“A Rainy Night In SODO”
Flash back to 2001, when the news broke out of a Pogues Reunion Tour. Insanity is a word commonly used to describe the feeling worldwide. I seriously debate flying all the way to London just to see the band play live. (A few freinds made it) At the time, I simply could not afford the trip, so I nervously waited 5 years for the band to arrive on American shores. Again, I back out like a cheap stupid bastard. The tour is a success, and I punch myself for not attending. I then begin to hear rumors of a full blown West Coast Tour in 2007. I await the Portland billing…(And for reasons I cannot discuss) It falls through. Luckily for me, Seattle has confirmed two dates. I order my tickets and dance a drunken jig.
October 17th arrives. I get out of work early and haul ass north to Seattle. Prior arrangements have been made to meet up at a local pub called the Owl & Thistle. We arrive to a series of cheers. The good times are certainly here! (And as we all know, a Pogues gig isn’t complete without a pre-gig pub-crawl.) After an hour or so, the pub is crawling with fellow Portlanders, and our cheery pals to the north, The Canadians. After a few pints are drowned, various footy chants are sprinkled among the Pogues faithful.By the time we’re about to leave, full blown Portland Timbers chants echo across the pub. (WTF?) We also raise a pint to ailing Pogues guitarist Phil Chevron, who could not attend the tour due to his recovery from cancer. Like some sort of Celt-Punk roll call, I bump into various members of The McGillicuddy’s, the Scurvy Bastards, The Dolomites/Rag & Bonemen, and even had a Wages Of Sin sighting!
Eventually, the pub empties out into the rainy streets of Seattle, it’s the middle of Autumn, and a chill is in the air. This does nothing to dampen our spirits, because this crew of misfits are heading to The Showbox SODO to watch the Pogues! Somehow we cut the line and walk right in. The opening band is a guy named William Elliot Whitmore and he sounded great, I was too busy at the bar to get a good view.
Then it was time. Time for me to witness The Pogues for the first time ever. (Sure, I’d seen Shane & The Popes play before, but who am I kidding?) To be honest, I had pretty much written off Shane MacGowan a few years ago, so I wasn’t expecting much. In fact, I was relieved just to see Ol’ Snaggletooth up on stage. (It’s the first night of the tour, mind you!) The band crashes into “Streams Of Whiskey” and a mad rush toward the front of the stage begins. The crowd is hungry. Considering this is the first time The Pogues have ever played Seattle, it seemed appropriate. Within seconds, the leather jackets, the skate punks, the paddycaps, the trads, and the skins, all came together to celebrate the night. Let’s not forget some the older fans a bit further back with their offspring in tow. Showing the wee ones a night they’ll never forget. You couldn’t catch your breath before they steam right into “If I Should Fall From Grace With God” It’s about this time everyone realized how good the band sounds. In fact, The Pogues sound fucking great. Not to mention, Shane, (who was currently sporting a classy tophat) who had not sounded this good in years! “Broad Majestic Shannon” “Turkish Song Of The Damned” Phil Chevron’s smiling replacement, James Walbourne subbed in perfectly. By about the time “Young Ned Of The Hill” comes I simply lose the ability to properly review this show. There’s too much to take in. All those years of wishing, and waiting, have arrived and my fucking god, they have arrived with a vengeance! Overwhelming is an understatement! I am willing to bet serious amounts of money that I had by far, the biggest smile in the entire place that night!
Here’s the set list of the remainder of the show
Pair Of Brown Eyes
Boys From The County Hell
Repeal Of the Licensing Laws
Sunnyside Of The Street
Body Of An American (Shane dedicating it to Kurt Cobain)
Lullaby Of London
Greenland Whale fishers
Dirty Old Town
Bottle Of Smoke
Sickbed Of Cuchulainn
Rainy Night In Soho
Star Of The County Down (Andrew on vocals)
Fiesta (With Shane And Spider smashing beer trays over their heads!)
And that was that. After two hours, a long term goal was fufilled. I finally saw the Pogues, and again, they sounded fucking amazing. I honestly expected a half-arsed reunion gig, instead I received a full blown kick in the ass. There was a faint buzz in the air. Not only the fans, but also the band. Accomplishment comes to mind.
Again, I must admit, Overwhelming is an understatement.
Review By: Barnacle Brian (Still smiling)