The Pogues, Sheffield O2 AcademyThe Pogues, Sheffield O2 Academy

Publication: The Star

Author: Colin Drury

Date: December 17, 2010

Reviewed gig: Sheffield, O2 Academy December 16, 2010

Original Location: Link

For someone who was given six weeks to live 25 years ago, Shane MacGowan is looking remarkably like someone who...well, was given six weeks to live 25 years ago. He's a fifty-three year old drunk.

And how his constituency - men in Irish T-shirts, women drinking pints of stout - love him for it.

Tonight at the O2 Academy they cheer every stumbled step, hang on every slurred word.

And everyone seems oblivious to what a waste his wastedness is.

For MacGowan, just like the rest of The Pogues, are nothing if not men caged by the things they created when they were young.

Their audience don't want anything new. All that's required are the old favourites, thanks very much.

And so that's what The Pogues do. Like the UK's very own Christmas house band, they wheel themselves out once a year for a tour of mid-sized venues jangling the eighties ditties which brought them the big time. Presumably it feeds their families and habits.

They're good of course - they have Sally MacLennane and Thousands Are Sailing in their locker, after all - it's just a little...meh.

When Fairytale Of New York signals things are coming to a close it's almost a relief.

"I dreamed a dream by the old canal," gasps MacGowan on Dirty Old Town.

So did I, Shane, and it didn't turn out like this.

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Transcribed and made available by Zuzana.