Irish folk-punks the Pogues are a unique band, if ever there was one. They're not all that far removed from other Irish folk groups like The Furies, The Dubliners or the Chieftains, except that the Pogues are wilder, faster and more in-your-face than any of those acts. They play traditional Irish folk music with all the grit, spit, and aggressive swagger of the English punks of the class of '77 (The Pistols, The Clash, The Damned, et al).
Reknowned for their alcohol intake and the slurring, toothless vocal delivery of their frontman Shane McGowan, the Pogues are endearing in their own rambunctious, shambolic, ragged fashion. Where the Furies are beloved of my parents generation, The Pogues are truly a GenX band.
It comes with some sadness the news that Pogues guitarist Philip Chevron passes away from cancer this morning after a long battle with cancer. It's even more shocking when you consider that he was given a clean bill of health in April 2012, but another tumour appeared in August that year.
Equally shocking, as i reflect on the band, is the fact that Shane McGowan is still alive and standing. Shane is a bloke who, to look at him, makes Keith Richard look like an alter boy. His reputation for beer drinking, drug taking and hell raising makes Pete Dogherty look like the rank amateur he really is. Based on this, I thought he'd be the first Pogues member to shuffle off the mortal coil, but alas...
So Rest in Peace, Philip.
Here's a Pogues classic in tribute: "If I Should Fall From Grace with God"