R.I.P. Shane MacGowan of The Pogues and The Popes Aged 65 - Noise11.com
Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan

R.I.P. Shane MacGowan of The Pogues and The Popes Aged 65

by Paul Cashmere on December 1, 2023

in News

Shane MacGowan checking out just before Christmas is the best exit time he could have had. The legendary frontman for The Pogues has passed away officially on 30 November 2023.

As we head into Christmas with The Pogues Christmas classic ‘Fairytale of New York’ forever on the Christmas playlist, Shane’s immortal works “It was Christmas Eve babe In the drunk tank An old man said to me, won’t see another one” have never been so true”.

It is even more apt that MacGowan was born on Christmas Day 1957 in the town of Pembury, Kent.

R.I.P. to the great man who formed one of the UK’s greatest Celtic punk bands The Pogues in 1982.

MacGowan was a modern day poet. With The Pogues he took the template of 70s punk and overlaid Ireland. Suddenly the anger of punk was given a human persona. MacGowan articulated what John Lydon could only whine about.

MacGowan led The Pogues until 1991 when he was sacked by the band while on tour in Japan. That didn’t work out well for them. The audience abandoned the band and followed Shane to his new band The Popes.

In 2001 Shane rejoined The Pogues for a tour and in 2005 made the reunion permanent but there was no more new music. Shane’s last album for The Pogues was ‘Hell’s Ditch’ in 1990. The last studio album for The Popes was ‘The Crock of Gold’ in 1997.

In July 2023 Shane was hospitalised with an infection. He died at his home with his family by his side.

Ireland’s Prime Minister Michael Higgins said in a statement, “Shane will be remembered as one of music’s greatest lyricists. So many of his songs would be perfectly crafted poems, if that would not have deprived us of the opportunity to hear him sing them. The genius of Shane’s contribution includes the fact that his songs capture within them, as Shane would put it, the measure of our dreams – of so many worlds, and particularly those of love, of the emigrant experience and of facing the challenges of that experience with authenticity and courage, and of living and seeing the sides of life that so many turn away from.”

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