New Shane MacGowan film ain’t no fairytale

Crock of Gold, Julien Temple’s new film about Shane MacGowan, is a funny, poignant, sad, and hair-raising portrait of the Tipperary lad who became a punk poet, provocateur, and prodigious drinker

Brave is the soul who attempts to make a full-blown documentary film about Shane MacGowan, but we are talking about director Julien Temple here, a man who has form when it comes to corralling the lives of some of music’s more difficult anti-heroes.

Temple’s films on The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and Dr. Feelgood are among the best rock docs (a description he hates) ever made, while his superb movies on Glastonbury and the mind-expanding London: The Modern Babylon proved he has always had a keen eye for context and history as well as the scrapes and scraps of rock `n’ roll. Continue reading

Lyric Controversy Catches Up With The Pogues’ Christmas Classic ‘Fairytale Of New York’

The Pogues’ and Kirsty MacColl’s “Fairytale of New York” is a certified Christmas classic, but did you know that it is also problematic? The song has come under fire because of the use of the word “f**got”—some want to bring attention to it so people won’t singalong with that word anymore, some want the word bleeped out of the song entirely.

Singer Shane MacGowan has responded to the controversy about that particular verse, explaining that the reference was never intended to be homophobic but rather, in context, was part of a character study …

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Reflecting on the life and music of Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan will be honored at the National Concert Hall on January 15th, with a long line of celebrities eagerly anticipating this momentous event. On Monday night, the NCH rolls out the red carpet to celebrate MacGowan’s 60th birthday. He lived hard, but the songs he wrote hit home. Considering his life of excess, it is amazing he has lived as long as he has. An enigma. A God among men. Even if he doesn’t outlive Kieth Richards, it is clear his songs will continue to capture the hearts of music lovers long after Shane is gone [ . . . ] More at: Reflecting on the life and music of Shane MacGowan

Rebel yell: how the Irish dominated British rock music

From The Beatles to The Pogues, Oasis and The Smiths, musicians of Irish descent played a key role in UK scene, writes Johnny Rogan.

British pop music has been celebrated around the world for decades and rightly so.  Rather less attention has been paid to an almost invisible strain of Irishness manifested in the work and characters of several of its leading proponents. A number of these icons, particularly those born of  postwar Irish parentage, shared certain characteristics. They were often angry, awkward, polemic personalities whose music or lyrics challenged and subverted. Ironically, many  were considered English to the core, but scratch deeper and a different picture emerges. Tracing their stories takes you spiralling through four decades from Merseybeat through psychedelia, punk, Britpop and beyond.

Lennon & McCartney

Back in the early ’60s, Liverpool was the centre of the pop universe. Many of the city’s beat groups boasted members of Irish descent, including the biggest of them all: The Beatles […]

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