I am back in Dublin and listening to the bar entertainment across the street. Various heavy set Irishmen with moderate guitar skills are playing The Wild Rover, all night, every night (it sounds like Unionist pergatory). Although one night last week the song was distorted with feedback and sounded like the Irish Tourist Board had hired the 1970s proto-punk duo Suicide to do an album of traditional Irish songs (If they were ever to do this, take it from me, it sounded quite good).
I think The Pogues were always more Suicide than Foster and Allen. This is a great album, littered with Shane gems and it always manages to put a smile on my face. I still think the best song on the album by a country mile is A Pair of Brown Eyes, this is Shane, the grown-up songwriter.
Micro review; Still gritty and made before Shane became the Poet-in-residence for Bushmills
Hidden gem: Wild Cats of Kilkenny
It is a shame that most people would associate this band with their biggest hit Happy Hour. There are some great tracks on this album, Flag Day is an incredible song, one of the best things they ever did in my opinion. Another great single was Think For a Minute. My friends and I loved Sheep, it is a very funny song and as young revolutionaries we would often sing it accusingly at people who we perceived to be conformists (I now work in IT, baaaah).
I remember getting my haircut in Newcastle one Saturday when Happy Hour was in the charts. The barber was talking to a lad who mentioned that he was going to see the Housemartins that night. The barber was so Geordie he had to refer to them not as The Housemartins but as The Hoosemartins, he then went on to describe, in detail, why he thought the Hoosemartins were overrated and derivative, he cleverly summed all this up in one succinct phrase, Hoosemartins, load a shite.
Hidden gem: Over There
Micro review: London nowt Hull fowah