The Pogues – Rum Sodomy & the Lash (1985)

Celtic Punk? The term was coined because and for The Pogues at the beginning of the 80s and have its origin in the 1960s and 1970s folk rock musicians who played electric folk and Celtic rock in Ireland and Scotland, as well as in more traditional Celtic folk bands such as The Dubliners.
The story says that The Pogues were formed when MacGowan (vocals), Peter “Spider” Stacy (tin whistle), and Jem Finer (banjo) were together in an occasional band called The Millwall Chainsaws in the late 1970s after MacGowan and Stacy met in the toilets at a Ramones gig at The Roundhouse in 1977. MacGowan was already with The Nips, though when they broke up in 1980 he concentrated a bit more on Stacy’s Millwall Chainsaws who changed their name to The New Republicans. In 1982 they rename the band into Pogue Mahone. They came to the attention of the media and Stiff Records when they opened for The Clash on their 1984 tour. Shortening their name to “The Pogues” due to BBC censorship following complaints from Gaelic speakers in Scotland, they released their first album “Red Roses for Me” on Stiff that October.
“Rum Sodomy & the Lash” is the second studio album by The Pogues and it has often made its way on to lists of greatest albums. In 2000 Q magazine placed it at number 93 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever. In 2003, the album was ranked number 445 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Pitchfork Media named it the 67th best album of the 1980s.
Released sometimes in mid/late August – eventually on 26 😀 – 1985, “Rum Sodomy & the Lash” is a worthwhile listen.

The title is taken from a quotation, often attributed to Winston Churchill: “Don’t talk to me about naval tradition. It’s nothing but rum, sodomy, and the lash.”
The cover artwork is based on a painting by Théodore Géricault, “The Raft of the Medusa”, with the band members’ faces replacing those of the men on the raft. Singer and primary songwriter Shane MacGowan claimed that the title was suggested by drummer Andrew Ranken.

Track list:

01. The Sick Bed Of Cuchulainn
02. The Old Main Drag
03. Wild Cats Of Kilkenny
04. A Pair Of Brown Eyes
05. I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day
06. Sally MacLennane
07. Dirty Old Town
08. Jesse James
09. Navigator
10. Billy’s Bones
11. The Gentleman Soldier
12. And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda

Eric Carr wrote: “Traditional Irish balladry mixed with a drive-it-like-it’s-stolen attitude toward music and performance is only half of The Pogues’ story; the other half is the slurred, frothing charisma of Shane MacGowan. His drunken excess is both the reason the band inevitably collapsed and the conviction behind their vitality.”

If you’re looking for a beer and a bar fight, The Pogues might be the perfect soundtrack for it.

The Pogues – Official Site

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