"It was an amazing experience" - Halifax band support The Libertines at Leeds gig after chance meeting with Pete Doherty

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A chance meeting with Pete Doherty gave a band from Halifax a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support The Libertines at a recent gig.

Four-piece band The Caymans were taking a breather outside a recording studio in Leeds when they met Pete Doherty walking his dog hours before his group The Libertines were due on stage at The Wardrobe, a city centre music venue.

The band showed Doherty some of their music, before they were asked to support The Libertines at their gig that night.

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"Their manager worked frantically to find space for us in the line-up, which we appreciated greatly," said 18-year-old Jacob Brown, from Shelf.

Al Bentley (rhythm guitarist) with Pete DohertyAl Bentley (rhythm guitarist) with Pete Doherty
Al Bentley (rhythm guitarist) with Pete Doherty

"Both him and Pete were amazing, both so welcoming and made us feel completely at ease along with their entourage who helped us set up, all with gear we had to rent as we'd all come with nothing but the clothes on our back.

"We played to our biggest crowd yet, a sold out 400 capacity room, and supported one of the bands that made us form the group in 2023.

"It was one of the best experiences of our lives."

Brown formed The Caymans with his cousin Euan Wilson-Youngman and friends Alastair Bentley and Toby Walker.

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Toby Walker (drummer) and Euan Wilson-Youngman (lead guitar) with Pete DohertyToby Walker (drummer) and Euan Wilson-Youngman (lead guitar) with Pete Doherty
Toby Walker (drummer) and Euan Wilson-Youngman (lead guitar) with Pete Doherty

"We met Toby in 2022 at a Noel Gallagher gig at the Piece Hall, we then met Al at Calderdale College."Jacob says The Libertines were a massive inspiration to the quartet, and used their song Can't Stand Me Now to audition Toby and Al.

"The idea that we supported one of our biggest inspirations still hasn’t quite sunk in yet," Jacob said.

"It was an amazing experience, both Pete and his manager Andy were so personable it didn’t feel like we were talking to a man who has sold multiple of millions of records, instead it felt like just another passionate musician talking to an upcoming band who were looking for a big break, we are so grateful for the opportunity that they gave us."

Jacob feels Halifax has earned a place on the music map of the country thanks to its increasing collection of homegrown bands and the spectacular series of Piece Hall gigs which have seen artists like Sting, Tom Jones and Noel Gallagher perform in the town.

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"I think the Halifax music scene has been amazing for quite some time," he said.

"However, I feel like the recent exposure due to the Piece Hall opening as a venue, it's really put Halifax on the map.

"I also think that the local music scene is very exciting due to the close knit relationships of a lot of the bands all knowing each other via sharing either a school or a stage or a drummer.

"This creates an environment to grow together and furthermore one in which we help each other, whether it's a borrowed guitar lead or a PA, its all about helping each other to make the big break."

The Cayman's next gig will be at the Cock of the North steam brewery in Lightcliffe on March 24.

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