Splendour: The Pogues

Publication: Thisisnottingham.co.uk

Author: Erik Petersen

Date: July 20, 2009

Reviewed gig: Splendour Festival, Nottingham; July 19, 2009

Original Location: Link

This was a more-than-the-sum-of-its-parts gig. Because if somebody told you that they'd spent an evening getting rained on in a field while a band played let's-all-have-a-singalong music while an frequently incoherent singer chain-smoked his way through the lyrics, you'd likely say "sounds like you had a rubbish time".

But on a rainy night in, erm, Wollaton, the Pogues delivered.

Want a setlist, do you? Go buy a greatest hits album there's your setlist. This was pure, driving, sing-it-if-you-know-it party fare for the faithful and if all the dancing was any indication, the faithful loved it.

Shane MacGowan was on fine, indecipherable form. After the first song, he said "That (pause) was the first song."

Rapturous cheering.

"This (longer pause) is the second song."

And so on.

But here's the funny thing through the hey-look-I'm-drunk routine, he still has no trouble motoring through the songs that made the Pogues name. It's probably a stretch to suggest something similar to Dean Martin's slurred words and onstage glass of whiskey-coloured apple juice, but still.

Nor do he and his bandmates have any trouble roaring through their back catalogue, which single-handedly re-invented Irish music. By the time the rain subsided and the band rolled into the dirge-mosh-dirge of The Body of an American, you wouldn't have guessed this was a 45-minutes greatest-hits festival set. This was a Pogues gig, and a good one.

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Transcribed and made available by Zuzana.