Nick Cave Performs 'A Rainy Night In Soho' At Shane MacGowan's Funeral

9 December 2023 | 10:32 am | Mary Varvaris

Nick Cave recently called Shane MacGowan "the greatest songwriter of his generation".

Nick Cave

Nick Cave (Credit: Matt Thorne)

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Nick Cave has paid tribute to The Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan with a stunningly poignant cover of A Rainy Night In Soho at MacGowan’s funeral.

One of many attendees to honour MacGowan, as well as Game Of Thrones actor Aidan Gillen, Johnny Depp and more, once Cave took to the piano and performed, he held the attendees in the palm of his hand.

Fighting back tears, Cave even adjusted the lyrics to A Rainy Night In Soho, singing towards the end of a video shared to social media: “Now this song is over / We’ll never find out what it means”. The original song saw MacGowan sing, “Now this song is nearly over / We may never find out what it means.”

You can watch Nick Cave’s performance below.

The funeral for MacGowan, also held for the public, was held yesterday (8 December). The service began at Nenagh and headed to Dublin; the funeral was hosted at the St. Mary of the Rosary church.

MacGowan’s remains will be taken to Tipperary to be cremated, with his ashes to be scattered at the river Shannon, the subject of The Pogues’ song The Broad Majestic Shannon.

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In a recent question and answer on his Red Hand Files, Nick Cave paid tribute to MacGowan and called him “the greatest songwriter of his generation, with the most terrifyingly beautiful of voices”. He continued, “A beautiful and damaged man, who embodied a kind of purity and innocence and generosity and spiritual intelligence unlike any other.”

Shane MacGowan “died peacefully” on 30 November following complications from viral encephalitis and pneumonia. He passed away at the age of 65.

Known for his Celtic punk hits, including Fairytale Of New York and The Irish Rover, MacGowan was equally famous for his health issues, including struggles with addiction and excess.

Last month, Nick Cave revealed that he was preparing to mix the new Bad Seeds album. Addressing fans via Facebook, he wrote, “Dear All,

“I am packing ready to leave Los Angeles today, then heading to Buffalo to mix the new Bad Seeds album.”

The announcement arrived a few months after Cave said he was “finishing” the new Bad Seeds album in a Red Hand Files Q&A.

In January, Cave revealed that his plan for 2023 was “to make a new record with the Bad Seeds”.