When Sean was about 10 and used to mention ‘the drunk lad’, we knew that he meant Shane MacGowan. He probably already liked the Pogues then – he certainly grew to like them a lot later, although they were never in the top echelon of his favourite bands.
Two of their audio tracks are still in the ‘music’ folder on his computer – ‘The Irish Rover’ and ‘Whiskey in the Jar’, both performed with the Dubliners. Among his YouTube favourites are video clips of ‘Rainy Night in Soho’, ‘Thousands Are Sailing’ and ‘Fiesta’. I have my own memories of these and other Pogues tracks.
‘Rainy Night in Soho’ is one of my favourite songs. I based a blog post on it once, on another site, starting like this:
I love this song.
I first heard the Pogues when I went to see Elvis Costello in Dublin in 1984, and they opened the show. I wasn’t impressed, and nor, I think, were most of the audience (even if the bass player was Costello’s girlfriend). Did we really need a bunch of London-Irish upstarts playing Irish music badly? No, we did not.
Actually … yes, we did.