Glen Hansard has led a group of Irish musicians in a version of The Pogues’ ‘A Rainy Night in Soho’, in tribute to the late Shane MacGowan. Watch the video below.
On November 30, it was announced that MacGowan passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and friends.
The next night, Hansard was among the guests on RTE’s The Late Late Show, performing the classic song alongside Pogues member Terry Woods, and the musicians Moya Brennan, Camille O’Sullivan, Aidan Gillan and Liam Ó Maonlaí.
On the show, Hansard said: “He’d say find the truth in that lyric. What’s the truth in that? He would push you… and he had that honesty and a kind of fearlessness about the work.”
“And I think he’s told me to eff off about a hundred times. And yet I’d get a Christmas card, I’d get a birthday card, he sent me a painting… and every time he’d send you something – it was full of insults.”
‘A Rainy Night in Soho’ was first released on The Pogues’ 1986 EP ‘Poguetry in Motion’.
Hansard rose to prominence as frontman of the Irish rock band The Frames, before forming The Swell Season in the early 2000s. He starred in the 1991 film The Commitments, and the 2007 film Once, for which he won an Oscar for Best Song for ‘Falling Slowly’.
On Friday (December 1), U2 performed their own version of ‘A Rainy Night in Soho’ during the latest of their Las Vegas shows at the Sphere.
Since the news of MacGowan’s passing broke, a number of high-profile artists have been paying tribute to his influence on their work.
Bruce Springsteen wrote on social media: “Shane was one of my all-time favorite writers. The passion and deep intensity of his music and lyrics is unmatched by all but the very best in the rock and roll canon.”
Tom Waits posted: “Ah, the blessings of the cursed. Shane MacGowan’s torrid and mighty voice is mud and roses punched out with swaggering stagger, ancient longing that is blasted all to hell. A Bard’s bard, may he cast his spell upon us all forevermore.”
Nick Cave, meanwhile, described him as the “best songwriter of his generation”, adding: “Shane was not revered just for his manifold talents but also loved for himself alone. A beautiful and damaged man, who embodied a kind of purity and innocence and generosity and spiritual intelligence unlike any other.”
A number of other tributes from the entertainment world can be found here.
Elsewhere, Pogues fans are rallying to get ‘Fairytale of New York’ to the Christmas Number One spot this year, and this week, the song re-entered the Top 20.