September 7, 2010 / 10:31 AM / 7 years ago

Carl Barat moves on with solo album, fatherhood

<p>Carl Barat of Britain's Dirty Pretty Things performs on stage during their concert at the Rock-en-Seine Festival in Saint-Cloud near Paris, August 28, 2008.Benoit Tessier</p>

PARIS (Reuters) - Carl Barat is a busy but a happy man these days.

The British singer and guitarist, who is about to become a father, will release his self-titled debut solo album on October 4.

There is also a book of memoirs out on September 30, and icing on the cake, Barat reunited with his former Libertines bandmates and fellow frontman Pete Doherty for two triumphant and highly emotional gigs at the Leeds and Reading festivals last month.

Barat told Reuters in an interview he was in favor of a third Libertines album following the comeback gigs but that right now his agenda was: "My album, my tour and my baby."

"I am very happy, nervous and excited. It's time for a change. It's time to move on," the 32-year old Barat said, as he confirmed he would have a boy in December.

Barat was in Paris to promote his 10-track solo album that also features collaborations with musicians like The Divine Comedy frontman Neil Hannon or Andrew Wyatt of Swedish electro-pop band Miike Snow.

Looking fit in a striped T-shirt, black leather jacket and jeans, Barat described the album as "truthful and cathartic" and a clear step away from his past work with the Libertines or Dirty Pretty Things, the band he split with in 2008 to try his hand at acting and work on solo material.

"Take away the guitars and you can see things, it's the first time I had the confidence to take away the guitars," he said.

There are fewer guitars and more piano and brass on the album but still plenty of catchy melodies and classic British songwriting in the tradition of The Kinks or The Smiths.

Barat is releasing the album through his own Arcady Records label and will embark on a tour in the autumn.

Barat has also penned a book "Threepenny Memoir," which he said is an account of the last 10 years. But he is not worried that the book might strain the fragile ties being rebuilt between members of the Libertines.

"Obviously everyone has their own version of the story. But I am not being horrible to anybody. I said good things and bad and everything is true from my personal perspective," he said.

Despite releasing only two albums in the seventh year of their existence, the Libertines created a cult following, and their reformation this summer was greeted with great jubilation in some music quarters.

It was the first time the band, which also includes Gary Powell on drums and John Hassall on bass, had played together since it imploded in 2004 in a blaze of drugs and bruised egos. Barat said his reunion with Doherty felt "perfect."

"A lot of these people had not seen the Libertines before. They wondered what the fuss was about. There was so much love and excitement. Everyone connected as if no time had passed at all," he said.

Barat said he was in favor of making another album with the Libertines and that he would like them to write new material. But right now his focus was his solo career.

"We will never be a band touring the world," he said. "But we might do more music. That's a possibility..."

Carl Barat

Album: "Carl Barat"

Release: October 4

Label: Arcady Records/Pias Recordings

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon, editing by Paul Casciato

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