Dirty Pretty Things – Waterloo To Anywhere (2006): Review


Produced by Dave Sardy and Tony Doogan
Label – Mercury/Vertigo

Tragically for Carl Barat, however much he tries, he can’t escape The Libertines, Babyshambles and especially Pete Doherty. The roots of Dirty Pretty Things are inexorably linked to the three in musical style, lyrical output and marketable potential. Through all the bickering from Doherty during the acrimonious break up of The Libertines, Barat took stock, waited his time for the flames to die down, but most importantly remained dignified about the whole situation. Never once did he retaliate to the barrage of Doherty snipes aimed at him through the media and that is to his credit. For that reason alone, the public want to like Dirty Pretty Things and one would imagine will offer plenty of heartfelt empathy and patience because after all, he has. And so, following the drug infused debacle that was Babyshambles debut, one really wants to hail “Waterloo To Anywhere” as a return to the form that bought us “Up The Bracket” and hail Barat as the talented one from The Libertines. Sadly, on repeated listens one finds the album stereotypical garage Punk/Pop, one dimensional and in places terribly inept.


“Waterloo To Anywhere” starts brightly enough and the highlights come in the first four songs, particularly the opener. The bright shambolic gusto of “Deadwood” leads to the lyrically interesting “Doctors And Dealers”. However much Barat denies it, his references to Doherty are completely transparent on the excellent “Bang Bang You’re Dead”, as his mumbling Casablancas after a binge vocal blurts out “I knew all along, But I was loathe to believe, there was nothing but spite, fury and lies, of the words that you weave”. The rest of the album just doesn’t stack up, and the frantic rhythms and angular guitar chatters are stylized to cover a general lack of song writing inspiration, particularly on the dreadful “If You Love A Woman” and the Saturday night yobs shout along “You F**king Love It”. Each song follows the same weary path, same rhythm, same rudimentary chord sequences, and same lyrical blurb.

At least “Waterloo To Anywhere” is better than anything Babyshambles could have mustered, but everyone was hoping for so much more.


Track Listing
1.”Deadwood” – 2:28
2.”Doctors and Dealers” – 3:18
3.”Bang Bang You’re Dead” – 3:33
4.”Blood Thirsty Bastards” – 3:11
5.”The Gentry Cove” – 2:32
6.”Gin & Milk” – 3:06
7.”The Enemy” – 3:36
8.”If You Love a Woman” – 3:13
9.”You Fucking Love It” – 1:54
10.”Wondering” – 2:54
11.”Last of the Small Town Playboys” – 3:31
12.”B.U.R.M.A.” (UK edition only) – 3:18

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