Ever since I brought Sinéad O’Connor round to Shane MacGowan and Victoria [Mary Clarke]’s flat in London, new magical friendships blossomed. The record Haunted, from 1995, is now a classic, MacGowan’s gnarly vocals embraced by O’Connor’s voice of an angel.
Here, they are in the Netherlands at The Pink Pop Festival in 1988: two of the greatest artists in contemporary music having a vibe together. I call this photo “Doc Martens & slippers”.
In early Pogues days I invited the whole group to take part in my radio show The BP Fallon Orchestra. The RTÉ Guide trumpeted “The BPFO Presents The Pogues in Conversations with 40 People (Often All at the Same Time)”. Shane and company fielded questions from the audience, and the sometimes heated exchange was reported in the Irish papers. I like to think of it as The Pogues’ “Bill Grundy moment” – when The Sex Pistols swore at an idiotic Grundy on his Thames Television show – and it helped make The Pogues a household name in Ireland.
Shane had worked in Ted Carroll’s superb London record shop, Rock On – name-checked by Phil Lynott in the Thin Lizzy song The Rocker – and had an exceedingly wide taste in music. He guested as a DJ at my club, Death Disco, in Dublin several times, and in Belfast too. Shane played everything from Elvis to the Sex Pistols to Margaret Barry. He was a one-off; there has been nobody quite like him.
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