Thursday 5 December 2019

Shane MacGowan takes to stage at Japanese festival a month after health scare

Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan
Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan
Melanie Finn

By Melanie Finn

Hellraiser Shane MacGowan is back fighting fit after his recent bout of ill-health.

The toothless crooner (56) took to the stage at a festival in Japan on Sunday night, making it his first time he performed live since cancelling a gig in London earlier this month.

He and his Pogues bandmates were special guests at Fuji Rock Festival which took place over the weekend at the base of Mount Muji in Niigata, Japan.

Shane was joined at the popular event by fellow headline acts like Jack Johnson, Flaming Lips, The Strypes and Yoko Ono, whose band performed on Saturday.

He was flown over there along with his partner, Victoria Mary Clarke, who revealed how they met teen sensation Lorde at the festival.

And judging by the positive response from fans, he's obviously back to top form after sparking concerns for his health at the start of this month. Shane was advised by doctors not to perform at a fundraising concert for a former bandmate amid reports he was suffering from "exhaustion".

He was due to headline a show in aid of musician Paul 'Mad Dog' McGuinness, a former member of The Popes. But he was forced to pull out at the last minute.

McGowan had played in front of 65,000 fans in Hyde Park the previous night as they supported The Libertines - but met with decidedly mixed reviews.

A source said he was "heart-broken" he couldn't do the show but was told to put any gigs on the long finger while he recovered.

He flew back to Ireland in the wake of the cancellation and has was lying low - until he popped up at the Japanese music festival.

The Pogues will also play at the Festival du Bruit in Landemeau, France next month. MacGowan recently indicted that this will be his last year performing with The Pogues.


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