The upcoming episodes will mark the debut appearances of Brunson, de Armas, Karol G, and Lil Yachty. Shannon, of course, was an SNL cast member from 1995 to 2001 and also hosted an episode in 2007. Meanwhile, Jonas Brothers previously performed on the show in 2009 and 2019.
Meanwhile, Jonas Brothers are in the midst of continuing their comeback that started with their No. 1 2019 album Happiness Begins. Their sixth album, dubbed The Album, is set for May 12, and the trio just played a five-night Broadway residency earlier this month. They also recently recruited superfan and White Lotus favorite Haley Lu Richardson to star in their “Wings” video.
Arkells will play a concert in Red Deer during this summer’s Westerner Days Fair and Exposition.
The Canadian rock band will perform at the Peavey Mart Centrium on Saturday, July 22, which is the second-last day of the major central Alberta event.
“Red Deer, it’s been too long and we needed to change that,” Arkells frontman Max Kerman said in a media release issued by Westerner Park.
“We’re not passing through on the way to Calgary, we are bringing the party to Westerner Days for a night to remember. Our only summer rock ‘n’ roll show in Alberta? Sign us up.”
Arkells is comprised of Kerman, a guitar player and vocalist, fellow guitar player and vocalist Mike DeAngelis, bassist Nick Dika, drummer Tim Oxford, as well as guitar and keyboard player Anthony Carone.
The band has won multiple Juno Awards since being formed in Hamilton, Ont., in 2006. Arkells have won the Juno Award for group of the year six times, including the past three straight years.
Jackson Square was the first album released by the band in 2018. Since then, the five-member group has released seven more albums.
Blink Twice, the band’s most recent effort, was released in 2022 as a followup to the 2021 album Blink Once. The companion albums feature notable artists Tegan and Sara, K.Flay and Wesley Schultz of The Lumineers.
Westerner Park CEO Mike Olesen said live music is a major contributor to the fair experience “and we wanted to focus on providing one really impactful show with Arkells.”
All Westerner Days tickets and passes, including concert tickets, go on sale Tuesday, March 28 at 10 a.m. through Tickets Alberta.
Westerner Days runs from July 19-23 at Westerner Park and features live entertainment, midway rides, Pony Chuckwagon Races and food. Each year, Westerner Days has a major impact on the economy of Red Deer and surrounding area, with the overall effect estimated to be in excess of $7 million.
The March Madness Music Festival will be held at Discovery Green which is right in front of the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston. The two are separated by Avenida De Las Americas street. The GRB is where the Final Four Fan Fest will be held as well.
Where are the fan entrances to the March Madness Music Festival?
The two fan entrances to the Festival are located on Avenida De Las Americas at Dallas and McKinney streets, near the Hilton Americas and Mariott Marquis hotels.
When do the queue lines open to get into the March Madness Music Festival?
Queue lines will open at 7 a.m. No overnight camping is allowed.
When do the March Madness Music Festival gates open?
Gates will open at the following times:
AT&T Block Party – Friday, March 31: 4 p.m.
Coca-Cola Move – Saturday, April 1: 3 p.m.
Capital One JamFest – Sunday, April 2: 2:30 p.m.
What types of bags are allowed inside the March Madness Music Festival?
No bags larger than 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches are allowed. Clear plastic bags up to 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches are permitted.
What items are not allowed inside the March Madness Music Festival?
The following items are prohibited from March Madness Music Festival:
Animals (except service animals to aid guests with disabilities)
Artificial noisemakers or noisemaking devices of any kind.
Prohibited bags include, but are not limited to, the following: all purses, bags or containers larger than a small clutch bag, coolers, briefcases, backpacks, fanny packs, cinch bags, luggage of any kind, computer bags and camera bags. Please refer to the bag policy.
Balls or any object that can be used as a projectile.
Cameras with professional lenses longer than 4”, GoPros, video recorders and mono/tripods.
Chewing tobacco, e-cigarettes and vape pens.
Outside food and beverage and containers of any kind (except for guests with medical and dietary needs). An exception will be made for factory-sealed water bottles 20 ounces or fewer (one per person).
Fireworks or pyrotechnics.
Folding chairs, stools, seating devices and blankets.
Poles or sticks of any kind, including selfie-sticks.
Signs larger than 3’ x 2’ or flags larger than 3’ x 5’.
Unmanned aircraft systems and radio-controlled model aircraft/drones.
Yard games, glow sticks, marker pens and inflatables.
Skateboards, scooters and personal motorized vehicles (Exceptions will be made for those needed to aid guests with disabilities.).
Any other item(s) determined by event management to be dangerous or inappropriate will not be allowed into NCAA events.
How do I get tickets for the March Madness Music Festival?
Summer music festivals are back, and Chicago’s Lollapalooza is leading the charge with an impressive lineup of headliners including Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
But for investors, attending the festival doesn’t have to mean just spending money on tickets and accommodations. There are several stocks in the music and events industry that could provide booming returns to cover the money that music lovers spent on their Lollapalooza tickets.
An investor could consider Spotify Technology SASPOT, the world’s largest music streaming service with more than 489 million monthly active listeners. While the company missed its last earnings report, Guggenheim Partners on Wednesday upgraded the stock from Neutral to Buy, with a $155 price target.
Tencent Music Entertainment – ADRTME, a subsidiary of Chinese tech giant Tencent, is another stock to consider. The company dominates the music streaming market in China, with over 574 million monthly active users, and has been investing in exclusive content and live-streaming events.
For those interested in the record label side of the music industry, Warner Music Group CorpWMG is a major player with a diverse catalog of artists, including Cardi B, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars.
Apple IncAAPL and Alphabet Inc.’s Google GOOGGOOGL, two of the largest tech companies in the world, also have their hands in the music industry.
Apple’s music streaming service, Apple Music, has more than 84 million subscribers, and the company’s push into original content could drive even more growth. Meanwhile, Google’s YouTube Music has been steadily gaining market share and has over 80 million subscribers.
Although the three stocks below have been underperformers in the last year, it could be a good idea to keep them on a watchlist, and check back for any rebounds.
Sirius XM Holdings IncSIRI, the satellite radio company, expanded into the streaming market with its acquisition of Pandora, which had just 6.2 million paid subscribers last year.
Eventbrite Inc EB, a platform for organizing and selling tickets to events, could also benefit from the return of music festivals and live events.
Live Nation Entertainment IncLYV, the largest live events company in the world, could see a boost from the return of music festivals like Lollapalooza.
The company has been expanding its offerings beyond concerts and festivals and has been investing in new technology to enhance the live event experience.
… position as the traditional recording industry began crumbling.
In 2000, … buckled down and recorded another album from scratch “1000 Kisses.” … songs.”
More:Savannah Music Festival brings free concerts to Savannah-Chatham … 8:00 p.m.
Cost: Tickets start at $37
McFly will take to the stage at Trentham Live to headline the first day of the five-day festival on the grounds of the historic estate on Wednesday, August 16, after a bonus day was announced.
The four-piece of Tom Fletcher, Danny Jones, Dougie Poynter and Harry Judd will bring a set of their greatest hits, including It’s All About You and Five Colours In Her Hair, as well as songs from their new, currently untitled, album.
The band has had seven UK number one singles, six top ten albums, undertaken seven arena tours and sold ten million records worldwide and even broke the long-standing record by The Beatles as the youngest band to have a debut album go straight to number one.
They will be supported on the night by the Hoosiers and said they were excited to play the festival.
The band said: “Following on from another fantastic night at Trentham last year, we are delighted to be the first headline act for the additional night for Trentham Live 2023 on Wednesday, August 16, this year where a bonus date has been added.
“To follow in the footsteps with musical greats such as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles, who have played at Trentham in the past, we’re in very good company and can’t wait to see our fans there again this year”.
McFly join Feeder, Chase & Status, Kaiser Chiefs and Olly Murs in headlining the festival, which runs between Wednesday, August 16, and Sunday, August 20.
To find out more about the festival and to book tickets, with Trentham members’ presale on Thursday, March 30, and general sale from Friday, March 31, go to trentham.co.uk/events/trentham-live
Drake sparked major outrage among fans after announcing last minute that he’d no longer be performing at Lollapalooza Brazil on Sunday.
The Canadian rapper. 36, bailed on a festival performance in Sao Paulo just hours to go until his set, citing issues with the production as reason.
On Sunday, a message shared on Lollapalooza Brazil’s Instagram account read, “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Drake is without members of his sound and production team, essential to the realization of the Lollapalooza show in Sao Paulo.
“Drake was excited to perform for his fans in Brazil,” the statement added. “Unfortunately, this is beyond his control. Sorry.”
The announcement further confirmed that Skrillex would be filling in for Drake during Sunday’s headlining slot.
Drake’s abrupt drop out from the much-anticipated festival also led the organizers to offer refunds to ticket holders.
The God’s Plan singer’s fans expressed their anger and disappointment, writing, “pls don’t call drake ever again.”
Another added, “Irresponsible! He is a GIANT artist, the biggest today in terms of streams, and doesn’t have a team?”
“Someone who earns 20 million to put on a show has no right to have staff problems,” fumed another fan.
“Things are already outta control, well outta control,” he told a not wholly surprised Liam Fay…
Liam Fay called on Shane MacGowan at home, where over mugs of brandy, the singer cheerfully rationalised his notorious alcohol-intake in the face of widespread concern that he might be drinking himself to an early grave. The premier Pogue disagreed, predicting instead a happy fulfilling life away from the stage, in which he would own and run a fully-licensed restaurant in London and face extended vacations in Thailand.
Through The Keyhole, episode 735 a continuing series in which, each week, you the reader are invited into the home of a rich and famous pop-star and given a detailed description of the surroundings and decor from which you must deduce the name of the celebrity who lives there.
Today we find ourselves on the top floor of a three-storey Georgian building in the Marble Arch area of London. The house is quiet and unremarkable in every respect, except for the fact that the serenity is punctured every couple of minutes by a strange and disturbing sound that could be anything from the hissing of a rattle snake or a stalling ignition to the noise a Space Invaders machine makes when all the little Pacmen have been gobbled up. This sound is coming from the large bedroom where our mystery person sleeps, eats and relaxes. Let’s have a look in there, shall we?
There are two single beds in the room, both bare except for unzipped sleeping bags and a few cushions. A miniature black ‘n’ white television is balanced precariously on the back of an armchair and right beside that there’s a fairly expensive-looking hi-fi system. Along by one wall sit four or five huge cardboard boxes full of records the selection comprising of everything from The Doors through Makem And Clancy to Public Enemy. Behind the door hangs a heavy black overcoat that used to belong to showbiz Svengali Jim Hand. And over by the window you can see the emerald-green guitar that was a present from gravel-voiced Scottish singer, Frankie Miller. The floor is littered with piles of clothes and the bric-a-brac of someone who spends most of his or her nights on the town (heaps of loose change, beermats, customised matchboxes etc.) and at the foot of one of the beds there’s the remnants of a hastily prepared breakfast an empty sliced-pan wrapper, a tub of Flora, a jar of Marmite and a greasy knife.
However, the most notable feature of the room has to be the vast phalanx of bottles (empty and full) that form a sort of centrepiece. Whatever you’re having yourself, it’s here: brandy, gin, vodka, wine, port, all sorts of mixers, not to mention two plastic shopping bags loaded with cans of Budweiser. The place literally smells like a brewery.
Well, have you guessed the name of our mystery resident yet? You’re fight, it’s not Tanita Tikaram, Daniel O’Donnell, Sade or even Axl Rose. This is, of course, where Mr O’Hooligan himself, Shane MacGowan, lays his hat and calls home. And the strange noise that ricochets throughout the house is his bizarre, blowgun of a laugh.
For years, Shane lived in a renovated squat in Camden Town but he had a rather leisurely approach to details like the payment of gas and electricity bills and he returned home from a tour once to find that everything had been cut off. Now his digs are in this house near Marble Arch and his landlady, Kathy MacMillan, looks after his overheads. (Incidentally, Ms MacMillan makes a cameo appearance on the new Pogues album, playing the typewriter on ‘Down All The Days’, a song about disabled author, Christy Brown.) Shane has no plans to buy a house. “What do I need a house for?” he chuckles. “All I need is a bed, a toilet, a chair and a drinks cabinet.”
It’s the evening after the night before and Shane isn’t that long out of bed. The previous day The Pogues had launched their fourth album, Peace And Love, with a characteristically momentous debauch of a party in Kentish Town and long after most normal people had reached their hooch plimsoll lines, MacGowan was still splashing about, ingesting oceans of the stuff. But then, what else is new?
Now, he’s sitting on the edge of the bed, sipping brandy from a coffee mug and looking very disgruntled and depressed. It’s not that he’s got a hangover; he’s already had a tuft of hairs of the dog: That always does the trick. He’s pissed off because tomorrow The Pogues travel to America for the first leg of what is to be a very lengthy world tour. And Shane has gotten to the point where he hates the very thought of going on the road again.
“I’m sick of performing live,” he scowls. “I’ve done too much of it. Over the last while it’s gotten to the stage where we’re doing it every night, week after week, and it’s too much. It’s very hard to put as much into it and you have to really work on psyching yourself up getting drunk enough but not too drunk to fucking enjoy it and be good! You have to do it, so you do it but it’s a bit like screwing for a living. Screwing is only good if you’re an amateur or a part-timer. Old whores don’t have much fun.”
What keeps you going then if you hate the prospect so much?
“The fact that I need more money”, he says and the Space Invaders machine goes off again. “I do actually enjoy music and playing music, you know what I mean? I hardly ever do it with this band though. It’s all interviews and travelling and promotion. I hate all that. OK, if we haven’t done a gig for ages and we do one and it turns out to be good then I enjoy that but doing it all the fucking time is awful.
“We better have a fucking massive American hit this time round or there’ll be fucking trouble. If that happens we’ll be able to take things a bit easier. Obviously, it’s far more enjoyable making records and playing gigs if you’ve more time and you don’t have to do every gig you’re offered ’cause you need the money. I want to be able to pick ‘n’ choose. But all this comes under the heading of career strategy and the business side of things. I’m just not up to dealing with that, I’m not enough of a bullshitter, so I leave that up to our manager Frank (Murray). He tells me he’s working on it. He better be.”
Why don’t you do what some other acts do: make loads of glitzy videos and send them round the world to do the touring for you. In other words, stay at home and let your promotional fingers do the walking.
“Now, that’s a good idea. Why the fuck didn’t we think of that. Get Frank on the phone. I want a meeting. I’ll have to remember that one. It’s clever that. There could be a place in our organisation for you if you play your cards right.”
On a more serious note, the ritual of live performance becomes decreasingly attractive in relation to the extent to which Shane and indeed all of The Pogues are becoming increasingly worried about the danger of fatal crushes at their often phenomenally boisterous gigs. A case in point is a recent concert at the St Andrew’s football ground in Birmingham where almost 100 fans were injured because of a stage-front squash.
“In that case we had sorted out certain requirements before we did that gig,” explains Shane,”but when we got there it wasn’t done the way it was arranged. So we’re gonna have to be even more careful in the future ’cause I’m not interested in watching somebody get crushed to death in front of me while I m on a bloody stage singing a song. In that case, we saw what was happening and were able to stop the gig before it became another Hillsborough or something but that was just luck. It basically comes down to bad organisation and fucking greed on behalf of the people who run these things and the awful fucking thing is that we don t have enough control to avoid situations like that, not compared to the responsibility we have.”
Do you feel that as you get bigger as a band that events snowball and you lose control over things generally?
“Things are already outta control, well outta control,” he says, topping up his brandy mug.
In what way?
“I don’t control anything I do now,” he sighs, “too many other people have influence over me for my liking. I want to get really big so that I can control everything! That’s what I want to start sacking people at will, willy-nilly, just ’cause I’m in a bad mood. That kind of thing makes people more co-operative if they don’t do what you want you fuck ’em. Unfortunately, we’re at nothing like that stage yet.”
He stares at me for a moment, trying to gauge how I’m responding to this piece of rock ‘n’ roll megalomania, then he throws his head back and cackles insanely. Do you ever feel like jacking all of this in and doing something else?
“Yeah, quite a lot Not doing anything else though just jacking it all in, doing nothing. I dream about going to Thailand and living there. It’s the best place I’ve been abroad. I’m not counting Ireland, that’s more of a second home. Thailand is a great bloody place. I could live there very cheaply, nice comfortable surroundings and nothing to do except lie around drinking all day. It costs virtually nothing to get pissed in Thailand. And they don’t speak English so I wouldn’t have to waste time talking to complete strangers. And they never even heard of The Pogues. They’ve also got a great, laid-back attitude to sex! It’s a fucking dreamland.”
Is there anything you like about the music business?
Do you enjoy being a pin-up?
“Fuck off! I m not a fucking pin-up.”
There are posters with your face on them and people stick them up on their walls, therefore you’re a pin-up.
“I haven’t really thought about it. It doesn’t worry me, I must admit. It’s just so fucking absurd, the idea of it.”
Surely you had pictures of people up on your wall when you were a kid?
“Not ugly fuckers like me, no. Jimi Hendrix maybe, or Blondie but not someone who looks the way I do. That’d be a bit like putting Morrissey on your wall or the guy out of Simple Minds. People do that but I don’t know why or what it means. They must have mercury poisoning or something.”
These days there are as many ways of looking at The Pogues as there are members of the band. Like truly progressive democrats, they have expanded their musical and lyrical vision to incorporate even more of the talents, influences and experiences of all the angles in this distended octagon. And while musically they are still all for one and one for all, it’s the individual slants that give this gestalt the edge on other collectives.
Philip Chevron, Terry Woods, Jem Finer, Daryl Hunt and Andrew Ranken in various combinations share writing credits on eight of the fourteen tracks on Peace And Love, but this does not mean that Shane MacGowan is, in any way, being pushed out of the limelight. On the contrary, the unique nimbus which his songs have always exuded still dominates the new album and is reflected and refracted throughout the others’ endeavours. MacGowan is, as ever, the band’s focus, anchor and frontman in the real sense of the word.
Physically, emotionally and psychologically, he is the embodiment of everything The Pogues stand (and stagger) for. From his concrete-mixing voice that is by turns incoherent and lyrical, and his devil-may-care lifestyle to the rough tenderness of his worldview, he is the original death-or-glory anti-hero. And it is his hedonism, sense of common decency and enthusiasm for anti-authoritarian rebel rousing that keeps the kiss-my-arse freight train hurtling along at such breakneck speed.
Of course the big window to any examination of Shane MacGowan has to be his drinking. While for a time, The Pogues cried foul at what they claimed was the media’s exaggeration of the extent of their drunkenness and portrayal as a group of Booze Brothers, there is now little attempt on their part to demur from the popular perception. For many of the band and especially MacGowan, alcohol has become a sort of lifeforce that determines, informs and deforms both life and work.
Shane MacGowan drinks all day, every day. (“Beer is a kind of staple”, he says, “but I like most things. I like brandy at the moment. ‘Ere you want some?”). Over the last decade, he can’t remember any time when he went for longer than a week without getting drunk and even then that was because he was in hospital having collapsed from overdoing it. In a highly publicised incident last December he keeled over in Dublin and was rushed to hospital suffering from what he now jokingly describes as nervous exhaustion. Surely something like that must frighten the life out of you?
“Waking up in hospital not being able to have a drink frightened the life out of me,” he nods. “It fucking scared me shitless, mate. I had to get out of there as quickly as possible and get down the pub.”
But do you worry about the long term effects of heavy drinking? Ultimately, it can kill you.
“Having to stay off drink for a week nearly fucking killed me, so which is worse? The reason I keep drinking is that I hate hangovers. And the thing is, if you have a drink in the morning you feel better! That’s just a fact, yeah? It’s withdrawal and the hair of the dog that bit you, that works. That doesn’t mean you have to get completely pissed first thing in the morning . I just drink slowly all day and all night. It doesn’t mean I’m pissed all the time but I do feel better and I never have hangovers. Sure, your tolerance builds up and I have to drink more now than I used to but you don’t have to keep escalating until you need three bottles of brandy just to stay straight. It levels off after a couple of years.”
Do you ever worry that you might be following in the self-destructive footsteps of people like Brendan Behan, Luke Kelly, even Jim Morrison?
“Naah, it’d spoil your pleasure, wouldn’t it?”
On a day-to-day level, it must be difficult to maintain relationships or even do any work if you’re drinking all the time?
“I never write when I’m sober, never have. Wouldn’t even know where to start. But just because I drink all day doesn’t mean I’m always pissed. I’m probably clearheaded for more time during the day than some people who wouldn’t regard themselves as heavy drinkers.”
Do you do things when you’re drunk that you regret afterwards?
“I do things I regret quite often. Less often as I regret less. I probably do more than I should regret nowadays but I don t bother regretting so much. You know what I mean? I’ve got rid of most of my guilt. But it’s got nothing to do with drink. In fact, I’m more likely to do something I regret when I’m sober and in a very bad mood; then I’m a real bastard!”
How do you react to the accusations that your lifestyle is a bad example to some of your more impressionable fans?
“I’m a fucking bad example, a very bad one. But I would say that our fans don’t need any bad examples to a large extent. They’re quite capable of being completely obnoxious degenerates all by themselves. God bless em!”
The criticism that is most often levelled at The Pogues and the one which angers them most is that they re-enforce the stereotype of the drunken Irishman .
“I m not re-enforcing any stereotype,” protests Shane, “but the media, perhaps, especially in Britain have used us to re-enforce it. It’s rubbish! The point is I am not a stereotype. But I am Irish and I do drink a lot, yeah? Yet, I don’t play hurling, I don’t ride race horses or train them, I’m not in the IRA. They’re the other elements of the stereotype Irishman. You see it suits certain people to have all the Irish portrayed as drunken yobs. It’s like the London/Irish festival, the other day. I’ve been at that three or four times. It’s great, loads of people enjoying themselves and in all the time I was there I only like saw one guy kicking the shit outta someone. What do they do this year? Send in a bunch of coppers, guaranteed to start a fucking ruck. Then they put it on the news. Fucking bastards!”
Have you any perception of what Shane MacGowan will be like when he’s 60?
“With a bit of luck, I’ll still be alive, rich and living in Thailand.”
Would you like to have kids?
“Naah, I don’t like kids. It’s not just that they’re smelly and noisy but unfortunately you have to have them in the same room as you, otherwise they’ll hurt themselves. I’m not the kind who’d just farm them out to whatever unlucky woman might have happened to bear them for me. I wouldn’t be prepared to change a single nappy or babysit for even one night; that’s not the kind of attitude to have kids with, is it?”
How well did you get on with your own parents?
“Fine. They didn’t mind me drinking or that but there was a certain amount of aggro every now and again. I moved away from home before I really went off the rails though. I left home when I was eighteen and I reckon you have to do that to do exactly what you want.”
How do they react to your current lifestyle?
“They’re used to it, I suppose. I get on fine with them now ’cause I hardly ever see ’em. But that’s enough of the old family fortunes, alright?”
What else do you spend your money on apart from drinking?
“I like good food, nice clothes, I travel a bit but there’s not much else to spend money on except eating and drinking, is there? I’m not much good at investments.”
Do you gamble much?
“I used to bet a lot but I don’t anymore. When you got a reasonable amount of money there isn’t the same kind of incentive or thrill in betting. It’s far more exciting when it’s almost your only form of income or expenditure. I used to fantasise about a real big win, you know 50 to 1, 100 to 1, and putting everything I had on it. Bloody great wouldn’t it? I wouldn’t be a fucking pop star if that happened. The last thing I won, I think, was Jim Hand’s big overcoat. He bet that the ‘Irish Rover’ wouldn’t make it to number one in Ireland and he put his coat on it. He lost! It’s a bloody good coat too.”
Five years ago, The Pogues erupted from a Camden Town bazaar of cheap pop perfumes and the more pungent odours of London’s multi-cultural melting-pot. With a toot on the flute, a twiddle on the fiddle, a shake, rattle ‘n’ roll, they popped the cork of musical ghettoisation, blended a lethal cocktail of punk sediment and dance-floor plonk with the more traditional vintages and the bubbly has been flowing ever since. Like an anarchic mob, they blew the cupola off rock’s commercial capitals and, at the same time, plundered the sacred vaults of buried heritage (within weeks of their first visit to Ireland, the jig was well and truly up for folkies who preferred their trad pure and embalmed). But then none of this seems anything other than as it should be to Shane MacGowan.
“It’s all based on genuine, real-life horror”, he says and laughs that laugh, “or real life ecstasy. It’s just what happens in real life and there are no other rules apart from that. Very few people where I come from grow up surrounded by just one kind of culture or one kind of anything. So why should we pretend otherwise. There are lots of things going on at the same time it all depends on what corner you turn, which street you go down, what mood you’re in, how lucky you are, whatever.”
Unfortunately, he feels it’s a modus vivendi that is bewildering to most rock critics.
“Most of them miss the point every fucking time,” he says. “They’ve either got bad memories or they never listen to records. Either or both! Every now and again they say that we’ve made a new radical departure or something. We haven’t, we’ve always done diverse things. Go back to ‘London Girl’ or ‘Rainy Night In Soho’ or our first album; we’ve always been diverse and had variety. That’s what this band is about, reflecting the general musical hotch-potch. But journalists can’t see that. They don’t listen to music for the same reasons as everybody else, for entertainment and because it gives them an emotional outlet, they listen to music for some kind of weird sociological reasons. For instance, the way they report soul simply because they think that soul is a fad music. It’s not! Different things come up in soul all the time and the sound changes but it’s still soul. But the journalists see every little variation as some kind of revolution. They miss the point.”
He does, however, make one honourable exception.
“Hot Press is much better than the English music papers,” he says. “You can actually read Hot Press and find something out about the people and the music they’re talking about. It’s still witty and it still slags people but it’s actually fucking relevant. Over here the music papers are so faddy they need gimmicks. One week, Public Enemy are it and nobody else fucking matters a shit. A year later, Public Enemy get two lines on the news page. In between, Acid House was everything and now that’s supposed to be boring, it’s had its fucking 15 minutes. They’re not in touch with what’s happening.”
Mention of Acid House reminds me that Shane has already gone on record as a big fan of the stuff.
“Yeah, I like all good soul and Acid House is just a form of soul. When it was really going everything was cool. It brought all the hippies and punks and that back into the discos and because it wasn’t seen as belonging to anyone in particular all the kids blacks, whites, Irish, Pakis, Greeks were into it. Then those berks on the television started reporting it and when the police saw it on the box, it frightened them. Actually no, the police probably read about it in the Sun. Then they decided that they had to destroy this new drug menace . But the music is still going strong in some places.”
Was Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah The Pogues’ Acid House record?
“It was meant to be. I wanted it to be a real hard dance record but that’s not the way it turned out. Generally, I like Steve Lilywhite’s production but I don’t actually agree with the way he mixed that one; it was a bit soft or something. And I was very disappointed that it was such a complete flop though it did still get into the American Dance chart at No. 38, which isn’t bad for a white folk/rock band. We had to put out a single for Christmas but unfortunately I was kinda out to lunch at the time. But the B-side has got a 12″ version which is more the production I wanted for the A-side.”
Are there any solo projects that you’d like to get involved in or does The Pogues occupy all of your creative time?
“There’s lots of things I’d like to do but there just isn’t any time. Production and stuff like that. Me and Phil managed to fit in producing one of the tracks on the new Real Wild West record and I enjoyed that. Real Wild West are a great band. They’re one of the few Irish bands that are doing something different. Great lyrics and great songs!”
Any non-musical ambitions?
“Yeah, I’m always buggering around with stuff. I’ve written a screenplay and submitted it to a company but I haven’t been told to write a script yet. If I could get it together I wouldn’t mind writing screenplays and scripts. It’s not a big deal, it’s just something I do for a laugh now. But there are films that haven’t been made yet and I’d like to have a crack at writing them unless someone else does it first; sleazy kind of films, set in a late-night Greek restaurant or something but with humour. A bit like the songs.”
Over the last year or so, Shane MacGowan has come to the conclusion that the Japanese are the ideal audience for The Pogues.
“The most outrageous things sell in Japan,” he explains. “They’re heavily into Ska right now. Gazza Rebel Rockers, yeah? They mean fuck all here, but they’re big news in Japan. The Japanese just buy what they like. Record companies cannot market stuff over there. It doesn’t matter how many videos or blow-dried photographs you got, if they don’t like you, you can fuck off. They don’t pay any attention to the music press if there is such a thing. Heavy metal is another thing they’re mad about. They’re totally open-minded, you know. No bullshit. We did a short tour over there last year and went down very well. They’re real polite but they showed their approval.”
To illustrate his point, Shane gives an hilarious impression of a Japanese audience’s reaction to The Pogues that has to be seen to be believed. Do you sell many records in Japan at the moment?
“If we did mate, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in this fucking room! We’d be in a large sumptuous restaurant… in Thailand.”
The Shane MacGowan retirement plan is nothing if not straightforward. He wants to get his hands on as much money as possible (“getting it is fairly easy, holding on to it is the hard part”) and then buy himself a large restaurant in London. This establishment would be open all hours, serve virtually every known form of cuisine and would, naturally enough, have a full alcohol licence. A relaxed ambience would also be very important and Shane would act as a sort of host/maitre d’ who would drink on the premises, sample the food and chat with the customers (“Is everything alright with your meal, sir?”) So what kind of clientele would he expect at Chez MacGowan ?
“I’d let anybody in, anybody,” he explains, except the police of course. “Well, I’d probably have to let them in as well, wouldn’t I? And if anybody started buggering around or causing trouble I’d throw them out. That seems fair, doesn’t it? What I’d like to do is recreate the situation like it is in Ireland where you can spend an entire day in a pub or restaurant, everything is very relaxed. The Irish attitude to drinking is that it is something you can do at any time of the day or night and you can eat while you’re doing it as well. A lot of people in Ireland basically conduct business from the pub and I’d like to offer that facility to Londoners. I d also like to serve good food from all over the world ’cause that’s never been done before from the one place.”
So you’re something of a gourmet then, are you?
“Naah,” he laughs, “I just like to eat good food when I can. I ate shit for long enough when I was unemployed or just buggering about and sometimes I wasn’t able to eat at all. Having a certain amount of money means that I can afford to go to good restaurants now and I like that. I particularly like Greek restaurants, there’s always so much happening.”
Does your fame and instant recognisability restrict you in terms of your social life in London?
“Yeah, it’s fucked me up a lot,” he admits, “but I still go out. There is always a certain amount of hassle now but mostly people are nice, they congratulate me or ask for an autograph and obviously I’m not going to tell them to fuck off. Now and again though, and it seems to happen a bit more often nowadays, I get some guy who’s just looking for aggro. And I find it quite easy to give it to him! In fact, I quite enjoy it cause it gives me a way of venting my frustration. And people telling you you’re fucking great all the time can really get on your bloody tits, especially when you don’t actually agree with them. I mean, I just want the fucking money, man, that’s all the reward I want.”
Would you regard yourself as generous or selfish?
“I’m selfish but I’m generous with money and drink and things like that. Not overly so but if someone needs a drink I’ll buy it for them. Apart from that, I’m very selfish in every other way you can think of.”
Do you still worry about Falling From Grace With God?
“I’m an Irish Roman Catholic, you know, and it still means something to me; Heaven and Hell and sin and all that. It stays with you from childhood. My parents played this ping-pong lapsing game. One minute they were lapsed, the next minute they were back in the church again but they always made sure I went to mass up to a certain age so they couldn’t blame themselves if I turned out an atheist. But when I lapsed at eleven, that was it, they accepted it. I lost the faith at eleven but by the time I was fourteen I believed in it again but not in the literal sense. The imagery and that is great, very beautiful, and very scary ideal material for a songwriter.”
Do you ever worry about death?
“No, I think about other people’s deaths. I think about all the horrible ways that others die. So many people die horribly, sad, disgusting deaths; starvation, getting beaten to death by police or massacred by a bunch of fucking twats.”
Do you have any faith in politics?
“Naah. Politicians are a bunch of shits and anyone who’s any good in politics gets crucified sooner or later. Sometimes literally, I mean, Nelson Mandela is a good politician and he hasn’t seen the light of day for over twenty years. There are a couple of good people in the Labour Party but the fucking carve-up merchants will get to them before long. I think Haughey is a good politician by the way.”
Are you sure there isn’t something in Jim Hand’s coat that’s had an effect on you? It has, after all, attended its fair share of Fianna Fail Ard Fheiseanna, I’d say.
“No. I believe that Haughey is sincere in his goals and objectives. He’s a sincere politician and a very clever man.”
Some would say devious?
“Course he’s fucking devious! Look at the cunts he’s dealing with, the British government and Margaret Thatcher! Fuckin’ hell!”
Do you think music is an effective means of political expression?
“Naah. Protest songs can work alright if they’re good, if it’s basic, simple, no bullshit, then it can be effective; like if you shout ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ or ‘Fuck The Pigs’ or whatever. But people who make long analyses pronouncing judgement from a stage at a rock concert, those people have got their heads up their arses. I don’t know what they’re doing being musicians. But the two extremes nowadays are Sting saving the rain-forests and Rod Stewart doing nothing except fucking and drinking champagne all the time. If I could afford it, I’d save the rainforests during the day and have the champagne in the evening. I don’t even like champagne.”
Finally then Shane, why did you put a picture of a boxer on the cover of an album called Peace And Love?
“Nobody seems to know who it is. He obviously wasn’t very good ’cause he didn’t get very far. I like boxing, watching it… I don’t like doing it! But anyway somebody, I forget who, found this glass negative of this boxer with no name and we put peace and love on his fists. So he’s like saying ‘Peace And Love or I’ll bust your fucking head in!'”
For the Tedeschi Trucks Band, the pandemic period is likely to stand as a key moment in what has already been an auspicious career for the talented 12-person unit.
In February 2019, keyboardist, flautist and songwriter Kofi Burbridge died from complications related to a 2017 heart attack, just as the band’s fourth album, “Signs,” was released.
The band pushed ahead and went on tour with keyboardist/singer Gabe Dixon coming on board and Brandon Boone replacing bassist Tim Lefebvre, who left the Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2018. The band even managed to join forces with guitarists Trey Anastasio (from Phish) and Doyle Bramhall II in August 2019 to perform the classic Derek & the Dominos album “Layla” at the LOCKN’ Festival. That performance was released in 2021 as “Layla Revisited: Live From LOCKN’.”
But going into 2020, guitarist Derek Trucks and singer/guitarist Susan Tedeschi felt it was time to take stock of the band.
“After we lost Kofi, it was such a blow to the band, obviously,” Trucks said in a recent phone interview. “We feel like a good part of the heart (was lost), he was such a big part of our lives.
“This is kind of wild timing, but we had planned to take March, April, May and some of June (2020) off,” he said. “It was to just do a hard re-set after Kofi and just take some time off and think about what we wanted to do, if we wanted to pivot. We couldn’t just keep rolling like nothing had happened.”
As it turned out, of course, the pandemic hit that March and the three-month break turned into a pause from touring the extended well into 2021. And the band organically reinvented itself while making what is surely one of the most audacious musical statements in rock history – a series of four musically and thematically linked albums, all titled under the banner of “I Am The Moon” – that were released last year.
With Dixon and drummer Tyler Greenwell joining Trucks, Tedeschi and vocalist Mike Mattison as key songwriters, a new energy emerged as writing for the albums began.
“It’s a different band,” Trucks said. “I mean, obviously, the first 10 years of it, I mean, there’s incredible music and stuff that’s just going to be the center of what we do, but I really do feel like it’s a different chapter, for sure.”
The first chapter opened in 2010 when husband and wife Trucks and Tedeschi merged their careers (Trucks leading his own Derek Trucks Band while playing in the Allman Brothers Band and in Eric Clapton’s band, while Tedeschi was a solo artist) to create the Tedeschi Trucks Band, which today also includes drummer Isaac Eady, Kebbi Williams (saxophone), Erphraim Owens (trumpet), Elizabeth Lea (trombone) and harmony vocalists Mark Rivers and Alecia Chakour.
Drawing on their influences in rock, blues, soul, country and jazz, the first four Tedeschi Trucks Band studio albums deftly blended those styles into a cohesive whole with a mix of rockers and ballads that were finely crafted and played with finesse and fire.
Now “I Am The Moon” seems certain to elevate the Tedeschi Trucks Band into any conversation about rock’s best bands.
The seeds for the four-album project were planted not long after the LOCKN’ performance of “Layla” when singer Mike Mattison noted he’d read the 12th century poem by Nizami Ganjavi called “Layla and Majnun,” which inspired the original “Layla” album and its theme of a man loving a woman he can’t have.
Mattison saw some other perspectives that might be worth exploring in the poem.
“He just threw out ‘You know, I think it would be interesting, after re-reading the poem, it would be interesting (to consider) what did Layla think about this? What would be her perspective of the songs?’” Trucks recalled. “And immediately the light bulb went off.”
The band members dove in, and over the next several months, the 24 songs on the four “I Am The Moon” albums emerged.
Together the albums provide a rich musical banquet. The band’s soul influence courses through the lovely ballads “Hear My Dear” and “I Am The Moon” and the rousing “Ain’t That Something.” The band’s Southern roots shine through on the richly melodic blues-tinged ballad “Rainy Day” and the easy-going “Soul Sweet Song.” Country and gospel collide nicely on the frisky “So Long Savior.” The instrumental prowess of Trucks (widely considered the finest slide guitarist going today) and the rest of the band is showcased on “Gravity” and the free-wheeling extended instrumental “Pasaquan.”
The Tedeschi Trucks Band figures to change up their set lists from show to show as the group tours this year. They’ve also played with the idea of playing one or more of the four “I Am The Moon” albums within shows.
“Maybe we string one or two of them together at a time,” Trucks said. “I could definitely see that happening, at least playing one or two of the records in one night. That would be quite fun. Then we’d dip back in to other catalog a little bit.”
Now, according to Walsh the remaining members will release some alternative takes from the record, which first came out in May 2003.
She told the MailOnline: “We’ve got some fun alternative versions of songs lying around and little re-releases just to kind of mark that because, you know, it’s a big deal. 20 years is a long time and the love that we still feel for ‘Sound Of The Underground’ and some of the songs from the first album are still huge. So it still feels like something to celebrate, but in a kind of sort of discreet way, I guess.”
Despite that the singer said the band would not be reconvening to record new music or perform live.
Walsh added: “We’re not really doing anything together as a group for obvious reasons. I think there’s already been one re-release of ‘Sound Of The Underground’ with different girls singing different lyrics, which is quite fun.”
They previously confirmed that they were planning a one-off reunion gig, doubling as a benefit concert, in Harding’s memory, which never materialised and now seems unlikely.