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Friday 1 December 2023

Shane MacGowan RIP

This one is personal. I was a massive fan of the Pogues in the early days, hitching down to London from Colchester in May 1984 to get a copy of "Dark Streets of London" from Rough Trade. This was before they were picked up by Stiff and dropped the Mahone from their name.

A few months later I moved down to London to start work and saw them many times over the next couple of years. I had bought my first suit, a brown number from a charity shop that my boss said made me look like a navvy up in front of the magistrates on a drunk and disorderly charge. So I fitted in perfectly.

The last time I saw The Pogues live was in March 1988 when they had a run of shows at the Town And Country Club around St. Patrick's Day. As well as the lads themselves there were guest spots from Joe Strummer and the like. It was a great night.

After that we sort of drifted apart a bit, but Shane's songs have never lost their power to move me (and many others). The first side of "Rum, Sodomy and Lash", in particular, is one of the finest set of songs ever assembled in one place.

There are any number of songs that I could have chosen to illustrate his genius, but I have gone for the one that started it all plus what might at a push be my personal favourite (a song so strong that even Dickie Rock couldn't mess it up).

Rest in Peace Mr MacGowan, and thanks for everything.

"Dark Streets Of London" - The Pogues

"A Rainy Night In Soho" - The Pogues


  1. Many thanks, Ernie. I've seen various snippets of The Pogues' performances online but I can only begin to imagine what it must have been like to have been right there, experiencing it in person.