Sunday, March 17, 2024

The Dirty Mickeys Pay Tribute To Shane MacGowan At Pocock Brewing Company, 3-16-24

"The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn"
Though I’ve been a fan of The Pogues since my early teens, I never saw them in concert. And with Shane MacGowan’s death in late November, my thoughts of one day seeing them were put to rest. In honor of Shane MacGowan and St. Patrick’s Day, a group got together to perform Pogues numbers at the Pocock Brewing Company in Santa Clarita, California. The group included two members of Hot Club Of Los Angeles – Jake Bluenote on vocals, banjo, guitar and tin whistle; and Carl Byron on accordion and keyboard – and their presence was a big reason why I attended the show. The group also included Pat Mac Swyney on tin whistle and octave mandolin, Leslie Yeseta on bass and vocals, Dawn Lunsford on guitar and vocals, and Theresa Snider on drums.

The show was scheduled to start at 3 p.m., and though I got there an hour early, the music was already in progress and the place was packed. The venue’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration was in full swing a day early. Well, all right! Jake Bluenote and Pat Mac Swyney were on stage, performing as a duo. And for the last song of their set, Leslie Yeseta joined them. Their set wrapped up at 2:31 p.m., and the other members immediately began setting up for the full band set. The venue had a lively and loud crowd, but some harsh feedback got everyone’s attention momentarily, as the soundcheck continued. I liked the place immediately. It had good folks, good vibes and good beer. I started with Letter Of Marque, an IPA, then switched to Union Brown Porter, and later tried Mahna Mahna. And, yes, it was named after the song heard in an episode of The Muppet Show back in 1976 (though the song is a bit older than that), and that’s why I wanted to try it. It was delicious.

At 3:11 p.m., Jake said, “Greetings!” And without another word, the band went right into its first song, “The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn,” the lead track from The Pogues’ great LP Rum Sodomy & The Lash, released in 1985. They followed that with “Streams Of Whiskey.” The sound wasn’t perfect in that room, but the spirit certainly was. The first set also included “The Ghost Of A Smile,” “Cotton Fields,” “Haunted,” and “Dirty Old Town,” that last one featuring some nice work by Pat Mac Swyney on harmonica at the beginning. They also played “Venus In Bother Boots,” a good punk number by The Nips, the band Shane was in before The Pogues. Jake played guitar on that one, and also on the last song of the set. And what an interesting number they chose to close the first set, “An Irish Airman Foresees His Death,” which is a poem by William Butler Yeats, delivered as spoken word. The first set ended at 3:57 p.m. The band returned at 4:32 p.m. for the second set, which featured songs like “If I Should Fall From Grace With God,” “White City,” “The Old Main Drag,” “Lullaby Of London,” “Danny Boy,” “Boat Train,” and “The Rake At The Gates Of Hell.” Leslie sang lead on “I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day.” That was followed by “The Body Of An American” and then “Fairytale Of New York.” “Fairytale Of New York” is far and away the best Christmas song ever written. It is so good that it is welcome throughout the year (something you can’t say about most Christmas songs). These guys did an absolutely wonderful job with it. They followed that with “The Parting Glass,” and concluded the show with “A Rainy Night In Soho.” The show ended at 5:49 p.m. Apparently, this was planned on being a one-off, but they had such a good time that it now looks like the band will be doing this again. And that is good news. I’m hoping next time they’ll do “Sally MacLennane.”

"The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn"
"Streams Of Whiskey"

"Billy's Bones"

"Cotton Fields"

"Dirty Old Town"

"I'm A Man You Don't Meet Every Day"

"Fairytale Of New York"

Pocock Brewing Company is located at 24907 Avenue Tibbitts in Santa Clarita, California.

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