Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pogues payback

Many of you know this story. On last year's US tour, the Pogues cancelled one show, at the last minute, due to an injury to lead singer Shane MacGowan. I didn't find out until I had traveled all the way to NYC, and was standing in front of Roseland, where notices of the cancellation was posted. I cursed all the way back to Grand Central, and vowed never to buy tickets to a Pogues show again.

Then they went on sale this year.

I bought a pair of tickets to the Roseland show on the day before St. Patty's (I'm too old, cynical and delicate to brave the streets and the club on that holiday). Yesterday, I found out that Billy Bragg will be a special guest on the one and only night for which I purchased tickets. I feel as if a little bit of the luck of the Irish has been spread before me. But I won't count my chickens until the night of the show.

BTW, Bragg's new album will be out just before his US appearance.

The ultimate coincidence is that I was introduced to both of these artists in a trip to Britain in 1984 where I saw the Pogues open for Elvis Costello at the Hammersmith Odeon, and I heard Billy Bragg for the first time when John Peel played a new cut over the radio as I was heading to Bacup for the wedding of a friend.

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