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Saturday 24 February 2018

MacGowan scales new heights for gig

Pogues singer Shane MacGowan. Photo: Getty Images
Pogues singer Shane MacGowan. Photo: Getty Images

John Spain

LEGENDARY Pogues singer Shane MacGowan's best known song is 'A Fairytale of New York'.

But next Friday night it will be 'A Fairytale of Howth Summit' when the Pogues singer launches a new solo phase of his career at a secret comeback gig in the famous Summit pub in Howth on the north side of Dublin Bay.

Tickets for the gig are quietly on sale but only from the bar at The Summit Inn on Howth Head.

Word about Friday's special gig spread over the weekend and the €25 tickets are selling fast as fans grasped what will be a unique opportunity to see such a big music icon in such a small venue.

"It's going to be a special night," Summit Inn manager Tom Gaffney told the Irish Independent.

"It will be mainly friends and people in the area -- Shane used to live in Howth a couple of years ago and he's very popular out here. He's a very nice guy.

"We still have tickets left, but it's first come, first served. There are people coming from England and Scotland for the gig so we expect it to be a sellout."

The gig will start at around 9pm in K2, the nightclub behind the famous pub, which holds around 200 people.

In spite of the years of booze and cigarettes, MacGowan is in good voice. Over the years it was often predicted that the writer of the famous Christmas song, as the lyrics say, would not see another one.

But he's in good shape and determined to get back to what he loves best -- writing songs.

His career has taken many turns since his early days as a 1970s punk and his glory days with The Pogues.

He split with them years ago during a tour of Japan -- some of the band blamed Yoko Ono -- and formed The Popes. But that's all booze under the bridge at this stage and in recent years he has been back again with The Pogues, mainly doing summer tours and Christmas season concerts.

This summer he was touring with The Pogues again and he also played festivals with Sharon Shannon's Big Band. But he is keen to get away from just doing the greatest hits format and back to more creative ways and has put a new band together for this solo project.

Next Friday's gig is aimed at getting the band to gel before he starts writing and recording new songs.

Irish Independent

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