ALL THE POOP THAT'S FIT TO SHOVEL
(Alt Music News Updated Every Afternoon)
POGUES STILL CUT THE ('TATER) CASSEROLE
| || Publication: ChartAttack |
Date Printed: April 17, 1996
Original URL: http://www.chartnet.com/daily/041796.html [Now broken]
By: Marc Dacey
ChartAttack columnist Marc Dacey (he writes fin-de-siecle) witnessed the
Pogues at Toronto's Warehouse last night. It's long, but it's worth
The day started badly. I have been so used to seeing The Pogues on March
17 for the last few years (a happy coincidence that has led to more than
one episode of tabletop brain surgery) that for some reason I thought it
was Wednesday, not Tuesday night. A quick check with Mistress Ladouceur,
Chart Magazine editrix and "fixer", confirmed that everyone's
favourite Anglo-Irish thrash/folk/speed reel combo were, in fact, a few
short hours hence. Rearranging my busy schedule (bottle of evil stout, hex
Harris) like a temp on bennies, I called The Wee Girl and told her to clean
her kilt and shine her Docs: we wuz goin' jiggin'.
Alas, the eve didn't begin with promise. Entering at the tail end of a set
by a frankly ugly, Bruce Willis-like guitar wank, we positioned ourselves
in the middle of the small crowd in front of the stage and stood through
45 minutes of no-name jungle dub. Frankly, it wasn't a crowded event: the
$26 cover, the Rosswell-Incident-hanger ambience of the dock-district Whorehouse
(formerly STD), and the appalling beer prices ($4.50 for a tin of domestic
pile solution, $5.00 for a warm Heiniekiss, and, unforgiveably, no fuckin'
Guinness) probably drove away all but the most devoted. Also, the absence
of St. Shane MacGowan still rankles with those of the True Faith,
and 'tis said that in his new, marginally-less-poisoned job with the Popes,
ol' nasty Shane actually gets through the odd show without hurling bile
into the monitors.
So we're in the crowd... actually, what would become the pit, when the somewhat
grizzled Pogues stroll on to a wild reception from the coterie of well-lubed
fisherfolk for whom a $5 Bud isn't an issue. A grey-suited Spider Stacy,
looking as if he'd been dragged behind a wedding, now fulfills the Shane
slot, and the best one can say about his singing skills is that he's not
as shite as last time. A few faces were new, or at least have been seen
only once before: the young mandolin/violinist/didgeridoo player replacing
the amazing Terry Woods and the Brendan Behanesque bruiser on accordian.
Both looked ten years younger than the geezerish Poguery, and their youthful
vigour helped to power the event above the narcoleptic cutoff.
Thankfully, an insane audience (and a wide one: giggly teen Oasis
manques to frightened-looking suit 'n' tied 40-somethings) down in front
got one of the more active mosh sessions I've seen in a few years going,
with occasionally three bodies surfing for the fast numbers, and the odd
woman lofted high during the ballads. (Even the pit has etiquette, of a
rough sort). The Pogues seemed to respond, getting better with the fast
ones "Turkish Song of the Damned", "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah",
the ballads "Tuesday Morning" and the new, "rootsier"
stuff, like "Toss Pint". Too bad one entire bank of speakers kept
fucking up a dozen times during the show. I suspect a partial refund will
not be forthcoming.
The drunk but willing crowd called them for two lengthy encores (which included
the memorable fuck-up number "Fiesta") before myself and The Wee
Girl cut out for some less exorbitant refreshment. With the passing of the
years, the abeyance of the power-drinking, and the absence of Shane, the
Pogues are not the manic folk punks of yesteryear (a mid-'80s gig at Toronto's
Masonic Temple was possibly the single most violent event I have ever had
to bite my way out of), but their musicianship is as solid as ever, and
certainly better than last year, and they can still fire up a crowd of drunken
idiots better than most. I might even buy the new album.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5 knobkerries.
Copyright 1996, Chart
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