- 07 Apr 02
This album does little to stem the growing image of the singer as an artist in both creative and physical decline
Having given us a tantalising taste of what might have been with his old band at Christmas, it’s back to the day job with this live album from MacGowan.
Recorded on last year’s two separate St Patrick’s Days in New York and Dublin, the album does little to stem the growing image of the singer as an artist in both creative and physical decline. The artwork is scattered with shots of a puffy faced, clearly bewildered MacGowan, an impression only enhanced by his slurred and incoherent speech between numbers.
On the up side, the Popes manage to do justice to the selection of Pogues’ material that makes up half the album – especially accordion player Mick O’Connell, the architect of a sprightly, infectious version of ‘Dirty Old Town’. And while the more rabble rousing side of MacGowan’s canon is starting to wear a little thin, there can be no doubting the ragged beauty still inherent in his best work.