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March 12, 2008: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:07 pm
by Saucier
Just ... Wow... Effin' Wow...!

Better crowd here than in DC... seemed like the gentlemen played some things even FASTER than they did on Sunday. Faster than one would have thought possible.

... go see the Pietasters!

Re: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:58 pm
by Doktor Avalanche
Yes, better than the DC 9th show (not that that was bad, mind) The band was tighter, Shane really looked (and acted) like he was having a good time, bantering with the audience, smiles all around. The band was fast and furious, never missing a beat. All "guest" vocals were great - love that you're back Philip.

Venue was a bit odd (never been before) whereas there was plenty of room , but not good sightlines. This was made up by LCD monitors everywhere so if you step over to the bar/restroom/out to smoke, you can still hear the music and see probably better than where you were.

Crowd was the usual mix of old-timers with a healthy representation of the yung'ns. A little rowdy near the front, but well behaved.

Cheers, Pogues, for two great evenings. Hope you are enjoying it as much as we.

Re: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:10 pm
by Eric V
Shane was all smiles, jokes, and laughs last night. The whole band seemed to be having a great time. The music was wonderful. The crowd was no doubt a refreshing change from the previous D.C. crowd. I spent about half of the show in the swirl in front of the stage. Took about three songs before I decided to move up and into the fray, and I stayed as long as I felt I could keep up. I did just turn 43. In the end Spider and James said something nice about Baltimore, and I really do hope the band enjoyed playing there.

Re: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:05 pm
by gene gene
Great show at the Ramshead last night. Better sound than 9:30 club, and yes, Shane actually looked healthier than in past times I've seen him.
Loved how Spider dedicated "Body of an American" to McNulty and then asked for no one to spoil the recent episode of the Wire. Hope they plan to play Baltimore again when they tour here again.

Re: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:59 pm
by NedSanyour
Gotta agree, it was a fabulous show. First one for me on this tour.

I enjoyed Shane's little belly dance thing at the end of Sayonara, I think it was? Or was in Turkish Song of the Damned? Anyway, he did that and Spider yells, in his best Tom Waits, "She's so good, make a dead man come!" Then Shane mutters something about feeling gorgeous...

Very nice crowd, fun and energetic... great sound, too. From where we were, sounded like lots of banjo.

Re: Baltimore

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:45 am
by O'Blivion
ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...where to start...
...well, I'll start SOMEWHERE, because last year after
the phenomenal Philly show I waited too long to write
it down. If you let it stew too long your recollection turns
to mush, all the fine details scattered and sunk in the
glowing warm muck of memory.

We - my Sweetheart, my bosom pals Marc & Gregg (the
same gang that's attended the last 2 shows with me),
Gregg's wife Judy and I - had every intention of going
to James Joyce's Pub to eat before any serious drinking
got under way. But we got a late start, partially becaused
we stopped at a State Store (a Pennsylvanian government-
run monopoly of wine & spirits shops) to get a fifth of Powers.
We passed the bottle around, blasted Red Roses For Me, talked
and jabbered and laughed and smoked. An hour and a half later
we pulled into Charm City and discovered to our alarm (mixed
with a measure of pride) that the Powers was nearly finished.
A few huge gulps and it was gone. No time to eat, the doors
are OPEN.

So we - the Pogues veterans - were more than primed.
Judy had politely passed on the Powers, but the rest of
us were ready to rock. We were on the Fifth-and-a-half
floor of the parking garage, which spurred a short cinema
discussion which quickly devolved into Marc and I saying
"Malkevich Malkevich. MALKEVICH? Malkevich!" as we
stumbled laughing down the giddy winding stairwell.

Before we knew it we lurched around a corner and we
were THERE. What a cool place! Several levels, lots of
bars, the stage low. I had already decided that after
seeing them from the floor, and then from the rail, on
previous tours, I would go to the balcony this time. But
as we took in our surroundings I saw a large spot at the
rail on Philip's side and, well, where else was I going to
go? The girls opted for the balcony, Marc & Gregg floated
off to the bar, but I stayed at the rail. I slipped off for drinks
a few times, but always got back to my spot. The crowd there
was mostly young and polite and deferred a bit to me as an old
veteran. The earnest young man next to me started a conversation
about 80s punk. I became conscious that I was involuntarily slipping
into a fake Irish brogue. I wasn't trying to pass as Irish, because I
told him I was from PA; I tried to stop it but every sentence ended
up a bad imitation of Bono. I was soooo drunk, but it was that kind
of lucid drunkness that I seem to achieve every time I see the Pogues.
Everything's clear and crisp and brilliant.

The Pietasters came out, DC ska-kings with trombone & sax. A
boisterous, fun set, one song dovetailing into the next. A great
opening act.

Then the stage set up - I noticed that the Pogues' road crew were
sort of stars in their own right, well-dressed & posing for photos.
Joey Cashman came out briefly and people murmured and pointed
at him as a harbinger of Shane to come. We could see a hand written
set list on Terry's amp and I explained to the youngsters around me
that "BMS" meant "Broad Majestic Shannon". You could see the newbies'
eyes growing large as they deciphered what the first few songs were going
to be. "Whoa...DAMN. This is going to be AWESOME."

"Straight to Hell" seemed to leap out of the speakers, and as the Pogues
filed out I fell into The know what I mean? You're drinking
in EVERYTHING, every detail, but it's sort of coursing over you and through
you and you're not really retaining all of it. Especially looking at Philip
standing right THERE, just a few feet away, with a perfectly cut blue
pinstripe suit, and a perfect fedora, strumming his guitar - thinner than
when I'd last seen him, of course, but looking damned good for a man
who'd recently told cancer to take a fucking hike. I had the same sort of
reaction Sheva mentioned, filling with love and admiration for this guy I
really don't really know but sort of do...well, we all feel like that, I
guess. I was really choked up for a bit.

The whole band looks GOOD, not least of all Shane, who actually seems
to be getting younger. They kicked into Streams of Whiskey and we
were off.

I'm thankful that someone else wrote down the setlist because I have only
the vaguest recollections. I know I sang along at all the appropriate moments;
I know the band played like gods. I really couldn't objectively judge anything.
It all just seemed perfect, brilliant, timeless. I DO recall how fucking amazing
"Thousands" was, and how everyone around me reacted to it. It was the
highlight of a show that was mostly highlights.


I ended up in the balcony to watch the
encores with my Sweetheart. It was a
neat view, looking out across the band,
but it was too detached being above
them looking down. As the show ended,
my Sweetie said that Gregg had been
escorted out before the encores for being
too drunk. As we left the club, a big guy
was on the floor freaking out -Marc waded
into the crowd of people who were trying
to calm him down and saw he was having
an asthma attack. He helped him with his
inhaler and got him to sit up as an ambulance

We found Gregg asleep in the car and Judy,
thankfully sober, steered us toward home.

We got to bed at 2:30 and back up at 6:30
to drive to work, and felt like HELL. But a
good kind of hell.

Re: Baltimore

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 1:24 pm
by Eric V
O'Blivion wrote:ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...where to start......well, I'll start SOMEWHERE....

Great story, O.

Given where you said you were, I was kinda pingponging around a few feet behind you. I was about three people away from the rail, which of course meant that I had to work constantly to keep my balance. A great show, AND a fantastic workout! :D

Re: Baltimore

PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:27 pm
by Esther
I enjoyed your story, as well, O'Blivion. Thanks for taking the time to share with us!

Re: Baltimore

PostPosted: Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:05 am
by ciaranufc
Just wanted to add my thanks to the guys for putting on an outstanding show in Baltimore! I think I've just about recovered by today :wink:

This was my first time seeing the Pogues in the States since around 1990/91(?), so wasn't sure what to expect of the crowd. Especially after seeing the Newcastle and Manchester shows in December where the crowds were insane. Looks like the folks down on the floor did Baltimore justice! I was up in the bleachers, where the crowd was a bit too sedate, but that's the trade off of having bad knees and back and needing to sit as long as possible. Not that either condition stops me once the band hits the stage! Even all the way in the back, I was closer to the stage than in either Newcastle or Manchester, so it was great being able to actually SEE the band. Looked like they were having a great time up there, with plenty of banter, James doing things with an accordion that no human should be able to do, everyone trying to keep Shane on track with the set list. Was that a bottle of whiskey at his feet? No wonder he appeared to be seeing double trying to read the set list. :mrgreen: Best of all was just the joy of being in the presence of such great musicians, and last but most definitely not least, getting to see Mr. Chevron back and looking and sounding great.

Thank you all, and hope to see you back again next year. May even try to get over to England again for the Christmas shows if you guys do another tour!


PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 5:42 am
by bigjim dwyer
Ram's Head Baltimore 3/12/08
There was a vidoe screen . Therefor a camera!! Therefore recorded. Is this something the band organised for inclusion in, or release of, a live dvd??

Re: MARCH 2008: Chicago, Washington DC, Baltimore...........

PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:55 am
by dublinrambler
bigjim dwyer wrote:Ram's Head Baltimore 3/12/08
There was a vidoe screen . Therefor a camera!! Therefore recorded. Is this something the band organised for inclusion in, or release of, a live dvd??

That doesnt necessarily mean it was recorded,a lot of venues provide screens to the concert-goers as a courtesy to those not within close proximity to the stage,i assume this was the case here....though i could be wrong


PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:38 pm
by wendylou
Okay, I'm a little late in sending this post because Verizon had my DSL account completely FUBAR and I just got the service restored today. :evil: They crossed my account with someone who had ordered Fios, and they couldn't figure out how to fix it. Idiots. I still don't have email, but at least I can get online again.

Anyway, the show in Baltimore on March 12th was absolutely killer. I think the band played every song I had hoped they'd play. They all looked and sounded great. I had a good spot to watch the show from the second floor of the Ram's Head, on the right side of the stage. I was looking straight down on the band from the side and could see everything perfectly. Plus, it isn't as hot upstairs as it is downstairs.

Shane seemed to be enjoying himself, except for having to mess with the mike stand a lot. Oh, and he spilled one of his drinks on stage and got ice everywhere, lol. Some huge dude kept getting past security and putting shots on stage by Shane's feet. He put one by Spider's feet, but he gave it away. (Spider, do you get huge bruises on your legs from whacking yourself with the tin whistle? Just wonderin') I loved when Spider and Shane were hitting their heads with the beer trays. Classic.

I am so happy that I got to see the band again. It was really a great time, just like the first time I saw them back in the '80's.

Oh, the other day, I heard a Pogues song on the radio!!!! I could not believe it. I never ever ever hear them on the radio around here. I actually called the station and thanked the dj for playing a Pogues song, and for them to please play more Pouges. I hope they do.


Re: MARCH 2008: Chicago, Washington DC, Baltimore...........

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 1:32 am
by theCOOP
wendylou wrote:
Oh, the other day, I heard a Pogues song on the radio!!!! I could not believe it. I never ever ever hear them on the radio around here. I actually called the station and thanked the dj for playing a Pogues song, and for them to please play more Pouges. I hope they do.


With the exception of possibly Shanne Bradley on a CBC Radio show one day, the only time I ever hear(d) the Pogues on the radio is FONY near Christmas.

But apparently, and I missed it, they played quite a bit of Pogues on Q104.3, Halifax's Home of Rock and Roll during St. Patricks Day.

Re: Baltimore

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 7:30 pm
by theCOOP
O'Blivion wrote:ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...where to start...
...well, I'll start SOMEWHERE, because last year after
the phenomenal Philly show I waited too long to write
it down. If you let it stew too long your recollection turns
to mush, all the fine details scattered and sunk in the
glowing warm muck of memory.

I know exactly how that is.

In Boston in 2006...I know I had a really good time. But after the show the cab we were in immediately after the show jumped a curb on the way back to the hotel. The airbags went off and blew both front tires, and we ended up at a hospital for several hours. So the fine details of the show were lost forever.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 3:17 pm
by MacRua
The Pogues
[Rams Head Live!; Baltimore, MD]

David Harris
Tiny Mix Tapes

Full URL

Okay, full disclosure time. My history with The Pogues has been a rocky one at best. I came onboard as a fan to their unique blend of Irish folk with punk sensibilities in 1994, a few years after the band fired singer and main songwriter Shane MacGowan. By this time, MacGowan had become a legend, not only for his legacy of timeless songs, but also for the amounts of alcohol and drugs he had consumed.

As a newcomer whom the music instantly captivated, I wanted to see this stuff live. The closest thing at the time was Shane MacGowan's solo band, The Popes. But fortune had a way to keep me and Shane MacGowan separate. The first time he came to Philadelphia, I was too young to get into the show. Then I finally did see him in 1999, but MacGowan did not appear onstage until close to 1 AM, and I was too drunk to remember anything. The next chance was in 2000, but MacGowan never showed, inciting a near riot in the audience. I can still hear the shouts of "Fuck you, Shane MacGowan," coming from some drunkard as the cops dragged him out. My last chance was the most pathetic. I was too sick to go, and my friend had to drive me to Times Square so I could sell my tickets to a scalper at a pathetic return.

I knew The Pogues had reunited in December 2001 to play some shows in England, but I had chalked them up there with Nirvana and Nick Drake as musicians I would never see in concert. In 2006, I was working in Vermont when I heard the Pogues would be coming to Boston, with MacGowan in tow! I searched for tickets, but it was too late. Sold out. I posted my sob story (very similar to the one above) on The Pogues message board. I had almost given up when a member of the band read my post and sent me two free tickets. Holy shit! The Pogues care about their fans.

Flash forward two years, and The Pogues are yet again playing a brief St. Paddy's month tour of the eastern United States. Going into the show, the excitement of seeing The Pogues still vibrated within me, but something felt different. What had seemed like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in 2006 had become less unique. What's March without a Pogues concert?

Whenever a band long defunct regroups for a 'reunion' tour, it is only natural to be dubious. Whether it be for filthy lucre or... filthy lucre, many old bands reform, dust off some old tunes, thrill a bunch of old farts, and make a mint in the process. But is there anything wrong with that?

MacGowan took the stage wearing a bowler hat, black suit jacket, and dark sunglasses. Never a good-looking man, you could hear the sold-out crowd go all atwitter at just how bad he looked now. Bloated, stooped, and barely coherent, MacGowan seemed like he had washed up on the Inner Harbor after a night out on the piss. The band burst immediately into "Streams of Whiskey," and as soon as Spider Stacy's tin whistle filled the club with its familiar melody, any hesitations about a half-assed set vanished. Next came "If I Should Fall From Grace With God," and each song thereafter sounded like a greatest hit. MacGowan's voice, always garbled and slurred, remained strong for most of the night. Although he now shook from too much drink, he didn't make sense when he tried to speak in between songs and did little more than shuffle about the stage — it was as if the music itself transported MacGowan's voice back in time to an era when he was young enough to come through a rough night somewhat intact.

There is something about human nature that enjoys a good disaster. Rather than feel pity for MacGowan's condition, the crowd egged him on. They handed him shot after shot (in addition to the always filled glass he kept on stage), and as he got more soused, they cheered. Why contribute to his condition? Why watch this sad human who can write such heartfelt music degenerate with such bemusement? It seemed unfair and sad. Yet I watched as well.

Other highlights from the set included a sing-along version of "Dirty Old Town" and "The Broad Majestic Shannon." The most heartfelt moment of the evening was when guitarist Philip Chevron took the mic to sing "Thousands Are Sailing." Recently besting throat cancer, Chevron appeared frail. He had just rejoined the band the week before. He had beat cancer, and the emotion he put into this tale of Irish immigrants sailing to the New York resonated throughout the club.

The band closed out the first set with a rocking version of "The Sick Bed of Cúchulaínn." While MacGowan seemed worse for wear, Stacy and accordionist Jamie Fearnley jumped around the stage in manic displays of showmanship.

The Pogues closed the show with two encores that included favorites "Sally Maclennane" and "Rainy Night in Soho." As the show wound down to the finale, "Fiesta," I wondered if this would be my last time seeing The Pogues. I searched the faces of the eight men as they put behind years of discord to play these great songs live again. They were all smiling. As the song ended, the band waved to the crowd and headed for the wings, leaving MacGowan alone. He fumbled around, all lights on him as he tried to replace the mic on its stand. A roadie approached to help out, but at the last moment, MacGowan did it himself. He then picked up his glass and bottle and shuffled off as well.

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