The Pogues

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The Pogues are an Irish rock band, formed in 1982 and fronted by Shane MacGowan. The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. MacGowan left the band in 1991 due to drinking problems but the band continued first with Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals before breaking up in 1996.[1] The band reformed in 2001, and has been playing regularly ever since, most notably on the US East Coast around St Patrick's Day and across the UK and Ireland every December. The group has yet to record any new music and according to Spider Stacy on Pogues.com has no inclination to do so.

Their politically-tinged music was informed by MacGowan and Stacy's punk backgrounds,[2] yet used traditional Irish instruments such as the tin whistle, cittern, mandolin and accordion.

The Pogues were founded in King's Cross,[3] a district of North London, in 1982 as Pogue Mahone—pogue mahone being the Anglicisation of the Irish póg mo thóin, meaning "kiss my arse".[4]

Contents

Band history

The roots of The Pogues were formed when MacGowan (vocals), Peter "Spider" Stacy (tin whistle), and Jem Finer (banjo) were together in an occasional band called The Millwall Chainsaws in the late 1970s after MacGowan and Stacy met in the toilets at a Ramones gig at The Roundhouse in 1977.[5] MacGowan was already with The Nips, though when they broke up in 1980 he concentrated a bit more on Stacy's Millwall Chainsaws who changed their name to The New Republicans. During this period MacGowan and Finer auditioned unsuccessfully for a licence to busk at Covent Garden.[6] In 1982 James Fearnley (accordion) joined MacGowan, Stacy, and Finer, calling the band Pogue Mahone. The new group played their first gig at The Pindar of Wakefield on 4 October 1982.[7]

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