Ever since i was a kid at an early age,i have always been a great fan of the Pogues.Blending traditional irish music with punk,the pogues created a whole new genre of their own.This punked up folky sound has since been the basis of many bands material over the years.
The Pogues first album “Red Roses for me”,released in 1983 featured core members;Shane macgowan on vocals and guitar ,Jem Finer banjo, Cait O’Roirdan on Bass Guitar ,James (maestro) Fearnley on Accordian and Andy Ranken on Drums and percussion.But as time went on , they soon accumulated members and became a bigger set.By the time their second album “Rum Sodomy and the Lash” came around,they been joined by Phil Chevron and later by Mandolin and banjo legend Terry Woods.
The pogues Bass player Cait O’roirdan was later replaced by Daryl Hunt,when Cait left the band to marry Pogues manager and fellow artist “Elvis Costello” in 1986.
The pogues then went on to Release their third album “If i Should Fall from Grace with God” in 1986,with new producer,Steve Lilywhite.They released the Long running Christmas Number One from the same album,”Fairytale of Newyork” later that year,with Lilywhites wife and fellow singer Kirsty MacColl ,Daughter of the legendary Folk Singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl,whose songs The Pogues had already covered a few.The most noted being The Classic “Dirty Old Town”.
By this Time,the Pogues had Now been joined by musician Terry Woods,who brought with him the Country western and Bluegrass influence.it was around about this time that The Pogues were at their peak,playing sell out gigs worldwide,especially in the United States,where their Irish culture had a large following.
The Pogues were already a big name in the states by the time Fairytale of Newyork was released,and already had a vast fanbase.So much so,that when Hollywood actor Matt Dillon was given the role of playing the arresting cop in the music Video for the Xmas classic,he couldnt bring himself to punch Shane in The Guts,as the scene was planned,and they had to settle for a gentle push against the wall instead,after several takes.
At this time the Pogues were most probably at their height of success,and it is in my opinion,that after this was the beginning of a downward slope for the band.With intense touring of the world and the release of another couple of albums,the band were starting to drift into a more popey jazzy style of playing as opposed to their original Shanty sound.With the introduction of former Clash frontman Joe Strummer, the band seemed to be heading in a total different direction altogether.Also by this time,Shane was going to town with hammering the alchohol.On several occasions he wouldnt turn up for rehearsals, and turning up to gigs Drunk as a skunk.Although,it could well be said that perhaps this was a result of Shanes obvious dislike to the way the band was going.he wanted to stick with the irish music sound, when the rest of the band wanted to go pop.