Preview: The Pogues, Japan 2012

Turning Tokyo into a dirty old town

Long before Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse got a reputation for falling around London in drugged and drunken stupors, there was Shane McGowan, singer of Celtic punk band The Pogues.
But the eight-piece outfit is about more than the inebriated excesses of its snaggle-toothed frontman, whose sneering, occasionally shambolic delivery forms the focus of the band's musical maelstrom. With songs that mine Ireland's deep poetic traditions and combine the frenetic energy of traditional Irish instruments with urban grit, the Pogues serve up music as old as the legends of Tara yet as contemporary as the latest increase in alcohol duty: in other words, timeless. Originally called "Pogue Mahone"—Gaelic for "kiss my arse"—before truncating their name to "The Pogues" ("The Kisses"), the band has more to do with kicking arse than kissing it.

Studio Coast, Mar 28 (listing).

19th March, 2012

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