There were so many incredible moments during the three-hour-long 60th birthday tribute to Pogues songster Shane MacGowan in Dublin on Monday night that it’s hard to pick the highlights, but here’s a try:

  •  Sinead O’Connor walking onstage unannounced to kick off part two with a searing version of “You’re the One”
  • Lisa O’Neill and Glen Hansard singing MacGowan’s immortal “Fairytale of New York”
  • Bono (unannounced) and Johnny Depp (one of the headliners) collaborating on “A Rainy Night in Soho”
  • Nick Cave and Shane MacGowan capping it off with “Summer in Siam”

MacGowan was born in England but he was the toast of Ireland on Monday night, with President Michael D. Higgins attending the sold-out tribute in the National Concert Hall and honouring the wheelchair-bound MacGowan with a lifetime achievement award at the concert’s end.

And if anyone has ever heard an Irish band like the one assembled onstage last night — Sharon Shannon on accordion, Steve Wickham of the Waterboys on fiddle, Cait O’Riordan of the Pogues on bass — the list goes on and on, all under the direction of  Terry Edwards — well, the long and short is you haven’t.

A night to remember, forever.

Michael Roddy


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