One of my largest favourites: Shane MacGowan...:)
The Pogues are a band of mixed Irish and English background, playing traditional Irish music with influences from punk rock, formed in 1982 and fronted by Shane MacGowan. They reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s, until MacGowan left the band in 1991 due to drinking problems. They continued with first Joe Strummer and then Spider Stacy on vocals before breaking up in 1996. The band began performing together again in 2001, though they have yet to record new music.
Their politically-tinged music was influenced by The Clash, yet used traditional Irish instruments such as the tin whistle, banjo, cittern, mandolin, accordion, and others. In the later incarnations of the band, after the departure of Shane MacGowan, rock instruments such as the electric guitar would become more prominent. The first of The Pogues' albums, Red Roses for Me, borrows much from the punk tradition of MacGowan's previous band The Nipple Erectors (later dubbed "The Nips").
The Pogues were founded in King's Cross, a district of North London, in 1982 as Pogue Mahone—pogue mahone being the Anglicisation of the Irish póg mo thóin, meaning "kiss my arse".
The band specialised in Irish folk music, often playing with the energy of the punk rock scene in which several of the members had their roots.
"The Irish Clash? A punk Dubliners? The fact is that The Pogues - or Pogue Mahone as they were initially known until Radio 1 had a hot flush on discovering that it was Irish for "Kiss my Arse" - were far better than both and only suffered the comparisons because the mid-80's music scene didn't know what the f**k else to make of or say about them.
To be fair though nobody had really clattered a tea tray against their head before to help keep time or tooted on the tin whistle like the devil himself had hold of their crotch in his fist. And certainly nobody had EVER written about the boozed and bruised experience of the Irish diaspora with the broken, fired-up eloquence that Shane MacGowan poured out in such large measure.
Many of the songs collected again here are now held in the same high regard as the standards which Shane grew up listening to and later covered - note the definitively crushed reading of Eric Bogle's 'The Band Played Waltzing Matilda'.
'A Pair of Brown Eyes', 'Rainy Night in Soho', the Christmas-isn't-Christmas 'Fairytale of New York'... the term poetic genius might now be devalued through lazy overuse but no other epithet does the crazy, bewildered bloke full justice.
The Pogues stand alongside The Smiths, New Order and The Jesus and Mary Chain as one of the truly important bands of the last 20 years but their songs will easily outlast the lot. Long after Shane's finally supped his last and tumbled off his barstool for the very last time, we'll still be boozily linking arms and shouting "you scumbag, you maggot..." in each other's faces with genuine affection. God bless you, Shane. You're not the first to have p**sed away your talent."
01. Dirty Old Town
02. Irish Rover - Pogues & The Dubliners
03. Sally MacLennane
05. Pair Of Brown Eyes
06. Fairytale Of New York - Pogues & Kirsty MacColl
07. Body Of An American
08. Stream Of Whiskey
09. Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn
10. If I Should Fall From The Grace Of God
11. Misty Morning Albert Bridge
12. Rain Street
13. White City
14. Rainy Night In Soho
15. London Girl
16. Boys From The County Hell
17. Sunnyside Of The Street
18. Summer In Siam
19. Hell's Ditch
20. Old Main Drag
21. The Band Played Waltzing Matilda
Accordion, Piano - James Fearnley
Citern, Vocals - Terry Woods
Guitar, Vocals - Philip Chevron
Tin Whistle, Vocals - Spider Stacey
Banjo, Saxophone - Jem Finer
Drums, Vocals - Andrew Ranken
Lead Vocals, Guitar - Shane MacGowan
Bass, Vocals - Darryl Hunt