Shane has recently left us I saw The Pogues at a few Christmas concerts and at the Barrowlands Joe Strummer and Kirsty MacColl were surprise guests and with Darryl Hunt joining them and Philip Chevron on the other side I realised we are in different times, a shame, what a night that was. The world is a lesser place without all five of them.
Years later, I was at the Glasgow SECC, The Pogues were meant to be on, my sister worked security, and said there was a delay as Wayne was unconscious, no we advised that will be Shane.
MacGowan and The Pogues were at their height of their fame when they released If I Should Fall from Grace with God. Shane had mainly written the first two albums, but other band members contribute songs here and Jem Finer shares co-writes with MacGowan.
Fairytale of New York is arguably the greatest Christmas single ever, Shane and Kirsty MacColl’s voices blend beautifully with a great lyric from MacGowan, it’s never been a Christmas number one, an injustice.
Turkish Song of the Damned and Fiesta introduce more than their traditional Irish music as the band expand their sound and a political element entered the songwriting with Streets of Sorrow/Birmingham Six from MacGowan and Terry Woods. Chevron produced the best song on the album, Thousands are Sailing about Irish emigration a glorious song with a glorious chorus.
Lullaby of London and The Broad Majestic Shannon show MacGowan was at his peak, but sadly future releases never reached this high standard and MacGowan had not released an album in twenty-five years.
A talent, certainly, and one who produced some magnificent songs, but I do sometimes wonder if MacGowan would have gone on to even better things without his problems or they enabled him to be the talent he was, sadly we will never know.
GIVE IT A STREAM: Thousands Are Sailing