I had a great time at both shows, but I go to Pogues shows with relatively low expectations. Pogues shows are just to have a good time, a couple beers, sing a couple songs. I had heard that Shane barely made it through “A Pair of Brown Eyes” in Baltimore on the 7th and having been to oh I don’t know… 5-7 other Pogues shows, I knew what I was getting into. This was among his strongest performances in recent years.
They changed the set up… which I guess is good and bad. Some bands I can see do the same set over and over, no problem, some bands need to shake it up. The Pogues don’t really need to shake it up too much. It was a nice change but I missed Fairytale of New York. I’ll sing Kirsty’s part! Pick me! Pick me!
The annual sing along was fun, he did better than Baltimore and kept it together through the set. He’s never very intelligible when he speaks between songs, so that’s no surprise, you know what song he’s singing by the syllables he gets out just before it starts.
Seriously, if you go to see the Pogues and expect Shane to be in the form he was in back in the 90s… well, you’ll be sorely disappointed, but at least he’s on his own two feet. Granted every now and then he’d use those two feet to shuffle off the stage and let Spider sing a song or two, then come back out with what looked like “a little more stagger in his swagger”.
There’s a lot of mixed opinions about his state and him in general. I’ll keep my views to myself, I just go for the songs.