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LA - Club Nokia, October 17 - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:06 am
by Ross
If ever there was a show that could be summed up by "The band was great, the singer was drunk/ill, tears were shed for the famine," it was Saturday night at Club Nokia in LA. Shane had a rough night. Drunk? Ill? Both? Don't know, but it was not his finest hour. Despite this, the rest of the band was remarkable, a joy to watch. I felt that I got my monies' worth. The show may not go down as the best in Pogues' history, but it was certainly interesting.

A few of the highlights/lowlights (depending on your POV). (It's 2 am after the show as I write this, so I may forget a bit)

On stage:
* Shane falls over three times, twice in mid-song but manages to keep the song going each time.
* They eventually get a box on stage for him to sit on. He soldiers on, even when the Nokia stage crew almost knock him off when they try to put some stops under the wheels. (Incidentally, Nokia stage crew - Pull up your pants, guy! You don't need to moon the enter audience.)
* Andrew nails Star of the County Down, despite saying he hadn't done it for a while. Love watching everybody play musical chairs on their instruments - Darryl on drums, Philip on bass, among others.
* Shane doesn't make it out for the second encore. Spider says he is ill. Spider is a master of understatement. :D
* The knees in James' pants are destroyed by about the fourth song. He does a massive stage jump off of the box and lands on his knees. It looked painful watching it.
* Thousands are Sailing - Philip, what can I say? It was brilliant. It was thrilling to see you do it.
* Terry and James watching Shane for the cues throughout the song. It is a testament to the concentration and their talent that they can sound as good as they did.

Off stage:
* Idiot in white turtleneck and bowler hat (think a 260 pound droog, minus the eyelash and walking stick) just left of stage center in the pit creates his own little mosh pit with his girlfriend on several occasions. Twice he goes after guys who push into him a little too hard, driving them back like an offensive lineman. Third time, during the final encore, he gets bumped, grabs the guy by the throat and throws him to the ground. Guy appears to be knocked unconscious. Bowler hat grabs his girlfriend and bolts. I saw him later and he said the cops took his name and information. The guy on the ground eventually gets up.
* Spider throws the serving tray into the crowd following Fiesta. It lands among the security guards tending to the injured guy on the floor. Couldn't have done it better if he tried.
* In the VIP room afterward, one member of the band is overheard saying (paraphrasing)- "Everytime we are in LA, Shane f*cks it up."
* Got to meet Jem and Darryl briefly after the show, and both seemed a bit apologetic. They didn't need to be. It was fun to watch (and thanks Philip for putting me on the VIP list)

The set list (which they didn't follow exactly)
Streams of Whiskey
Broad Majestic Shannon
Turkish Song of the Damned
Brown Eyes
Boys from the County Hell
Tuesday Morning
Sunnyside of the Street
Repeal of the Licensing Laws
Body of an American
Lullaby of London
Greenland Whale Fisheries
Thousands are Sailing
Dirty Old Town
Bottle of Smoke
Sickbed of Cuchulan
::encore 1::
Rainy Night in Soho
Irish Rover
::encore 2::
Poor Paddy

Not on the set list was Star of the Country Down. I think there was one other change, but I can't recall what it was.

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:39 am
by MJ1
No Shane for the second encore? Did Spider sing?

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:31 pm
by conjunction junction
Ross wrote:Broad Majestic Shannon

I wanna hear that too. :D

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:08 pm
by Ross
MJ1 wrote:No Shane for the second encore? Did Spider sing?

Yes. He sings several times during the evening, as does Phillip and, at least last night, Andrew. When Spider announced Shane wasn't coming out for the second and he got ready sing Paddy, he said "well, this should be interesting."

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 5:57 pm
by Bill G
Ross you summed it up so well. My wife and I left Club Nokia shaking our heads, We have followed the band when they visit the L.A./OC area from almost day one. We always buy tickets thinking this may be the last time we see the full band. Last night made us feel that it may have been the end. We love the Pogues through all the highs and lows. I felt seeing Phillip back playing was the highlight of the night.

I had high hopes when Shane stayed out for the first four, five , six songs. I thought the boy was back. Then the falls. This makes me think that he was ill. This brings me to the really sad part. I didn't watch Shane all that much. I watched the band. They are amazing. But I think many of the fans there wanted the "train wreck". They wanted to see a drunk legend stumble and growl. They wanted to see someone as blitzed as they were last night. They got it. A Pogues show is more complicated than most other concerts. It brings out passion, fun, tears, highs, lows and bloodlines. We were just a bit confused leaving Club Nokia last night.

I think the most touching part of the night was Shane singing "Rainy Night in Soho". Almost seemed like a goodbye. My wife and I hugged, she was crying.

Nothing would make us feel better than to see the Pogues again with a healthy Shane. I really hope it happens.

I'm a big fan of the Aggrolites. I thought they were great. Too bad many of the fans were too "stuck up" to let themselves enjoy an opening act. Open up people! We are off to Anaheim tonight to see Gogol Bordello. Speaking of opening bands. It was at a GB show that I found one of my current favorites, Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros.

It will be interesting to contrast our Saturday Pogues night with our Bogol Bordello Sunday night. Ohh, I dread Monday morning.

Bill G.
Westminster, CA.

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:15 pm
by NewJerseyRich
Sounds like the type of unexpected or anticipated happenings (depending on your POV) during a show that make seeing the Boys live an event that is not to be missed. Say what you want about set lists, Shane, etc, No two shows are the same.

And please, I don't think we need the tears and the emotional assumptions of goodbyes. Shanes not going anywhere. No offense ment to anyone but, I guess after not seeing Shane for a few years, one can quickly jump to a one night viewing of him (especially a particularly off night) and say it's the last hurrah. I say rubbish. Stop all trying to see into the future and just be pleased with the present.

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:47 pm
by dawson
I think the most touching part of the night was Shane singing "Rainy Night in Soho". Almost seemed like a goodbye. My wife and I hugged, she was crying.

she might have been crying because shes married to such a morose mofo.. joke!!!! or you were stood on her foot.

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:31 pm
by blakemoreln2
Yes, it was interesting, to say the least. And a little sad.

I've seen The Pogues on their last two trips to Los Angeles, and one Christmas trip to London in 2004. and they were fantastic. At the five shows I attended, Shane was in good form, at least good enough to perform, including Halloween night 2007 dressed in Mariachi gear, plus bathrobe and eyepatch! Good enough to do his little finger pointing dance during White City, good enough to stride offstage with a wave when Philip or Spider would take their turn at the mike. Sure, he mumbled and shuffled around, but that was all part of the Shane we love.

Last night was a different story. He seemed to sing fine at the start, coming in on cues, etc. The first fall kind of came out of nowhere-like a boxer, maybe it was just a slip. It was not to be, and two more falls signaled a larger problem. He did finish "Boys From the County Hell" while laying on the deck, got to give him credit for that. He seemed much more at ease sitting the rest of the way, and that was fine-it really didn't take anything away from the show. I was standing about halfway back on the right, pretty close to one of the video monitors, and Shane sang each song with eyes closed, like he was far, far away. Maybe he was.

Musically, the band was as good as ever. It was great to see Philip back-we missed you two years ago. Fearnley is always a showman, and I enjoyed Spider's version of "Paddy on the Railway" as one of the encores-he stepped in admirably.

A very human moment, James offerering his arm to help Shane offstage.

The crowd where I was was dancing and having a good time. There's always a few out to spoil the good times of others-I'm glad I missed the a-hole in the bowler hat. Hasn't that kind of been played out everybody?

As far as the venue goes, I can't say I really liked it. Nothing really bad, nor nothing really special about it. Like the new downtown, it's built to be cool and trendy, making it almost immediately obsolete.. Kind of like Gertrude Stein's quote, "There's no there there". Or maybe I'm letting my fond memories of the WIltern shows get the best of me. I still remember "Fiesta" as the closer in '06, with a full horn section, and the members of Ollin joining in to give it even more punch. Crazy, but great.. Hard to beat the Wiltern for architectural style, and the beautiful lobby.

Anyway, I'm glad I went last night. The music was great, I would never pass up an opportunity to see The Pogues. The opening of "Streams" still gives me a chill, knowing what lies ahead that night, and what it has meant to me in the past.
Shane has always been a hero of mine, of course a flawed one-but proof that flawed people can still produce beautiful things in this world, things that matter and have influence on other's lives. And that we can all be vessels for something good in the world, despite the dents in our character. I woke up this morning a little more grateful for what I have.

Fall Shows, 2009 - NW X W X SW

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:30 pm
by Adam
Last night's LA show was, may I say, the "ugliest" I've seen of the six since they started touring again with Shane. It was grand to see you all again. But Shane was really gone. He fell three times (in part because the floor was wet) in the first half of the show, until they fixed that issue with some floor mats and a big instrument box for him to sit on the rest of the way. (He finished a couple of songs singing while lying on the floor.) But he was still rather inebriated. He wasn't able to make it out for the second encore, so Spider took both Poor Paddy and Fiesta. The band covered well, but it looked to me (from mid-way back) that they also seemed to recognize that the show was a relative mess - at least, everyone seemed to be working really hard to adjust rhythms and harmonies. But when I assume...

It was interesting to see Shane really gone, as I haven't had that experience in my previous shows. I hope he's ok today.

I didn't care for the new venue either. Going through a metal detector to go in. And I was in General Admission (GA), which was fine, but the "pit" in front of GA is much larger than that of the Wiltern. The further back GA (which I and most people were in) is entirely under the balcony, which seemed to mess up the acoustics a bit, Or maybe i just didn't care for the mix, and I was virtually right next to the mixing board, where the mix is usually best. It was just odd - some instruments just too high relatively (especially Spider's pipe), and others too low (Spider's 'tray banging" totally disappearing from the mix after its first round in "Fiesta"). People in the pit (who got there earlier than I) seemed to be having a grand time as usual. Maybe I was just disgruntled since i couldn't find anyone to go with.

I did really like Philip's turn on "Thousands" and Andrew's on "County Down" which he said that he hasn't done recently. Need to look at the set lists - first time on this tour?

If possible, and financially appropriate, I hope you can return to the Wiltern next time through LA.

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:34 pm
by Bill G
"she might have been crying because shes married to such a morose mofo.. joke!!!! or you were stood on her foot."

With my big feet, more than my wife may have been crying. I didn't want to sound "morose", but we didn't come away saying "that was the best . . " A couple of years ago we did. Driving around today listening to a Pogues CD or two, I know why we all love this band. Here's to the next time.
Bill G
Westminster, CA

Fall Shows, 2009 - NW X W X SW

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:23 pm
by DrugProwlingWolf
I thought it was a terrific show in spite of how gone Shane was. He wasn't nearly as coherent as the last LA shows, but the band was very energetic, the setlist was excellent, etc. Is it just me or was there internal debate as to whether Shane was gonna be able to make it back up to the mic during the Rainy Night in Soho bridge? I felt like it was a coin toss as to whether to just kill the song before the "sometimes I wake up in the morning" bit. Spider was a champ at that last encore though. My family was worried about Shane after the show, but then I realized that he's had, uh,

As for the Club Nokia, yeah, that can go straight to hell. I had to go through a metal detector to get in (I didn't even have to do that at the way-too-expensive Bob Dylan Palladium show last week), at 7:00 they wouldn't let anybody into the pit even though there was tons of room there (less than half full, probably), and the bouncers were huge assholes and actively searched the pit looking for people who jumped the fence to get in. Although I'm kinda biased since me and the three people I was with all jumped over a few songs in and didn't get caught. Good times. Anyway, I much prefer the Wiltern - more relaxed, intimate, customer-friendly. Plus, beer was like $10.

P.S. Philip was great on Thousands Are Sailing. First time I've seen him in the band, which was awesome.

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:46 pm
by Kateheng
I agree with Ross, who I believe was standing next to the entire show. For me, it really warmed my heart to see Philip and the highlight of my night was Thousands are Sailing. Philip has an amazing prescense, humble yet commands the stage in a subtle way. And I wish I had even 1/2 of James energy! Spider kept things flowing with the audience and was very entertaining (a born performer). James and Terry took it all in stride and gave Shane some cues. And Jem and Andrew were also spectacular.

The entire band was amazing and played so well together, it was truly a pleasure to be there and I am glad I got the chance to see them for a second time. An off night for Shane, but that is Shane, you never know what you are going to get. But it was great seeing him, and not because I wanted to watch him fall and stumble (I wanted anything but), but because I have a certain amount of affection for him as a performer and a person. It saddens me that people write him off, this talk has been going on for years (decades) and he always has the resilency to bounce back. In any event, the band played so well together that they made up for any of Shane's mishaps. It was worth the excitement, time and money to see the band plus or minus Shane (not taking anything away from Shane, but giving HUGE props to all the other performers who are truly talented in their own rights!).

I loved the show, love the band (all of them) and I thank Philip for interacting with us on this site.

The Pogues just make life good...

Oh, and I wore most of my Guiness thanks to the white shirt bowler hat guy...oh well, I guess that is half the fun (but I feel really sorry for his girlfriend--I'd like to give her some advice, run now, while you have the chance).

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2009 10:16 pm
by badattitude
Talking to my friend before the start about how you never know what Shane's condition will be. Obvious from the moment he came out slowly, but as usual he is able get through it fairly well. First time he falls is County Hell?. Shane is on his butt, but continues the song in time with his foot still tapping to the beat. Opportune time, I believe Spider quips, as Tuesday Morning follows, and gives him time to gather himself offstage. Makes it back til second stumble during Sunnyside?. More time offstage during Repeal, at which point crew brings out large storage crate (and a giant plumbers crack for the crowd from crew hand :wink: ) for Shane to sit on. Spider quips again I believe about how Shane gets to sing Body of an American on a box, possibly large enough to dump his carcass into. Maybe I was reading more into the joke. :smile: Also jokes about how the band will have to play backwards to keep up with Shane. At one point, entire band falls on their backs a la Shane :D

Anyways, the show soldiers on and there are a couple of problems due to Shane missing cues, repeating verses, etc. But nothing that made the show any less enjoyable for myself or people around me. Just part of the unexpected things that occur at a Pogues show. I think after the first encore, the general feel for myself was that Shane was done. I had no problem with that. As at the Halloween show in '07, we get a song from Andrew. County Down last night, and what a set of pipes. Andrew had the walls shaking :D . For the second encore, Spider nails Poor Paddy. Sick o' the fucking railway, the rail fuckin' way! Great! Then says, we can do Fiesta. "This oughtta be interesting". I do miss Shane a bit during this, but the band is still on. After it's over, I think it was Spider who said "well, that's all we've got". I think there is a bit of an apologetic air from the band thank you's at the end.

Highlights for myself are Pair of Brown Eyes, Terry's tremendous playing on mandolin? during Lullaby of London, Kitty, Sayonara, Body, Greenland, Thousands (great to see you back Phil), Dirty Old Town & already mentioned Spider sung tunes.

As they say in Hollywood, "The show must go on".
Pogue Mahone!

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:23 am
by philipchevron
We've certainly had less unpredictable nights. Just to clarify about the encores: Shane was physically sick after "Sickbed of Cuchulainn" and in no shape to return for the encores. We filled in with "Star of the County Down", as noted above (personally I was delighted to see it back in the show, whatever the circumstances) and by then Shane was in better shape to come on, but we took it gently at first, by doing "Rainy Night In Soho". After that, he anounced himself fit to do "Sally Maclennane" and "Irish Rover", but that really was it, he was shattered. We were going to end the show at that point, but the message didn't get to Ian and Paul (at the lights and sound mixers respectively) in time, and the timing of house lights, in particular, is crucial, so we were obliged to go back on or risk audience unrest. That's why Spider sang - very creditably, I thought - "Poor Paddy" and "Fiesta".

It may be worth mentioning that Shane is still recovering from his recent bout of pneumonia, which accounts in part for his erratic performances last week. I have to be honest and say I'd rather he hadn't done Carnegie Hall in those circumstances but he did and there it is.

Re: LA - Club Nokia - Well that was interesting...

PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:32 am
by blakemoreln2
Thank you Philip for that explanation, it does clarify things a bit. I feel somewhat foolish-I remember going online around the 1st of October looking for any releases etc., about the tour, and coming across an article saying that Shane had been sick, but was recovering in time for the tour-my memory is a bit fuzzy, but something about horse races, and that he had been ill, and/or in the hospital? I do remember being relieved that the article said he was planning on going on tour as scheduled.

Still a great show last night, warts and all..Good luck the rest of the way.