Fairytale success for Irish band: Shan MacGowan interview
Dec 20 2008 by Sally Jones, Huddersfield Daily Examiner
HAVING formed in 1982 with influences ranging from traditional Irish music to punk rock, The Pogues attracted attention for their music, including songs such as Fairytale of New York and Rainy Night In Soho, and for the on and off stage antics of lead singer Shane MacGowan, who eventually left the band and was replaced by Joe Strummer.
Having called it a day in 1996 the band reformed in 2001 for a Christmas
tour (complete with MacGowan), which proved to be an instant hit with fans and has become an annual event. For further details visit www.myspace.com/thepoguesofficial
Are you excited about the forthcoming Christmas tour? This is the fifth and it just seems to get better and better. The whole thing has been really enjoyable. Before we were always slogging around trying to sell records, just to keep the band afloat. Now we're doing it more for ourselves and for those who come to see us.
Is Fairytale of New York a Guaranteed crowd-pleaser? It's just become one of those songs! It's really entered the public domain, and it's no longer ours I guess. That's fine, it's great. We'll be performing with Ella Finer who's been doing it for the past few years, she's Jem's eldest.
If you were going to do another Christmas song what would it be? I always like 2000 Miles by The Pretenders, which seems to get overlooked when it comes to Christmas lists. But I can't speak for the others. Shane might like to do Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer, I don't know.
Does it annoy you that over the past few years the Christmas No 1 has been the X Factor winner? Not really. The real shame is that Fairytale Of New York didn't go to No 1 when it should have done, well not a shame that's just the way it is.
With all due respect to X Factor, Fairytale is going to be something that will be around for many years. By and large X Factor and that kind of stuff tends to be pretty disposable.
How does touring now compare now to the old days? Generally it's a lot more relaxed: we don't do overnight drives anymore, we stay in quite decent hotels and try to make it as easy on us as we can.
Are you now more likely to be drinking honey and lemon after a gig rather than alcohol? It depends who you're talking about! Certain members of the band will not be drinking honey and lemon after the gig or indeed before the gig, or at least if they do it'll have vodka in it!
Do you think it's likely the Pogues will release any new material? I can't see that happening in the near future, but I've never ruled it out entirely.
What are your favourite songs to play on tour? Rainy Night in Soho. I'd really go for that one because of the way Shane sings it now, although he always sang it really well. He wrote that when he was 28, and to hear him singing it now when he's over 50 - it's got a real power and resonance.