Dirty Pretty Things | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Dirty Pretty Things

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Carl Barat doesn't have a prayer of getting more press than his old Libertines bandmate Pete Doherty, which makes it easy to overlook his new combo, the Dirty Pretty Things. The group includes two other ex-Libertines, drummer Gary Powell and guitarist Anthony Rossomando, so maybe it's no surprise that its debut, Waterloo to Anywhere (Interscope), covers some familiar territory. The music echoes the mod-punk poetics and resolutely English pluck of the Libertines' 2002 debut, Up the Bracket, though producer Dave Sardy gives the songs a high-gloss pop finish, and the subject matter is considerably darker. On much of the disc Barat sounds like he's trawling through the wreckage of his broken friendship with Doherty, and though it wouldn't be fair to characterize the album as one long screed about their split, it's hard to miss the pointed allusions in songs like "Doctors and Dealers," "Blood Thirsty Bastards," and "Bang Bang You're Dead." This show is part of the Dirty Pretty Things' first U.S. tour; judging from a brief South by Southwest set in March and a five-song live DVD that accompanied European pressings of the album, Barat and company are just as incendiary onstage as the Libertines were. Scissors for Lefty opens. Fri 8/11, 10 PM, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport, 773-525-2508, sold out, 18+.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/K. Westerberg.

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