Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tears in Beers as O2 Turns into an Irish Pub

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Tears in Beers as O2 Turns into an Irish Pub

Article excerpt

Byline: rick pearson

THE POGUES O2 arena "HAS anyone out there got gastroenteritis?" slurred Shane MacGowan last night, during one of his more coherent visits to the microphone. "It's not very nice." Looking at the ashen-faced 54-year-old, one imagines a dicky tummy is probably the least of his problems. By all accounts, he should be dead.

Yet, with the help of Fairytale of New York, the Toothless One has become as essential a part of the festive fabric as turkey and naff jumpers. Indeed, on their 30th anniversary as a band, The Pogues are popular enough to upgrade their annual residency at the Brixton Academy to a night at the O2 arena.

It's fair to say that their music is best enjoyed around Christmas, as a certain amount of goodwill is required to endure the singing of MacGowan. He appeared more interested in holding a pint glass than a tune. When propped up by a loud beat and backing from his brilliant seven-piece band, he just about survived. …

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