The Pogues

 

The Pogues are a band I have wanted to see in concert for about 22 years – ever since Ronnie put “Haunted” and “Dirty Old Town” on a mix tape for me. For a decade there it seemed like I would never get the chance, at least not with Shane MacGowan in the band. Who didn’t expect him to drink himself to death sometime during the 1990s. But amazingly he has survived. He reminds me a bit of a George Romero shuffling zombie or a 90 year old man in the way he moves. He can’t quite follow a set list but Spider Stacy sets him straight when he announces the wrong song. But he can still sing. He can still work a crowd. And the band puts on one hell of show.

It was particularly nice to see The Pogues at the 930 Club. I got there early enough that I had a good spot up on the balcony close to the front of the stage and pretty much just didn’t move. Shane and Spider traded out lead singer duties for most of the show with Phil Chevron singing “Thousands Are Sailing” and the drummer Andrew Ranken covering Irish Rover during one of the encores. Two encores meant the band played for almost two hours. They closed with “Fiesta” complete with head vs. tin pan percussion. It was a marvelous show and I am so glad I decided to spend the money when the tickets went on sale.

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