"The Pogues’ blend of punk rock, Irish folk and rock’n’roll was anachronistic when it first surfaced in the early-‘80s, but the songs have remained as timeless as the day they were recorded."
It opens with an instrumental snippet from Dirty Old Town, with the camera panning over the stern-looking, battle-worn faces of the band, before a jovial Shane MacGowan jangles onstage to lead them through a spirited rendition of Streams Of Whiskey. What follows is a veritable 'greatest hits' set, with If I Should Fall From Grace With God, A Pair Of Brown Eyes, Tuesday Morning and The Sunnyside Of The Street all getting an airing before the half-hour mark. MacGowan seems in fine spirits, with his now-infamous chortle punctuating witty between-song banter (“This is about whaling… and I don't mean wailing at a funeral; whaling, yeah?”) and a passion in his voice that was lacking on some of the tracks from their Live At The Brixton Academy 2001 release. The Pogues' blend of punk rock, Irish folk and rock'n'roll was anachronistic when it first surfaced in the early-'80s, but the songs have remained as timeless as the day they were recorded, the poetic lyrics of songs such as The Body Of An American as poignant as ever.
Other highlights include the instrumental Repeal Of The Licensing Laws, a heartfelt version of Christmas ballad Fairytale Of New York, with banjo player Jem Finer's daughter Ella filling in for the late Kirsty Maccoll, and a scorching version of Fiesta. As implausible as it may seem, 30 years into their career The Pogues have released their definitive concert film.