Musical stars joined forces to celebrate the power and poetry of Shane MacGowan’s songs at his 60th birthday concert

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A star-studded line up of musical greats joined forces on Monday 15th January at Dublin’s National Concert Hall to celebrate Shane MacGowan’s 60th birthday, and pay tribute to the power and poetry of his songs and his singular contribution to Irish music.

Nick Cave, Johnny Depp, Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie, Glen Hansard, Cerys Matthews, Imelda May, the Sex Pistols Glen Matlock and The Libertines’ Carl Barat and were amongst those performing Pogues’ classics and Shane’s solo work – with surprise appearances from Sinead O’Connor and Bono.

There were so many highlights to what was an emotional evening with an electric atmosphere. Glen Hansard and Lisa O’Neill duetted on ‘Fairytale of New York’ and Imelda May gave a beautiful rendition of ‘Fiesta’. Bono and Johnny Depp joined forces for ‘A Rainy Night in Soho’ whilst Sinead O’Connor brought the house down with ‘You’re the One’. Bobby Gillespie brilliantly gave the Primal Scream touch to ‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’ and Shane MacGowan joined Nick Cave joined for ‘Summer in Siam’. Cerys Matthews rendition of ‘The Broad Majestic Shannon’, dedicated to Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan, was met with a standing ovation.

At the end of the evening Shane performed traditional ballad ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ before being honoured with the NCH lifetime achievement award by President Michael D. Higgins.

The Irish Times aptly summed up the night in their review: “It’s hard to imagine so many heavyweights of the arts and politics in one room but they filled it for one of Ireland’s most influential and much-loved talents. The words legend and genius are overused daily but in MacGowan’s case they are utterly appropriate.”

All photographs ©2018 Andrew Catlin

All photographs ©2018 Andrew Catlin

Fairytale of New York – The Making of a Classic on RTÉ One

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This December, Fairytale of New York will be 30 years old. RTÉ marks the anniversary with a new documentary looking back at the making of Fairytale in the company of Shane MacGowan as he reminisces about the writing of the song. Paul Simon, Billy Bragg, Christy Moore, Imelda May and Bob Geldof are among the musicians and songwriters interviewed, along with former members of The Pogues.

RTÉ One, Thursday 21 December, 9.35pm

Shane MacGowan 60th Birthday Celebration

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From A Pair of Brown Eyes to Fairytale of New YorkShane MacGowan is a poet of modern music and one of the great international songwriters. Dublin’s National Concert Hall is delighted to mark Shane MacGowan’s 60th Birthday with this specially produced concert celebrating the power and poetry of his songs and his singular contribution to Irish music.

Produced and curated in collaboration with Shane, this concert sees his collaborators, friends, artists who admire his work and those who have been influenced by him come together to sing these great songs. Joining them are a newly created band naturally featuring members of The Pogues led by Musical Director Terry Edwards. Hosted by John Kelly.

Produced by Gerry O’Boyle and Gary Sheehan for NCH. In collaboration with Shane MacGowan and Victoria Mary Clarke. Presented by NCH 


Therese MacGowan RIP

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Shane would like to say thank you and God bless you to all the people who are offering kind words and condolences on the passing of his mother Therese. It means a lot at this difficult time.

Shane MacGowan / Electric Picnic

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Contrary to reports in the press, Shane MacGowan had not agreed to play the annual Electric Picnic festival at Stradbally in County Laois – this was a false rumour put out.