Punknews.org

The Pogues

The Pogues: live in Vitoria-Gasteizlive in Vitoria-Gasteiz (2005)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: SatanicSurferzSatanicSurferz
(others by this writer | submit your own)

First of all, I am probably the biggest Pogues fan on the whole planet. I have all their studio CDs, EPs, singles, live CDs, bootlegs, videos, DVDs, etc. (near 100 different factory-pressed things, including Shane MacGowan solo stuff). Unfortunately, I began to love the Pogues way after they spli.


First of all, I am probably the biggest Pogues fan on the whole planet. I have all their studio CDs, EPs, singles, live CDs, bootlegs, videos, DVDs, etc. (near 100 different factory-pressed things, including Shane MacGowan solo stuff).

Unfortunately, I began to love the Pogues way after they split, so I have never had the chance to see them live. They did some reunion shows, but it was always very far from where I live (England/Ireland in 2001, England/Ireland in 2004, Japan/England this year). Being from Québec, Canada, this would have cost a lot of money to see them.

However, I had to go to France on the last week of August and the first of September. My plane tickets were already bought when I heard that they were doing a show in Spain. I didn't hesitate to take a 10-hour car drive detour and give 50 euros in order to see them.

Okay, now about the show.

It was called the Azkena Rock Festival. It was the fourth edition of this two days festival. The first day had Deep Purple, Social Distortion, Wilco, and the Dwarves just to name a few. I wasn't there. The second day had the Pogues, Queens of the Stone Age, Bad Religion, Television, and more.

I was lucky enough to hear the sound check of the Pogues (not see them, just hear) since I came early to buy my ticket. They did "Danny Boy" instrumental and "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" (they did probably more, but I heard only those two). They sounded good, and at least Shane MacGowan was able to sing! This was looking good...

I came back later for the real show. Though I love many of the bands mentioned above, I was there only for the Pogues, so I didn't see any other band (except a bit of Television and Bad Religion).

The Pogues played after Bad Religion and before Queens of the Stone Age, and it was the complete, original line-up: Shane Macgowan - vocals, Spider Stacy - Tin Whistle, James Fearnley - Accordion, Philip Chevron - Guitar, Terry Woods - Cittern, Jem Finer - Banjo, Darryl Hunt - Bass, and Andrew Ranken - Drums.

I deliberately missed all other bands to make sure to be in the first row, right in front of Shane MacGowan (there were two stages). Before the members came in, one sound guy brought a chair right next to Shane's mic, which scared me by believing he was not able to sing while standing up anymore. Fortunately, that chair's only use was to hold Shane's drinks (which was a big glass of gin, by the way). The audience was kind of mixed up. There were some old-time fans like me who were there only for the Pogues (we were all near the stage) and some others who were just waiting for QOTSA (who probably said "who the fuck are they?," "it's supposed to be a rock festival," "that guy has the worst teeth I have ever seen"). But when they started with "Streams of Whiskey," every Pogues fan out there were like in a dream. People were dancing, singing, drinking and having lots of fun. Even though they were a lot older now, every member seemed in really good shape, even Shane MacGowan. He was, of course, drunk, and it was difficult to understand him between songs, but I've seen him in a lot worse condition in the bootleg shows that I have. He was even holding the mic with his hands (something I have never seen him doing on the 8 DVDs I own). For example, on "If I Should Fall From Grace With God," he screamed from the top of his lungs while holding the mic with his two hands! On "Turkish Song of the Damned," he did all the screaming at the beginning of the song (like on the remastered version).

MacGowan also sometimes mimed the lyrics of his songs. On "The Old Main Drag," he moved his leg on "... and kicked in the balls." On "If I Should Fall From Grace With God," he showed three fingers on "It's coming three, boys." With "A Rainy Night in Soho," he pointed to the sky and then the ground during "Some of them fell into heaven, some of them fell into hell." He even played the maestro at one time and blessed the audience using some gin!

The other members were as great as 20 years ago. They all sounded really good, and they almost all sang one song (Woods, Stacy, Chevron, Ranken). They only made a small mistake on the "White City" bridge and on another one that I can't remember. James was still the most energetic with his accordeon, but Philip was in top shape on guitar even though he looked a lot older than the others.

As expected, they played songs mainly from their first three albums (Red Roses for Me, Rum Sodomy and the Lash, If I Should Fall From Grace With God) and a few from the last two albums with MacGowan (Peace & Love, Hell's Dith). They played only one song from the Shaneless area (Tuesday Morning).

There were some funny moments, like when Shane broke his glass by throwing the mic at it, or when he spilled his drink holding it with one hand (without being aware of it). He also forgot/changed/confused some lyrics here and there, but not as bad as his last days before being kicked out the band (1991). But there were some magical moments also! The highlights being the romantic "A Rainy Night in Soho" (with such beautiful lyrics) and "Fiesta," the latter being played in the country where it was made to be played. They were supposed to end with this song and play "Sally MacLennane" as the before last (I grabbed Shane MacGowan's set list after the show), but Philip Chevron confirmed on the pogues.com forum that they thought they didn't have enough time, so they skipped "Sally MacLennane" only to be told they had time for it. They also played some of my personal favorites like "Body of An American," "Boys From the County Hell," and "A Pair of Brown Eyes."

The only deception was the absence of Cait, which prevented us from having "I'm a Man You Don't Meet Everyday" and the ULTIMATE Christmas song "Fairytale Of New York." I would also have liked to have "Dark Streets of London," "Sayonara," "Rain Street" and some more, but hell, they couldn't play them all.

Here's the complete set list:

  • Streams of Whiskey
  • If I Should Fall From Grace With God
  • Boys From the County Hell
  • The Broad Majestic Shannon
  • Young Ned of the Hill (sung by Terry Woods)
  • Turkish Song of tThe Damned
  • A Rainy Night in Soho
  • Tuesday Morning (sung by Spider Stacy)
  • White City
  • A Pair of Brown Eyes
  • Repeal of the Licensing Laws (instrumental)
  • The Old Main Drag
  • Thousands Are Sailing (sung by Philip Chevron)
  • Body of an American
  • Lullaby of London
  • Dirty Old Town
  • Bottle of Smoke
  • Sickbed of Cuchulainn
Encore #1:
  • Star of the County Down (sung by Andrew Ranken)
  • The Irish Rover
Encore #2:
  • Fiesta
  • Sally MacLennane
Sorry for this so-long review (and excuse my poor English), but this was a hell of a good show (and a dream come true for me). Now, they are doing some Christmas shows again this year (England/Ireland) with Dropkick Murphys. So every lucky fucker near this area should go see at least one of these shows!

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Randy - Welfare ProblemsThe Weakerthans - Reunion Tour

Please login or register to post comments.What are the benefits of having a Punknews.org account?
  • Share your opinion by posting comments on the stories that interest you
  • Rate music and bands and help shape the weekly top ten
  • Let Punknews.org use your ratings to help you find bands and albums you might like
  • Customize features on the site to get the news the way you want.
Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anchors (November 2, 2005)

It doesn't matter whether or not this is the New York Times, why bother even exerting three minutes of energy for a review you obviously couldn't give a shit about?

wehavecomeforyourchildren (October 27, 2005)

and as far as "reviews are supposed to be objective is concerned. this isn't the fucking new york times, it's punknews.org

you know how much effort i put into the reviews i write? about three minutes' worth. and so far i've only written reviews of cds i like.

and come to think of it, how could anyone be objective when it comes to something like music or art?

wehavecomeforyourchildren (October 27, 2005)

i like the pogues. bad religion are okay.

but as far as bad religion's influence is concerned, i can't say for sure, but i'm not convinced that without them, punk rock would have evolved all that much differently.

also, influential or not...they're not that great at this point. i know i wouldn't want to sit through a bad religion set.

Anonymous (October 27, 2005)

"I can't believe there are people shit-talking a STAPLE in punk-rock history, with a frontman with more intelligence than most college professors, a guitarist with enough musical sense to start one of the most successful and influential independent labels ever and another guitarist with roots in one of the first...."

Yeah, Rush has a lot of talent too, but neither band can write a decent song to save their lives. And who cares if Graffin has a doctorate? There are tons of educated people in punk. If you don't believe me, check out the "Critical Pedagogy" comp from a few years back.

Scruffy (October 26, 2005)

I could care less if he skipped Bad Religion. Someone else said BR just writes the same song over and over again, That's a hot button issue with me.

Anonymous (October 26, 2005)

forget about which band is better on record or whatnot....hands down a pogues show is better than a bad religion show.....maybe if comparing bad religion in their prime to pogues in their prime the answer would be different, but now, pogues show is the way to go

satanicsurferz (October 26, 2005)

I didn't miss Television... they were in fact quite great! I just missed the beginning of their set by accident.

McGarnicle (October 26, 2005)

Am I the only one here whos more pissed that you missed Television instead of Bad Religion?

Anchors (October 26, 2005)

'The Hopeless Housewife' is such a good song.

Scruffy (October 25, 2005)

Anyone who says Bad Religion has been writing the same song for years, shut up. Can you honestly tell me that Give You Nothing sounds like Struck A Nerve sounds like Cease sounds like No Substance sounds like Hopeless Housewife sounds like Sinister Rouge?

jamespastepunk (October 25, 2005)

"Tickets to see Bad Religion play some 21 ballroom here a couple nights ago were $40 or $137. For the $137 you could get a table up close and bottle service for four. They pretty much ignored anything but their last 5 albums before my homie walked out."

Dude, on their tour with Rise Against, they didn't play anything but Eiptaph stuff.

andrew13 (October 25, 2005)

pryoral at wilkes.edu

satanicsurferz (October 25, 2005)

I'd like to have your e-mail. Posting it like name at domain . com will take care of the bots... but not the morons.

andrew13 (October 25, 2005)

aim or email... aim is in my info... if you want my email just ask and i can send it... just don't feel like posting it for bots/morons to pick up...

satanicsurferz (October 25, 2005)

Oh, and "andrew13", how could I contact you?

satanicsurferz (October 25, 2005)

OK, I am the one who wrote this stuff. I said "stuff" because I damn know that this ain't a review... and that I'm not objective at all. I told more what happened and my feelings about it. If you don't like The Pogues, I can understand how difficult for you it was to read this.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a big Bad Religion fan, but I've seen them at least 10 times... and this was probably my first and last chance to see The Pogues... so this is why I skipped Bad Religion.
Also regarding this:
"there's no way I'd take Shane's gibberish over Greg's intellect"
I like Greg's lyric a lot... but please don't tell me that Shane Macgowan's lyric are gibberish. He's one of the best songwritter of all time... but I admin that he's quite difficult to understand now. He wrote such beautiful songs... maybe not as "intellectual" as BR, but with way more poetry. They have lots of different styles in their songs and are definately more original.
As for this:
"I've got "If I Should Fall From Grace With God", "Red Roses for Me", and "Rum, Sodomy, & the Lash". Are their other releases worth getting, and if so, which ones?"
I would go with "Hell's Ditch" and then "Peace And Love". They are not as good as the first three of course... but quite good anyway. Stay away from "Waiting For Herb" and "Pogue Mahone" (both without Shane). You could go also for "The Snake" and "Crock Of Cold" (Shane solo stuff with The Popes).
Finally for this:
"also, why would you only watch/review the pogues, that's just silly"
Because it was so fucking hot. We waited until it was dark... So I catched Television... and had to miss Bad Religion for the reason mentionned earlier. To be honest, I wanted to see The Pogues so much that I would have skipped The Beatles to see them.

SatanicSurferz

the_other_scott (October 25, 2005)

"Tickets to see Bad Religion play some 21 ballroom here a couple nights ago were $40 or $137. For the $137 you could get a table up close and bottle service for four. They pretty much ignored anything but their last 5 albums before my homie walked out."

that's what you get for living in vegas, i guess

everytime i've seen them they've played just as much stuff from 80-85/suffer/against the grain as from new stuff, and usually skipped all the non-epitaph stuff

the pogues are still rad by the way, and who is a better (or more influential) band is a stupid one, they're both good, and both incredibly influential

there's just as much bad religion in a band like floggingy molly as there is pogues

skankin_in_the_pit (October 25, 2005)

If you don't put a space after the 21 the plus will disappear? Or maybe I just forgot it.

skankin_in_the_pit (October 25, 2005)

Tickets to see Bad Religion play some 21 ballroom here a couple nights ago were $40 or $137. For the $137 you could get a table up close and bottle service for four. They pretty much ignored anything but their last 5 albums before my homie walked out.

The Pogues win.

jamespastepunk (October 25, 2005)

Drunks before cocky intellectualism, anyday.

Bad Religion isn't cocky, but sometimes, they are intellectual. If you want cocky intellectualism, there's Propoghandi.

swingline (October 25, 2005)

you can see bad religion any time. and they're not as good as the pogues. so, good move on skipping them for the pogues.

gladimnotemo (October 25, 2005)

"but come on, its nostalgia more than anything these days."

Well, in a sense, both bands are. Bad Religion are releasing new material, but that doesn't really mean anything. They've been writing the same songs since the 90s. I respect Baker and Hetson for what they did back in the beginning, but since they haven't really done anything new since then, it's hard to keep them to such a high pedestal. I didn't get into punk growing up worshipping at the Bad Religion/Epitaph altar, so I don't see things the same way, I guess.

I would still take the Pogues. They sound original from album to album and at least have variety in their songs. Drunks before cocky intellectualism, anyday.

But it's all personal opinion anyways, right?

the_other_scott (October 25, 2005)

"another guitarist with roots in one of the first, ground-breaking and influential hardcore bands EVER"

i assume you mean brian baker, but really that could be about hetson too

so it would be "and two guitarists with roots...."

also, why would you only watch/review the pogues, that's just silly

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

Pogues Rule

sickboi (October 25, 2005)

"I can't believe people are pimping Bad Religion over an original, ground-breaking band. Shameful."

I can't believe there are people shit-talking a STAPLE in punk-rock history, with a frontman with more intelligence than most college professors, a guitarist with enough musical sense to start one of the most successful and influential independent labels ever and another guitarist with roots in one of the first, ground-breaking and influential hardcore bands EVER, over a drunkard past his prime.

I like and respect the Pogues, but come on, its nostalgia more than anything these days.

gladimnotemo (October 25, 2005)

I can't believe people are pimping Bad Religion over an original, ground-breaking band. Shameful.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

I'm a big fan of "Waxie's Dargle".

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

Vitoria is such a cool city

andrew13 (October 25, 2005)

any release besides pogues mahone or waiting for herb...
all of the shane releases are great...

superdude (October 25, 2005)

This review was pretty good, but here's how I would make it better:

1. You're the fattest Pogues fan in the world? How can anyone even know that?

2. At the show were there any people floor punching?

3. CROWD SURFING!!!!

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

Pogues fans:

I've got "If I Should Fall From Grace With God", "Red Roses for Me", and "Rum, Sodomy, & the Lash". Are their other releases worth getting, and if so, which ones?

Also, gibberish > intellect.

andrew13 (October 25, 2005)

pogues >>> bad religion
i need to see these guys so bad... the rumor of the US tour with the Murphys was nice til it never happened... hopefully i'll be able to save enough money to get to a christmas show some year...

also, the dud who wrote this should contact me... i have a good amount of bootlegs... might have something you're missing if you wanted to trade or something...

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

I would have skipped Bad Religion too.

jamespastepunk (October 25, 2005)

errr...ignore my previous post. I'm an idiot.

jamespastepunk (October 25, 2005)

If the guy's a big Pogues fan as he says he is, I can't blame him skipping Bad Religion.

But even then, he/she should reconsider.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

this was the most fanboyish review ever. i liked it. it's what my review of the lifetime reunion shows would have sounded like if i had written them.

sickboi (October 25, 2005)

I like the Pogues as much as the next guy, but there's no way I'd take Shane's gibberish over Greg's intellect. Bad Religion rules Pogues.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

They play Britain pretty much every Christmas... just like Status Quo do.

This year London is two nights at Brixton with Dropkick Murphys in support.

colin (October 25, 2005)

wow, they're your favorite band, you own all their albums and 8 dvds, and you paid an assload of money to see them and they didn't disappoint?

really, i'm glad if you have fun at a show... but reviews are also about objectivity at the same time.

that and you skipped bad religion.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

The only deception was the absence of Cait,

Hehehe...

-Chinatown

Exclusive Streams

Newest Reviews

Punknews.org Team

Other Places to Go