Baby Shambles (possibly an allusion to Jonathan Swift's satiric essay, A Modest Proposal) refers to a set of recordings by United Kingdom rock and roll band, The Libertines, and to a separate band formed by singer and guitarist, Pete Doherty.
- The Babyshambles Sessions is a set of songs recorded by The Libertines while in New York. The singer and guitarist Carl Barat left before completion of the tapes, which were intended for the second album. Bassist John Hassall also lent a hand, playing the bassline on one song, The Man Who Would Be King. It is thought that Barat played drums on some tracks. Doherty then gave the tapes to a fan who, at his request (a fact he later denied), made the tracks available to the band's hardcore fans over the internet. A 3-CD set of these sessions can also often be found for sale on internet auction sites such as eBay and can also be downloaded for free at Albion Arks. Several of the tracks that feature on the sessions were later recorded and included on The Libertines' second studio album.
- Babyshambles is a separate band formed by Pete Doherty following his departure from The Libertines due to the band's alleged refusal to tolerate his drug use. Doherty has often disputed this, claiming that he was not the only member of the band to use drugs and stating his belief that Barat had other motives for excluding him.
The band's first single, Babyshambles, was released in April 2004 on High Society Records. Fewer than 1,000 copies of the CD and 7" were released and both can now be found changing hands for more than £50 on internet auction sites such as eBay.
The band underwent several changes of line-up before finally stabilising during Summer 2004 with Doherty on vocals, Patrick Walden on guitar, Gemma Clarke (who has now left the band) on drums and Drew Mcconnell on bass.
During September and October 2004 Baby Shambles embarked on a UK tour culminating in two sold-out shows at the London Scala. Despite fears that Doherty's performance would not be consistent, the tour sold-out and received critical acclaim. The band's second single "Killamangiro" was released November 29 2004 on Rough Trade Records and reached number 8 in the UK charts. The band embarked on another tour in December amid increasing concern about Doherty's drug use. During a gig in Blackpool the band walked off stage when it became clear Doherty was too intoxicated to perform and a riot broke out at the London Astoria when Doherty failed to turn up for a gig.
In January 2005, Gemma Clarke quit the band, citing disagreements with the management who she considered irresponsible for failing to address Doherty's obvious drug problem. She was replaced by Adam Ficek. In February 2005 Doherty, along with fellow musician Alan Wass, was arrested on suspicion of assault and blackmail. It was alleged that Doherty assaulted Max Carlish, a documentary maker, in a London hotel, a charge he denied. Carlish had made a documentary about Doherty entitled 'Stalking Pete Doherty'. After allegedly assaulting Carlish, Doherty spent several nights in prison until £150,000 bail could be raised. After being released on bail Doherty spent several weeks in a recording studio in Wales working on Baby Shambles' debut album. All charges against him were dropped in April 2005.
Work on Baby Shambles' debut album continued throughout April and May 2005 with Mick Jones, who worked with Doherty on the producing of The Libertines' albums. The album, "Down in Albion" was released on 14th November, having been leaked onto the internet on 19th October. It came 10th in the Radio 1 Album Charts. The first single from the album was "Fuck Forever" and was released on August 15th,reaching number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. The second single "Albion" was released on the 28th November and came 8th in the Radio 1 Single Charts.
On October 1, 2005, the Baby Shambles tour bus was raided by police. Pete Doherty was charged on suspicion of possession of class A drugs and bailed until December, although Doherty claims that the substances were related to his Naltrexone implant.
Pete Doherty appeared on Newsnight at the end of 2005, and played a few small gigs to fans at the end of that year. At the start of 2006 the band announced that they would play 3 small club shows in London, Sheffield and Stoke. To fans' surprise, Baby Shambles performed at the first of the London dates without guitarist Patrick Walden. Instead of Walden, Pete Doherty played guitar at the London date. The band subsequently made an announcement that Walden had left the band to pursue other projects. However, the guitarist returned for a gig in Cambridge in January, and finally rejoined the band for good in February of 2006.
In February 2006, the band also won the Naomi Award for Worst Live Act.
On February 23, 2006 Pete Doherty received an NME award for sexiest male, he also performed with his band Baby Shambles on the night.
On April 29, 2006 Doherty was arrested, this time on the day of Babyshambles' scheduled appearance at a Love Music Hate Racism rally in Trafalgar Square. The set was replaced by an acoustic performance of 'Albion', by Drew McConnell.