THE former frontman of the Libertines is on the comeback trail with a new band – but has clashed with Edinburgh rock veterans who claim he has pinched their name.
Carl Barat, who fronted the Libertines with Pete Doherty, has formed a group called The Jackals and is set to perform a debut gig at London’s XOYO nightclub next month with an album expected to be released in September.
However, the English band has hit a bum note with long-standing rockers from the Capital who have been touring and recording albums under the same name since 1998.
Paddy McMaster, drummer and founding member of The Jackals, believes there is a “good case” for a breach of copyright should 35-year-old Barat press ahead with promoting a band with the same moniker.
He said: “We are a going concern and we won’t be walked over by the celebrity big man.
“As far as we know this a breach of copyright – we have had an album out and a few singles all branded as The Jackals.”
It is believed bandmate and singer-songwriter Scott Watson has registered the name with the Performing Right Society – which promotes and protects the value of copyright – but the Edinburgh group is yet to meet with a copyright lawyer.
“We just can’t believe it,” said Watson, 41. “This is our life. It’s what we do. They must know who we are. You just don’t do that kind of thing. But what chance have we got against a big London celebrity?”
The Jackals originally included Watson’s brother, Paul, who died aged 28 in 2000. Scott still plays his brother’s guitar.
The full-time Edinburgh Jackals have played the capital’s Voodoo Rooms, Queen’s Hall, Princes Street Gardens and even once supported the legendary Hawkwind.
The Capital’s Jackals recently hired music producer Owen Morris – who famously produced the hit Oasis album Definitely Maybe – to oversee a new single due to be released next month Holding All The Roses.
“We only heard about it when one of our friends said Carl Barat was using the name The Jackals,” Watson added.
“We haven’t made a big thing about it but our fans are going crazy with their comments on Barat on our Facebook page.
“I felt really hurt. My brother was in the band when we chose the name and now he’s gone.
“After putting all that cash in, another band with the same name suddenly pops up. It’s a bombshell.”
A spokeswoman for Barat’s management company in London said: “Carl is unavailable for comment.”
Barat and bandmate Doherty were leading lights in the most talked-about band in the music industry when the Libertines began to soar around 2002.
The group carried off a 26-date UK tour, culminating in the release of its acclaimed album, Up The Bracket.
But Doherty’s drug use put a strain on relationships and the band eventually split in 2004.