BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 7 December 2007, 11:53 GMT
Babyshambles fan sings with band
Fan Jamie Dell (left) with Drew McConnell
Dell (left) from Newcastle was a hit with the audience
A Babyshambles fan sang and played guitar with his idols at the NME Awards launch party after lead singer Pete Doherty was taken ill.

Bassist Drew McConnell asked front row fan Jamie Dell, 18, from Newcastle if he could play. Dell took to the stage to perform Carry On Up The Morning.

"It was cracking. I wasn't nervous because I'd had a drink," he said.

Guitarist Mik Wittnall was also a no-show, leaving McConnell and drummer Adam Ficek to soldier on alone.

The pair performed at IndigO2 in London in front of 300 competition winners.

Dell said he had attended a Babyshambles gig in Newcastle a few weeks ago and met the band backstage.

'Legitimate reason'

McConnell recognised him at the NME gig but did not know if he could play.

"Everyone was singing along and cheering," said Dell.

"I thought it was a dream when I woke up this morning."

He admitted he was disappointed Doherty did not turn up, but said "if he's got his reasons, fair enough".

Pete Doherty
Doherty is a recovering drug addict

McConnell described Dell's performance as "beautiful" before the fan returned to the audience.

The Babyshambles duo were joined by Josh Hubbard from The Paddingtons for two tracks from their five-song set, cover versions of The Clash's Janie Jones and The Vaselines' Molly's Lips.

Hubbard told 6 Music: "I came down to see some friends play and two of them looked pretty sad on stage on their own so I just helped them out."

McConnell told the NME after the show that Doherty's excuse for not appearing was genuine.

"There's a legitimate reason why he [Doherty] couldn't make it," he said.

"It's not anything to do with drugs being taken, put it like that. He's our best mate and a recovering addict. It wasn't right for him to come out tonight."

'Carry on'

Doherty recently admitted that he had suffered a drug relapse, and pledged to seek further help in his attempts to tackle his heroin addiction.

NME news editor Paul Stokes said they got a call backstage just before the band were due to perform to say Doherty was still at home in Wiltshire.

A discussion about what they should do ensued, with McConnell and Ficek deciding to carry on and try to get the crowd more involved.

"It was one of those moments where you just didn't know which way it was going to go," said Stokes.

"I think Drew handled the situation really amazingly... he came on and he was just honest with them, 'we're really sorry, we've let you down, we can sing some songs for you if you want.'

"The crowd really got behind them," he added.

Were you at the gig on Thursday night? What did you think of Jamie's performance?

Your E-mail address
Town & Country

The BBC may edit your comments and not all emails will be published. Your comments may be published on any BBC media worldwide.

Doherty owns up to drug relapse
07 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Singer Doherty 'mourning' drugs
06 Nov 07 |  Entertainment
Suspended jail term for Doherty
26 Oct 07 |  London
Doherty 'at drugs turning point'
12 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
Doherty suicide claims 'untrue'
08 Oct 07 |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific