WHEN it comes to the infamous Pete Doherty, you've always got to expect the unexpected and, true to form, the first night of Babyshambles UK tour was not without a drama.
Brixton Jamm was chosen as the venue for the first date last month and the band, who recently released their third album Sequel to the Prequel, arrived on stage 90 minutes late.
The singer was reported in the press saying three hours before the gig he had contemplated scrapping the gig, but thankfully his love of music prevailed.
Babyshambles are now well into the tour which includes a date at Exeter University's Great Hall on Sunday, October 20. Whether the night will pass without any hitches remains to be seen, but loyal fans of both Pete and the Babyshambles will be in for a memorable night regardless.
It's been six long years since the band's last record Shotter's Nation. The long gap has been as much down to Pete's other commitments as it has been the near-death experience of remaining original member Drew McConnell.
The bassist broke his ribs and injured his spine, knee and shoulder when a car knocked him off his bike in July 2011.
Drew spent five weeks in intensive care and was out of action for a long time, but it gave him lots of time to concentrate on his songwriting.
"I could start being evangelistical about the wonders of life and how happy I feel every single day just to be able to stand up and move about unaided, but what I did with my time was lots of writing," says Drew.
"I wrote my solo album, The Cost of Silence, which might be out next March, but I wanted to get the Babyshambles out first.
"I started the writing process for it in December. Pete would sometimes turn up at my house at 1am with his guitar. It's what you sign up for when you join this band.
"I'm over the moon with the album. It sounds amazing. When you're living with a record it's hard to see the wood for the trees, but there are definitely moments when I've listened to it and think I've never done that before, or that song would not have been on Down in Albion.
"It's nine years since we started the band and you can't just keep making the same record. AC/DC are there to do that."
Making albums these days is not once as easy as it was, simply because of logistics. To evade the British press, Pete now lives in Paris, but he hasn't been able to escape still making the headlines.
Earlier this year it was reported he was living with former child film star Macaulay Culkin.
Revealing the real story behind the tale, Drew says: "Macaulay Culkin is a friend of mine. While I was in Paris I met him for lunch and then one night we were doing a little gig in a small bar in Paris and invited Macaulay to come along.
"I introduced him to Pete backstage and they hung out for about two hours after the show. Then the next thing a newspaper is saying they are living together!
"The attention Pete receives there is a little less than when he's out in Camden. When he's home it's almost like a scrum. In France they love a black sheep, especially an underdog who has been beaten down by the British press."
Drew insists the caricature of Pete that has been portrayed in the press is a million miles away from the real person, but also admits it would sometime be nice to be in a band that wasn't so unpredictable.
After his first rise to fame with The Libertines, Pete created Babyshambles. Initially a side-project during time out from The Libertines, Babyshambles have become a band in their own right.
"I kind of take the philosophy that I really believe in this band and the music that we make, and you just have to accept the negative stuff that comes with it," reflects Drew. "If I can't take it then frankly I need to man up. It is frustrating and it would be nice sometimes to be in a normal band!
"I very much feel like the music we make is remarkable, so I give it 100 per cent."
That very determination is what led Drew to join the band. As a way of getting a foot in the music business he worked for Rooz Studios in London where one of the regular faces was Pete Doherty.
"I moved to London because I was sick of starting a band and people not taking it seriously," recalls Drew. "I wanted to meet musicians and the obvious place was a rehearsal studio.
"Patrick Walden worked there and ended up being the first guitar player on the first Babyshambles album. He also wrote some of the songs such as F*** Forever. We hit it off because we both digged bands like Sonic Youth.
"Pete used to come to the studio, but I didn't know who The Libertines were because coming from Ireland and having grown up in Spain and France, I wasn't up to date with British popular music.
"Pete always asked people to borrow their guitar but they would say no as he had a reputation for not giving them back. Not knowing this I was like, 'yeah sure'. He said, 'thank you' and ran off with my guitar. I was told I would never see it again, but I did!
"And so it started from there. Patrick and I were making a lot of noise together that was quite heavy then Pete brought with him a more British sound like The Kinks and the Beatles along with his songwriting, and that's how began the Babyshambles sound.
"Pete and I are the only original members, although Mick Whitnall (lead guitarist) has been with us for a long time."
The band is relishing being back on the road, and their date in Exeter is the second to last date of the tour before it heads to Europe.
"Pete is definitely happy and just loves to tour. For me, I love the discipline and travel and getting to see a new place every day and make music, where as Pete just loves mayhem. We are like the yin and the yang of the Babyshambles tour!"
With great loyalty towards Pete, and perhaps some protectiveness of him too, Drew refuses to be drawn into answering any questions about Pete's health or demons.
When asked if Pete has managed to kick his drug habit, Drew simply replies with an answer he must often repeat, saying: "You would have to ask Pete."
Tickets for the gig cost £23. Visit www.exeterboxoffice.com