Shane MacGowan Has Died

“The Pogues were once described as a tight, professional bunch of musicians fronted by a total shambles.”

Shane MacGowen, frontman of The Pogues, has died aged 65. A decent innings in some ways, considering his lifestyle.

I haven’t listened to pretty much anything of The Pogues and the limited knowledge I have of MacGowen is just of his hellraising. But there is one song of the band that I know very well: Fairytale of New York.

I’m not sure of its reputation outside the U.K., but here it is one of the big ones. So much so that it was voted as the nation’s favourite Christmas song°. It’s certainly one of my absolute favourites. It cuts a nice contrast against the usual sickly sweet Christmas songs, and it’s an actual proper, good song. I always listen to Driving Home For Christmas (by Chris Rea, Spotify link) and Fairytale of New York when I officially want to kick off Christmas.

Below is a good live version of Fairytale of New York. But here’s the album version if you prefer.

Alexis Petridis of the Guardian has written a brief summary° of his life and music that’s worth your time.

Obituaries: The Guardian° / BBC°

Read this next: Michael Chapman has died

Discover more each week by subscribing to the newsletter.