"Is Shane MacGowan still alive?"
That's the immediate reaction I got from a co-worker after informing them of the news that legendary Irish rock band the Pogues will be coming to Tempe's Marquee Theatre on October 21.
It's not an unreasonable question, given MacGowan's notorious penchant for drinkin' and druggin' egregiously over the past few decades. (Staff writer Stephen Lemons reported that Sinéad O'Connor once dropped dime on the Shane's heroin usage to the London cops in a tough-love attempt to get him to kick the habit).
And to answer my colleague's query: yes, the gravel-voiced singer/songwriter is still amongst the living. Even better, he's been touring with the band's original lineup since 2006 after rejoining the Pogues (who pretty much influenced every effin Irish punk band of recent memory, including Flogging Molly and the Dropkick Murphys) for a series of sold out shows in the U.S. and Europe.
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Speaking of sellouts, I'm willing to wager that their Marquee Show will be just that. Tickets ($55 in advance, $60 day of show) are on sale now by calling the venue's box office (480-829-0607) or through Lucky Man's site. No opening acts have been announced just yet (might we suggest The Liars Handshake?), and LM's Will Anderson told me that it might end up being a solo "evening with..." kinda thing.
Here's an MP3 of The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" (featuring the late Kirsty MacColl) which in my opinion is one of the greatest Christmas songs of all time.