Music videos and archived footage supplement recent interviews in this documentary of ex-Pogues singer Shane MacGowan. We follow his life from the early days in Ireland and England, through his formation of – and later dismissal from – The Pogues, to his new band The Popes. Shane’s family, friends, and former bandmates comment on the music, the rumors, and the alcohol.
Ireland, 2001, colour, 91 min.
Starring Nick Cave, Paul Simonon, Shane MacGowan, Victoria Clarke, Maurice MacGowan, Sarah Share and more…
“He had a smart brain. It only lost a few million cells. ” Thus begins this documentary by Shane MacGowan’s Dad.
(Sadly YouTube have removed the film from its platform. It’s available to buy/rent on several sites but here is Part 1 the first fifteen minutes. The other parts follow but are unavailable in some countries)
Never forgetting that his family’s land in Ireland is his true spiritual home, young Shane MacGowan found himself uprooted at an early age when his parents moved to London for work. Suffering from displacement and the anti-Irish sentiment of his new environment, MacGowan found acceptance and community in London’s emerging punk subculture and quickly realized that playing traditional Irish Republican fight songs to a frenetic rock beat was perhaps the most punk rock thing one could do in the anti-Irish climate of England in the 1970s and 80s. At once a poet in the ancient Irish folk tradition; a mesmerizing performer; a godfather of British punk; a contemporary songwriting genius in the tradition of Cave, Dylan, Reed, and Waits; and a fierce Republican fighter with the soul of a hopeless tragic romantic, the film is testament that popular music will not see the likes of Shane MacGowan’s magic again. Long may he play!