Shane MacGowan (born December 25, 1957) is best known as the original singer and songwriter with The Pogues, and is considered one of the most important and poetic Irish songwriters of the last thirty years.
MacGowan drew on his Irish heritage to create The Pogues, a band that he founded, but from which he was away during a long hiatus in the 1990s. Many of his songs are influenced by Irish nationalism, Irish history, the experiences of the Irish in London and in London life in general.
After leaving The Pogues, he formed a new band, Shane MacGowan and The Popes. He no longer plays with them and has recently had numerous successful reunion tours through 2004 -2010 with The Pogues.
Shane has been guesting with Sharon Shannon and her Big Band since 2007. The first tour came about when MacGowan's manager approached Sharon's manager saying that the singer/songwriter was interested in doing a guest spot with the Sharon Shannon Big Band. Shane was looking at this as an opportunity to do stuff other than The Pogues' songs with musicians that had become kind of living legends of Irish contemporary music. That tour (together with Mundy, Damien Dempsey and Dessie O'Halloran, covering 5 Irish dates around New Year) had an enormous success so new dates seemed to be inevitable and they did follow.
During 2008 Shane together with Sharon, her 24 strong Big Band and various guests played numerous festivals in the UK and Ireland and finished the year with another successful Irish tour.
2009 has brought new releases in collaborations with his long time friends and admirers - The Mighty Stef, Mundy, Sharon Shannon, The Popes. And more dates – short UK tour in April (with Camille O’Sullivan), MayDay Mayhem in Dublin, another bunch of festivals in August, with one European date. And as a crown of the year - Saints & Scoundrels post-Christmas Irish tour again (named after the newly released and critically aclaimed album by Sharon Shannon and her friends). Season celebration with Sharon, Shane, Mundy to "Fairytale of New York" and "Galway Girl" is turning into an annual tradition. Even TG4 regarded it as the best way to ring in the New Year and broadcasted the 2008 Killarney gig on the New Year's Eve.
January 2010… A mere two and half weeks after the calamitous events in Haiti, Shane MacGowan alongside a hitherto unseen musical line-up of like minded souls, friends and musicians entered a London studio to record a track, cover of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins 1956 hit ‘I Put A Spell On You’, from which all proceeds go to Concern, a charity who have provided assistance to some of the poorest countries in the world including Haiti, even before the earthquake struck.
In May 2010 new albums by Alabama 3 "Revolver Soul" and Galia Arad "Ooh La Baby" were released. Both feature tracks recorded with Shane MacGowan's always unique participation.
August 2010 brought astonishing but long awaited news: next month Shane is playing two first gigs with his NEW BAND! featuring Sarge O'Hara (DC Nein, Tokyo Olympics) on keys, Joey Cahsman (The Fast Skirts, The Pogues) on whistle, and In Tua Nua and Gravediggers rhythm section Jack Dublin on bass and Paul Byrne on drums.
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