Arena Gig a Great Jig (Newcastle)

Publication: The Evening Chronicle

Author: Gary Beckwith

Date: December 17, 2004

Section: Music & Gigs

Original Location: Link

The warning signs were there, even before we got to the gig.

A quick drink at the Dog and Parrot before we braved the strong wind and hiked up to the arena sounded like a good idea.

We should have realised the Pogues' faction of Geordie fans would have camped out somewhere and it seemed to be here.

The two Irish guys dancing to the jukebox blasting out Pogues songs was just a taster of what was to come at the arena.

The venue was bustling with a good mix of folk eagerly anticipating one of Ireland's most famous sons and his band to grace the stage.

With the sound of the Clash's Straight To Hell been played, Shane McGowan meandered on to the stage.

Dressed in black and cutting a rather paunchy figure, he carefully placed his bottle of er... refreshment next to his mic and launched into Streams Of Whiskey much to the crowd's delight.

What followed was a flurry of songs and dancing with the occasional disappearance of the man in black but luckily not for long.

Most of the best stuff was covered, A Rainy Night In Soho, Thousands Are Sailing, Sally MacLennane and of course Fairytale Of New York.

McGowan's trademark voice ripped through the songs like a rusty chainsaw and the band were note perfect.

McGowan even had time to deliver a sneaky dig at the city. Just before he sang Dirty Old Town he mentioned it was appropriate considering where he was!

Of course, the crowd loved it and one-finger salutes were volleyed back and forth between McGowan and fans!

The night ended with rousing renditions of YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH and Fiesta.

Everyone was dancing and everyone had a good time, enough said!

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