Caught Live: The Pogues

Publication: The Sun

Author: ???

Date: December 21, 2007

Reviewed gig: London, Brixton Academy – December 18-20, 2007

Original Location: Link

IT is incredible that SHANE MACGOWAN is still alive.

Yet he managed to put on a Christmas tour that puts most sprightly young rock scamps to shame.

THE POGUES played the last English date of their festive sing-song on Wednesday - and it felt like St Patrick’s Day.

Boozed spilled all over the London venue as fans waved their pints in the air. If you didn’t leave soaked in Guinness you should have got more involved.

You had to be drunk or Irish - or preferably both - to understand most of the lyrics.

But booze-addled MacGowan still pulls it off far better than his intake should allow. He is an iconic figure fronting a brilliant band.

When fake snow burst from the ceiling during Fairytale Of New York, everyone grinned.

Throughout the gig a wind machine was aimed at MacGowan.

This and a huge overcoat made him look like a drunk singing on the way home on a blustery winter evening. And that’s why his fans relate with him - they cut a similar figure on the way home.

But I’m told the device is actually there to keep him awake.

The band have been supported fantastically on the tour by THE HOLLOWAYS but that has seemed to pass by MacGowan.

Frontman ALFIE JACKSON walked into MacGowan’s dressing room and got a book thrown at him for stepping too close to his glass of gin.

Alfie then had to explain he sings in the Pogues’ personally-requested support act - and they’ve spent several nights together in the local boozer they share in North London.

It’s no surprise Shane’s memory isn’t the best. If his brain is in a similar state to his teeth, it can’t be pretty.

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Transcribed and made available by Zuzana.