The Pogues

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About The Pogues

Celtic-punk band The Pogues rose to prominence in the ’80s on the strength of raucous live shows and the poetic soul of British-born Irish vocalist Shane MacGowan. The latter was a vital vocal interpreter—witness his melancholy turn on Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town”—and crafted lyrics about deeply flawed characters (the toxic couple of “Fairytale of New York”) and the bittersweet nature of life (the hard-living bar denizens in "Sally MacLennane" and the nostalgic narrators of “A Pair of Brown Eyes,” both found on 1985’s Elvis Costello–produced Rum Sodomy & the Lash). MacGowan never lost sight of the humanity beneath the surface, which gave his music great depth. The Pogues parted ways with him in the early ’90s over his erratic behavior but continued on as a band, earning a modest global hit in 1993 with the jangly “Tuesday Morning.” However, the story had a happy ending: In 2001, MacGowan enjoyed a well-deserved victory lap with The Pogues, touring with them on and off until 2014.

Kings Cross, London, England
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