Personnel: Pete Fraser (saxophone); Dan Gale-Hayes (trumpet); Ian Williamson (trombone).
Audio Mixers: Manu Guiot; Paul Scully.
Liner Note Authors: James Fearnley; Darryl Hunt; Jem Finer; Victoria Mary Clarke; Andrew Ranken; Philip Chevron; Shane MacGowan; Spider Stacy; Terry Woods; Siobhan MacGowann.
Recording information: The Olympia, Paris (09/11/2012/09/12/2012).
Photographers: Carole Epinette; Hans Peter VanVelthoven.
Since officially calling it quits in 1996, the Pogues have periodically resurfaced for the occasional tour, but with zero chatter about ever entering the recording studio again. Recorded in 2012 at the legendary Olympia theater in France, The Pogues in Paris may be as close as fans will ever get to hearing anything new from the group (as in current renditions of old favorites), and it's surprisingly sound, considering the group's unholy reputation. What's even more remarkable than arriving on time to their 30th anniversary show is the fact that they did it with Shane MacGowan in tow, who sounds fiery, feisty, and half sober, especially on the venerable folk-punk rockers' older material like "Streams of Whiskey," "Star of the County Down," "Sally MacLennane," and "Boys from the County Hell," spitting out each lyric with cocksure tenacity, despite his obvious lack of teeth. Featuring the classic, full band lineup of MacGowan, Spider Stacy, Jem Finer, James Fearnley, Andrew Ranken, Phillip Chevron, Terry Woods, and Darryl Hunt, along with a brass section and Finer's daughter Ella, who elegantly assumes the late Kirsty MacColl's role in "Fairytale of New York," the 21st century Pogues sound a lot like the 20th century version, albeit a little heavier on the piss than the vinegar. They sound genuinely happy to be playing together and you can tell by the rowdy crowd's near constant singing along that the feeling is mutual. ~ James Christopher Monger