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With Shane MacGowan back on board, the Pogues make their first trip to Denver

Although the Pogues' storied career spans nearly four decades and includes several tours to the States, the London-based band has never played Denver before. Instead, the Irish punk-folkers stuck primarily to the East and West coasts, with occasional forays down south, even when boisterous frontman Shane MacGowan was ousted in the early '90s and the Pogues toured with Joe Strummer as their singer for a year before breaking up in 1996. Over the past decade, the members have reunited for the sporadic show or short tour, including this current twelve-city jaunt with MacGowan in tow. We spoke with guitarist Philip Chevron about gigging with MacGowan again and the possibility of future recordings.

Westword: How has it been performing with Shane again?

Philip Chevron: Really good. When he's on form, he's the best person to be on stage with. When he's not on form, he can be a bit of a nightmare, but we get around it; we get through it. He's more often on form these days than not, by a significant margin.

Do you guys have plans to record again?

It appears not. We haven't ever closed the door on the idea, but there doesn't seem to be a huge amount of enthusiasm for it, or it might have happened by now. So there's no good reason. We haven't sat down and said we're definitely not doing it. Nearly everything we've done in the past thirty years has all come out of some sort of organic need to do something. Even the band's early existence was sort of an organic response to a need that we saw in music. I don't really see that we've got any strong compulsion to make a new record. We've still got great songs that we haven't played on stage; there's still seven albums worth of songs. Also, I do actually believe that the quality of the repertoire is almost in a class of its own. It's not that you don't want to add to that; it's just that there's still so much to explore in what's already there. It's only because you're a different person now from when you wrote them or when you first did them. It's kind of what I was saying in the beginning: You get a different perspective as you get older. The songs lend themselves to that because they're timeless and because they don't feel like they're part of the '80s or any era at all, really.

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Jon Solomon writes about music and nightlife for Westword, where he's been the Clubs Editor since 2006.
Contact: Jon Solomon

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