be complete but there are more projects on the cards, including the launch of Wasteland Live, an internet based show with presenters, guests, special sessions and more.

 

Carl said: “We will have big and small bands, records, guests who have inspired us, live sets, studio sessions, and local bands as we do everything we can to make sure we include everyone.

“It’ll be a show in our own unique, special style.”

Keep up to date with the goings on at the Albion Rooms and book your hotel stay at www.thealbionrooms.live

Libertines announce opening date for Albion Rooms hotel in Cliftonville

2 Comments

  1. The Libertines are hugely talented song writers and musicians. Good to see them investing in and enjoying Thanet.

  2. Live here long enough he will soon change his tune, does he think that margate town is all of Thanet, once you get past the over priced rag n bone shops and the now overpriced pubs and venture past dane park then he will see the true side of margate from the gang beatings and sexual assaults in dane park, the moped/escooter drug couriers (prob suit docherty) buzzing from millmead estate, the muggings, in dane valley woods, and dont forget the daily drug dealing from the quaint little meadow in said woods, all thats gonna happen is once margate gets too “discovered” these london lot will get fed up and move on, not til after theyve pushed every local retailer out and replaced them all with overpriced quaint shops, pushed the pubs to “london” priced beers so local people cant afford to drink in them and theen theres the fact that the housprices too will rocket up making it impossible for any of the huge number of impoverished people in margate to even afford a weeks rent. Youre all too quick to welcome these lot with open arms without looking past margate town.

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