Everything begins in 1977 when Shane MacGowan and Spider Stacy meet in the toilets of a Ramones gig at the Roundhouse. They immediately become friends and when The Nips -the group leaded by MacGowan- split up, they decide to found a group called Millwall Chainsaws. Many changes and the arrival of new members give birth to The Pogues. The original name was Pogue Mahone, an Anglicization of the Irish póg mo thóin which means “kiss my arse”. Under BBC censorship due to complaints from Gaelic speakers they shortened their name in favour of The Pogues.
Their first album Red Roses For Me (1984) is a real success and allow them to open for The Clash, which will draw the attention of the media and make them famous.
In 1987 The Pogues reach their climax and they even perform in Straight to Hell the spaghetti Western film of Alex Cox in which they play the role of a band of drinkers with other famous singers as The Clash, Joe Strummer and Courtney Love.
The song Fairy Tale Of New York from their third album If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1988) is very controversial. On one hand the public appreciates this Christmas song and it is also part of the film Ps I love you (2007). On the other hand it was censored by the BBC because it was considered as an offence towards homosexuals.
They adopt a more commercial style to the detriment of their original melodies in the next two albums. The quality of these is deeply influenced by the alcohol and drugs dependence of Shane Mac Gowan who is thus replaced by Spider Stacy in 1991.
Despite two new albums recorded with Spider Stacy as singer their success is declining and their group seems to come to an end since the departure of Shane MacGowan, the true soul of The Pogues. They eventually break up in 1996.
-Shane MacGowan: vocals, guitar
-Spider Stacy: vocals, tin whistle
-Philip Chevron: guitar
-James Fearnley: accordion, mandolin, piano, guitar
-Jem Finer: banjo, saxophone, hurdy-gurdy, guitar
-Andrew Ranken: drums, percussion, harmonica
-Daryl Hunt: bass guitar