Caught Live: The Pogues
Thanks to Faggot-gate the Pogues' sell-out London Christmas knees-up was suddenly in the spotlight. Not bad for a band whose last new song was in the charts back in 1993.
Yet by the time they appeared on stage the BBC had performed a U-turn and unbleeped the insults "faggot" and "slut" from the Pogues' Christmas classic Fairytale Of New York, adding to the party atmosphere And the Pogues, now in their 25th year, are still the best band for a knees-up.
A clearly well-lubricated Shane MacGowan, with the deathly pallor of the Ghost Of Christmas Past, still has the capacity to hit every note that's required - although not necessarily with the correct words. No matter.
The Pogues might play essentially the same set every Christmas yet you wouldn't criticise a carol service for featuring your favourite festive hymns. And no Songs Of Praise Yuletide special could get the whole place linking arms and jumping up and down.
The Pogues defy fashion. Their tunes will never age. Even Streams Of Whiskey and Boys From The County Hell from their 1984 debut album Red Roses For Me sounded fresh and taut. And the audience was filled with as many indie kids in skinny black jeans as blokes with thinning hair and expanding waistlines.
Of course, it was Fairytale that everyone wanted to hear. Guitarist Jem Finer's daughter Ella sang the sadly-missed Kirsty MacColl's part under a shower of fake snowflakes. And with "faggot" included, it sounded as majestic as ever with its tragedy, poignancy and humour.
It's no surprise it's been voted the best seasonal song of all time. It fair brought a tear to this old cynic's eye.
Streams Of Whiskey
If I Should Fall From Grace With God BMS
Turkish Song Of The Damned
A Pair Of Brown Eyes
Dark Streets Of London
Tuesday Morning Sayonara
Summer In Siam
The Sunnyside Of The Street
Repeal Of The Licencing Laws
Body Of An American Thousands Are
Sailing Boys From The County Hell
Dirty Old Town
Greenland Whale Fisheries
Bottle Of Smoke
Sickbed Of Cuchulian Transmetropolitan
Rainy Night In Soho
Star Of The County Down
Fairytale Of New York
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