Fairytale ending brings the house down

Publication: The Irish Independent

Author: Aidan Coughlan

Date: December 27, 2007

Reviewed gig: Dublin, RDS Main Hall December 23, 2007

Original Location: Link

LET'S be completely honest. When you think about The Pogues at this time of year, for all you'd like to say about their extensive back catalogue and a few notable classics of their niche genre, only one song really springs to mind.

And so it's a festive atmosphere in the RDS as Santa hats, green and white t-shirts and tricolours seem to be in fashion for the evening.

The sense of Irishness just manages to stay on the right side of overwhelming.

The bar is almost as packed as the main arena, and large groups of younger lads acquaint themselves with those unfortunate enough to be around them -- some in less subtle and charming ways than others.

Yup, it's Christmas in Dublin alright.

MacGowan (main picture, right) doesn't really move while he's on stage, excluding the odd shake of the micr stand or a quick wander around during an instrumental break.

He doesn't sing particularly well, and there's little purpose in even pointing out that his diction leaves much to be desired.

Yet somehow he's about as good a frontman as you'll find out there nowadays.

It's unquantifiable, but the man is simply magnetic as he gives the performance tremendous energy for an hour and a half, without sparing any himself.

It's during the second encore, however, that the moment everyone has been waiting for finally arrives.

Introducing Sinead O'Connor, pictured right, on to the stage, (with whom MacGowan duetted on the track 'Haunted', a song disappointingly left off tonight's set), the piano introduction to 'Fairytale of New York' kicks in.

The audience holds up a galaxy of phones and the magical Christmas moment everyone had been waiting for had finally come.

The sing-along is deafening and even the instrumentals receive vocal backing from the audience.

Even a relatively sloppy performance of the song, can't detract from the magic of the moment.

An insane version of 'Fiesta' closes the show straight after that.

However, there is only one song that's really and truly going to stick in the minds of everyone forever.

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