RIP Shane MacGowan

Pogues singer, passed away at 65, no age really

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Astonished he lasted so long to be honest.

I saw The Pogues in about 1986 at a sweaty Rock City. Truly memorable; a gig that veered from potential crisis at times to a joyous and almost dangerous frenzy.



Sad news … I saw him at the Budapest island festival when he was well passed his best, but was mesmerised by his energy and charisma.

Blinding song writer. Definitely burnt the candle at both ends though.



I saw the Pogues a few times, depending on Shane’s sobriety level a compelling tight band or a compelling chaotic band. I also saw him with the Popes at a Finsbury Park Fleadh 30 or so years ago.
A genuinely fine songwriter/poet and in his own way one of the best frontmen I’ve seen (he held your attention from the first note to the end of the final encore).
RIP Shane.


I saw The Pogues just the once, in February 1984, when they opened for the Clash at Leicester De Montfort Hall. Mick Jones had left the Clash and they were pretty underwhelming, but the Pogues were great, with Shane in his banging tin tray on head prime. Such a talent.


The most outrageous gig I ever went to was the Pogues at the Newcastle Mayfair in 1985. Brilliant stuff. I will be playing this beauty later in Shane’s memory…



Saw them pre the first album down in a night club in Cardiff with about 80 other people. Obvious they were onto something then.

Next saw them supporting Costello in Leeds. The amount of shoes thrown was staggering. The number of people armed with metal tea trays used to batter the heads of the persons in front of them at the appropriate moment in a certain song was bemusing, terrifying and fantastic.

This was the night team Costello booked the Pogues into a Quaker Temperance Hotel. I think the YEP reported they lasted until 2am before being inevitably thrown out.

Saw them once more at the MEN Arena. He was shocking. They were brilliant.

I actually disagree with regards to him being a compelling front man. Not at all. Memorable? Yes. Often for all the wrong reasons. Compelling? Only in a kind of “when’s the car crash?” kind of way.

What he was however was a once in a generation poet of the highest quality. Go read the lyrics of the whole of If I Should Fall From Grace With God. Absolutely wonderful. Three fantastic albums and then just wasted decades.

I saw the Pogues live once in the early 90s at Manchester Apollo. Both Shane and the band were on fine form. The only band I’ve seen where police riot vans were parked outside after the gig had ended! RIP Shane.

Privileged to have seen them twice, early on so small venues. Memorable on stage and at the bar. R.I.P Shane.

Shane was one of those guys that oozed talent. No one was like him and he set a bar. Some of his later performances were a bit iffy, but that was what he was about. Some artists are like that and in a strange way, you wouldn’t want it any other way. He was great. Sad early ending.

RIP Shane.

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Great venue, though I was only in the vicinity for a few years from 87-92. Sadly it has long since gone. Broken Doll pub was great, too!

Never saw the Pogues, sadly.

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Provinssirock June 8th, 1986

I was there too. RIP Shane.

Unfortunately never saw them live as they where never my cup of tea as a teen but began to really appreciate them as I got older and though I owned a few CD’s I’ve not replaced them with records yet.

Something as a newly crowned Irish Citizen I will have to put right. I watched Julian Temple’s excellent film last night that’s streaming on iPlayer.

Sad loss.

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I first saw The Pogues at the outdoor Scunthorpe Free Rock Festival in 1985 - all kindly paid for by the Council. We should have felt sorry for the Boomtown Rats, as headliners with no chance, following The Pogues who had lifted the crowd to a frenzy!
Another time I saw them was an outdoor gig behind Annecy Town Hall which I think has since burnt down. I remember Shane announcing his song about the Birmingham Six and the French unfurled their Confederate flags much to my amusement. I did consider explaining but realised I’d had a few pints of Guinness by the river and they may take offence. The Pogues annual Christmas concerts were also nights to remember.
Shane is up there with Lennon and Bowie for my money.

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The tin tray headbanger would have been Spider Stacey. Tin whistle player and DIY “percussionist” .

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Duke’s quiet tribute.

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Watched this a few times this weekend - very moving.

Fun fact: the singer / guitarist (Glen Hansard) played Outspan in The Commitments.

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