How Did The Libertines Get Their Name?

29 July 2018, 17:00 | Updated: 30 July 2018, 11:51

The Libertines
The Libertines. Picture: Press

As The Libertines prepare to play Kendal Calling, let's delve into the theories behind their band name.

Formed in 1997 in London's Camden Town by Pete Doherty and Carl Barât, the band were at forefront of the UK garage rock revival and a crucial part of the early 2000s UK indie scene.

But how did the young rockers first come up with their name, and could they have been called something very different?

The Libertines play The Forum, London in 2010
The Libertines play The Forum, London in 2010. Picture: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

As the likes of Gigwise have reported, The Libertines' name was inspired by a controversial erotic work by the Marquis de Sade called The Lust of the Libertines, which was first published as part of his novel The 120 Days of Sodom- written in 1785.

After forming a quick friendship and deciding to ditch their respective university courses, the pair moved in together in Camden and started a band with their neighbour Steve Bedlow called The Strand.

But things could have been very different...

After forming a quick friendship and deciding to ditch their respective university courses, the pair moved in together in Camden and started a band with their neighbour Steve Bedlow called The Strand.

The Albions - which comes from the archaic name for Britain - was also considered as a name, but never got the green light as the band supposedly thought The Libertines sounded better.

Despite the William Blake-esque name never making the cut, something tells us they quite liked the moniker since it's still affiliated with the band today and is a major theme in Pete Doherty's writing.

The Albion Rooms was the name Doherty and Barat gave their flat in Bethnal Green, which became one of the venues for their guerilla gigs.

Doherty shared his notes, poems and musings under the title Books of Albion and exhibited his paintings under the the name Art of the Albion.

Down in Albion was the title of Pete's Babyshambles band's debut album, and on it included the single entitled... you guessed it... Albion.

Plus, The Libertines' new Margate hotel, in which they've been recording in this year, has been named The Albion Rooms.

See the video trailer for the boarding house and recording studios here: