Former LIBERTINES star Carl Barat's bid for solo success has been dealt a major boost after MERCURY RECORDS signed him to their VERTIGO imprint.

The CAN'T STAND ME NOW singer - who famously kicked troubled pal PETE DOHERTY out of The Libertines last year (04) for failing to beat his drug addiction - is already working on an album for the label.

Barat has been desperate to land a record deal since disbanding The Libertines in December (04), so he can carry out his quest to compete with Doherty's new band Babyshambles.

Vertigo's GREG CASTELL says, "Carl is one of the greatest talents in modern music. His contribution to The Libertines was fundamental to the band's success and we're delighted to have the opportunity of working closely with him."

22/02/2005 17:57