Johnny Depp, Bono... and a surprise appearance from Sinead O'Connor - how music legends marked Pogues frontman's 60th birthday
'A night that just kept getting better and better'
Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan toasted the audience with a glass of white wine at a star-studded tribute celebrating his 60th birthday at the National Concert Hall in Dublin last night.
In what RTÉ broadcaster and compere John Kelly called "a night that just keeps getting better and better," U2 frontman Bono sang 'A Rainy Night in Soho' as Hollywood actor and musician Johnny Depp played guitar, tipping his cowboy hat to the crowd.
Singer Nick Cave then bid Shane happy birthday with a hug and kiss on the head after the pair sang a haunting duet of the Pogues classic 'Summer in Siam.'
Earlier, his long-time friend Sinead O'Connor made a surprise appearance, performing 'You're the One,' followed by Glen Hansard and Lisa O'Neill singing his iconic 'Fairytale of New York.'
The night showcased some of the best known faces on the Irish music scene, including Damien Dempsey, Sharon Shannon, Imelda May, John Sheahan and Camille O'Sullivan and culminated with President Michael D Higgins presenting Shane with a special lifetime achievement award on behalf of the National Concert Hall.
The singer, who celebrated his milestone birthday on Christmas Day, was brought on stage by his partner Victoria Mary Clarke and finished the evening with a rendition of the traditional song 'Will Ye Go Lassie Go'.
The stellar line-up had included original Sex Pistols bass guitarist Glen Matlock, Catatonia frontwoman Cerys Matthews, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie and Libertines singer Carl Barât, all of whom have credited MacGowan for his song-writing talent.
Depp described MacGowan, who he worked with on the soundtrack for the 2013 film 'The Lone Ranger', as "one of the most important poets of the 20th century".
"He's a magnificent man and species. He's a special being," he said.
Legendary folk singer Finbar Furey said it was a great honour to be asked to pay tribute.
"He's a great songwriter, a great poet," he said.