6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
And the ghosts are rattling at the door and the devil's in the chair,
This review is from: Rum Sodomy & The Lash (Audio CD)
The Pogues were a bit of a life-saver for me in the desert of the London music scene of the early 80's. After punk disappeared up its own bottom and with the onset of the dreaded New Romantics they were a breath of fresh air (well, when I say fresh, more like a breath of overflowing ashtray and stale, spilt beer air, but you know what I mean). Their roots may have been in Irish music but their audience were the London Irish, the children of the immigrants of the 40's, 50's and 60's, who occupied great swathes of North London. Shane MacGowan's songs were about us, not some bloke in Dublin or Cork.
This was their second album produced (not very well, if you ask me) by Elvis Costello. It opens with two of MacGowan's greatest songs, the fantastic drunken, deathly rant of `The Sickbed Of Cuchulainn', and `The Old Main Drag' a bitter but beautiful song about the terrible fate of a rent-boy. It couldn't possibly keep this standard up and, truth be told, didn't. `Pair Of Brown Eyes' and `Sally Maclennane' are two more terrific MacGowan songs but there's a few others on here which aren't up to much.
There's a few covers too. `Jesse James' and `Navigator' are fine but I've never been a fan of `Dirty Old Town' and while their version of `The Band Played Waltzing Matilda' is sincere, it's not really a patch on Eric Bogle's original. Allied with Costello's dull, flat production the original album is, in my opinion, just about worth four stars.
But this re-issue comes with the addition of the `Poguetry In Motion' EP and as this contains `Rainy Night In Soho', possibly MacGowan's finest song, as well as three other good 'uns, five stars are definitely called for.