Gig Review - The Pogues
Tuesday 16th December 2008 @ Academy
The Academy was a sea of green tonight and plenty of festive cheer all round. Christmas means only one thing tonight; The Pogues are in town!
Support came from London based gypsy folk travelling band The Urban Voodoo Machine, a nine piece circus of noise. Armed to the teeth with accordions, banjos, and fiddles and fuelled on Jack Daniels, this band stormed the stage with their presence. Originality doesn’t come much stronger than this, such noise and passion! Not one, but two drummers, one of which painted through and through bright green - yes that’s right, painted green!
With their debut album, Bourbon Soaked Gypsy Blues Bop ‘n’ Stroll, appearing on shelves next March, which features appearances from Son of Dave and The Pogues’ very own Spider Stacy, The Urban Voodoo Machine are most defiantly a band that needs to be seen live to be believed.
After a chat with lead vocalist and the green drummer, I was briefly introduced to the man of the night, Mr Shane MacGowan of The Pogues. Legends don’t come much better than this and having a personal love for their music meant that this was truly a moment I will never forget.
Trouble came at the bar when I went for a drink as the Guinness had run out but after a brief wait and many sweaty angry punters, the barrels were changed and peace was restored!
The time had come for them to take to the stage, and in true Pogues fashion the rest of the band entered first, leaving enough time for Shane to finish his drink and cigarette before stumbling out through the back stage door. Once the crowd caught sight of him, there was an enormous roar and in return came a mumbled; “Hello”. Kicking straight into Streams of Whisky, the crowd erupted, leaving small circles of people dancing arm in arm.
Hit after hit, their set was a classic tale of why their music means so much to so many. Tears in people’s eyes as they played A Pair of Brown Eyes and thumping vibrations as they played Paddy.
Being Christmas and them being The Pogues, their set wouldn’t have been complete without Fairy Tale of New York, perhaps one of the most talked about Christmas songs of all time, especially recently with the re-release with rewritten lyrics. By this point I’d gone to the balcony peering over the edge to see the sold out dance floor, once the song kicked in the traditional fake snow filtered out from the ceiling, which even brought a tear to my eye. But they weren’t going to leave the stage on such a down note, oh no. The classic Fiesta was yet to come, which went on a lot longer than intended even the security got involved with throwing the fake snow at the crowd and laughing.
At the age they are, and the physical state of some members, I was very impressed with what was performed tonight, and I think a two hour set well and truly justified the ticket price. Long live The Pogues!
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