SCOTLAND will have a delayed and curtailed music festival season in September as tentative first steps are made to return to live performances with crowds.

Playground will take place in Rouken Glen Park in Thornliebank, south of Glasgow, with a line-up that includes Orbital, Hot Chip, Glasvegas, Culture Club and Nile Rodgers & Chic.

The Libertines headline the first night on Friday, September 24, and drummer Gary Powell is looking forward to being reunited with Scottish music fans.

“I think Scottish people, when it comes to music, you are not afraid to show your appreciation when you find a band you really like. “Whenever we’ve played in Scotland, it’s always been an amazing experience,” he says, before recalling the time he was in Edinburgh, playing with Carl Barat’s Libertines off-shoot band Dirty Pretty Things.

“I’ve had some wonderful music conversations in Scotland. After that gig in the Liquid Rooms we were in a hotel and I met a bunch of guys. We were drinking whisky and they invited me to a party. I ended up going and we chatted about all types of music and aspects of life.

"It felt natural, talking to people about stuff that we found mutually important. I ended up in trouble because I didn’t get back to the tour bus until three in the morning and it should have left at midnight.”


He also recalls Glasgow shenanigans with the Arctic Monkeys. “We were playing in a small club while we were recording at Castle of Doom studios in Glasgow with Tony Dougan. We ended up hanging out with Glasvegas at their place. Then one night we all went out with Arctic Monkeys, right at the beginning of their career. That was fun going up and down Sauchiehall Street. I’m really looking forward to coming back.”

Gary’s two decades with The Libertines has been characterised by periods of frenetic activity around the release of three studio albums, then band member departures, reunions, and splits.

How are things with the band as they return to the stage?

“I think we’re in a better place than we’ve been in a long time. That’s primarily because, during the time we had apart from each other, we got to know ourselves as individuals. When we first got together and hit the road straight away, it was very much a petri dish of nonsense.

"There was stress because, apart from the writing of the music, we never got the opportunity to control our own environment or the emotions that go along with that.

“As soon as we finished one tour, we’d have a few days and they’d throw us back on the road.”

Gary sees the next chapter for The Libertines as gaining momentum from live shows, then making new music.

“The last tours we did, the amount of young people that were turning up to the show and getting into the music was absolutely fantastic. Maybe the guys will tell me off for saying this, but I want the best for my friends and I think we were sitting on our laurels a little bit regarding moving forward.

“I don’t think we have put our best foot forward regarding what we should be doing next. I would rather not be a heritage act.

“I hope we’ll try some new and interesting things. I’m not talking about reinventing the wheel, I’m just talking about having that conversation. It’s not about what we did 10 years ago. I loved the material and I still love playing it, but I want to do something new.”