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