Controversial troubadour Wolfman has been a regular fixture on the London indie scene for several decades but is more renowned for his troubled relationship with Pete Doherty than his poetic brand of alt-rock. Born Peter William Randall in Maidstone, Kent in 1968, he later changed his name to Peter Wolfe after moving to London at the age of 18. Following a two-month trial at Gillingham Football Club, he switched his attention to music, sharing a house with the Pogues' Shane MacGowan and briefly appearing in a band with pre-Elastica drummer Justin Welch. Frustrated at being unable to secure a record deal, he first moved to New York, and then Paris, where he published a book of poetry. On his return to the U.K., he starred in The Greatest Unknown Rock n Roll Star, a Channel 4 documentary by filmmaker Andy Lee, who later went on to become his manager, and formed a new outfit, Wolfman & the Side Effects.
In 2001, he was introduced to the Libertines' then-unknown lead singer Pete Doherty at an Islington pub, and the pair struck up a tumultuous friendship that is reported to have influenced both of their addictions to heroin. In 2003, he made an unlikely appearance at the Sundance Festival with his band following a chance meeting with legendary comic Jackie Mason, and a year later, scored a surprise Top Ten hit with the Doherty-sung "For Lovers," a track he'd previously written ten years earlier, which also later received a nomination at the Ivor Novello Awards. Wolfman scored a few minor hits of his own ("Napoleon," "Ice Cream Guerilla") and supported Babyshambles on tour, but due to his drug problems, didn't appear on the music scene again until 2008, when he performed a rather shambolic duet at Doherty's solo show at London's Royal Albert Hall, and co-penned a track on Doherty's debut solo album, Grace/Wastelands ("Broken Love Song"). In 2010, Wolfe was charged with possessing and supplying cocaine during a police investigation into the death of a filmmaker who was shooting a program about the pair before she passed away. ~ Jon O'Brien