Last night was the final performance of the Pogues, and even though these last few tours have been all about what Johnny Rotten called the filthy lucre than about supporting new music, it still leaves this longtime fan a little misty. They were the band I most wanted to see before I depart for the sweet hereafter, and thankfully last week my daughter and I went to see their last DC show. Musically, they were tight as a drum, including the vocals. Unfortunately, Shane looks to be in pretty rough shape health-wise.
Seeing them made me think of when I bought 'Rum, Sodomy & the Lash' in the month after its release, having only read the reviews calling them an Irish 'punk' band. Playing it the first time was disappointing -- it didn't sound like the punk music I was listening to back then. Can you even play an accordion through a distortion pedal? It didn't take many spins, though, for the genius of that album to sink in. At some point back then I took some time to figure out what the deal was with this Shane MacGowan cat. I discovered, to my surprise, that he was not some woolly hibernian delivered to us from the Burren wilderness, but rather that he had been in a real punk band previously -- and a mighty damned good one at that. So check out the Nipple Erectors (later on they played simply as The Nips).