Review: The Pogues, O2 Academy, Newcastle
BACK in the 80s, The Pogues hit the music scene with a blend of Irish and traditional folk music that was delivered with the potent energy of punk.
Still best known for their hard-drinking, wild frontman Shane McGowan, Newcastle welcomed The Pogues to the 02 Academy. They did not disappoint.
This was just one leg of their 7th Annual Christmas Tour and they hit the stage running.
They offered a starter of Marseille Fig before serving up a high-energy main course.
The set began with Streams of Whiskey and If I Should Fall from Grace of God, which set the tone for the evening.
Their tunes stand the test of time and encourage people to party. But don’t be fooled by the hard, wild exterior. This band can really play and they delivered every song with a fiery enthusiasm.
I remember seeing the band in the City Hall back in the 80s and thinking then that these are not young guys, but they really know how to create an atmosphere.
Last night they sounded even better than I remembered, but more importantly they still create that crazy atmosphere that makes the audience – no matter what age – jump around like teenagers. It was great to be part of it.
The gig was non-stop and had all the energy I had remembered from seeing them in the back in the day. The only thing that had slowed down was me, but hey, nobody’s perfect and I still danced about like crazy .
For weeks I had looked forward to seeing this leg of the tour and wondered how well Shane McGowan would perform.
I can tell you he was fantastic and looked better than he has for years. He is a unique musician who is as recognisable, for all sorts of reasons, as anyone in the music scene.
The 02 Academy suited The Pogues and was packed to the rafters.
For me, last night was almost permission for the audience to start their Christmas celebrations. Two encores were the very least that this Newcastle crowd would have accepted.
The Pogues were awesome and simply blew the crowd away. The evening culminated with what is quite simply the best Christmas song ever made.
Sorry Bing, it’s got to be Fairytale of New York.
Merry Christmas, everybody.
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