The Snake

Source: Philadelphia Inquiror
Author: Dan DeLuca
Contributor: Ingrid Knetsch

A snake he is, that Shane MacGowan. He was punted from the Pogues for dissolute behavior, and his career seemed as rotten as his teeth. But rumors of MacGowan’s demise were greatly exaggerated: with The Snake, the Irish bard pulls off miraculous resuscitation. Lord knows, it doesn’t appear he’s gone clean and sober – lovely lasses are named “Nancy Whiskey”; “Victoria” rhymes with “opium euphoria.”

But while spinning blarney aplenty, MacGowan spits out his lyrics as passionately as ever, and even sees through the haze to hint at wisdom gained. “I ruined my life by drinking, bad wives, taking pills an cursing,” he sings in “Church Of The Holy Spook.” On “The Song With No Name” and “Her Father Didn’t Like Me Anyway”, he lets out lonely laughs at himself. And while the Popes can’t jig and reel like the Pogues, the band’s solid backing provides just the reliable barstool that MacGowan needs.