Thursday 20 December: London Brixton O2 Academy
Formed in 1982, The Pogues mixed a combustible blend of punk and folk and became one of the biggest bands of the decade. And they’ve always been at their best live, be it an outdoor festival or an indoor pogo-ing palace such as the Academy. The sheer energy of Fiesta and Sally MacLennane lift the crowd up ready to be spat out in time for a fit of despair as manic switches to maudlin and the band play The Old Main Drag and Auld Triangle.
This rollercoaster ride is but a taste of the ups and downs of troubled songwriter and frontman Shane MacGowan’s life. But in battling his own personal demons, MacGowan has crafted a weighty and lasting body of work in a career that spans The Pogues, The Popes and solo spells. He’s even managed to excel in the one arena where most other songwriter greats fail. Yes, Shane was behind one of the only truly great Christmas records, his duet with Kirsty MacColl; Fairy Tale of New York, which will no doubt get an airing once more at this festively timed Brixton bash. I’d also find it hard to think of a band more associated with London than the Pogues this side of The Clash. Rainy Night In Soho comes close to being my top capital song, while I happen to know my brother David rates Lullaby of London as his. And what London lad hasn’t courted with a bounce in his step thanks to The Pogue’s London Girl?
So treat yourself to another great pre-Christmas cracker and come join me and some other punk pogo-ing Pogue nutters down at the Academy this December.
Peter D. Clee