ARTIST: The Pogues
TITLE: Red Roses for Me
YEAR RELEASED: 1984
CHART ACTION: #89 UK
SINGLES: Dark Streets of London, Boys form the Country Heil
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Streams of Whiskey
LINEUP: Shane MacGowan, Jem Finer, Spider Stacy, James Feamly, Cait O’Riordan, Andrew Ranken
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Punks make traditional Irish music. It works.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Punk rock can be played with a tin whistle, accordion, and banjo. Five traditional Irish songs, jigs, and reels, a song from the great author Brendan Behan, and originals by Shane MacGowan that combine punk attitude with Irish music make up this record. It definitely opens your eyes and ears on what can be considered ‘punk’.
The album is lively, raucous, and spirited. Many songs are drinking songs, or related to drinking, because, Irish, you know. Most punters know “Dark Streets of London”, but every track can be thrown into the mix as a good time track. Well, not every track as “The Auld Triangle” is a great sad Irish track.
It’s great to hear a band with a fresh sound (even though it’s rooted in an old style) put themselves out there with enthusiasm and fervor. Irish music purists may find flaws, but heck, it’s fun record with or without a pint.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: MacGowan, Stacy and Finer were in a band called The Millwall Chainsaws before they evolved into the Pogues.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, B-sides of their singles, including one of their best known songs, a cover of “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”.
GRADE: A: It’s dubbed “Celtic Punk”, which is a great description. A fine debut.