Publicity week

The Pogues flew back to London last Friday.  Since then, I’ve been doing publicity for the book.  First it was the Laugharne Weekend in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire, where Dylan Thomas lived, in the boathouse.  His writing shed (with a tatty woollen jacket thrown over the chair inside and balled-up paper thrown on the floor – like what writers do – under the table) overlooks the heron-priested shore and the tidal estuary of the Tâf River. Every man needs a shed, and I’m told that a man with a shed tends to live longer.  Thomas died at the age of 39.

I’m going to post up links to all the things I’ve done in the past week where there are links to things worth looking at or listening to.  These include:

  • the Laugharne Weekend, where I was interviewed by Mark Ellen, editor of The Word magazine (and presenter of The Old Grey Whistle Test when we played on that programme in the Spring of 1985).
  • Faber Social Monday 16th April
  • The Idea Store at Whitechapel Library
  • Later with Jools Holland
  • Interview with Stuart Maconie and Mark Radcliffe for Radio 6
  • A bunch of stuff in Dublin – RTE, Newstalk, TV3 among them



6 thoughts on “Publicity week

  1. Hi James. Just finished reading the book and it is superb. It’s brilliantly written and the pace is perfect. The ending is actually very very sad. It was an excellent choice to end the book on the ‘last’ gig with Shane. Well done on writing such an honest, heart-warming, inspiring, but ultimately tragic book. Bobby

  2. Hi James, i’ve just read the first chapter of your book and was gripped by your story of how the band parted company with Shane in Japan and how he seemed to be relieved by the end of constant touring etc. It occurred to me that it was only a few years later that Shane was touring and singing again with the Popes with not inconsiderable chart success i.e. The Snake. Just wondered if this caused any resentment with you and the rest of the Pogues and how you viewed his other band. regards Sean

    1. I understand what you’re getting at. Three years after we let Shane go, he recorded and released The Snake and started touring again, if by the word ‘touring’ I mean shows delayed by three hours and longer, some gigs cancelled owing to non-appearance and what I imagine to have been a gale of dark wind blowing from the lounge in the back of the tour bus. There was no resentment. I came to Los Angeles and made a record I’m still mostly proud of, with the Low and Sweet Orchestra, and started a family and began to write more seriously. I can’t speak for the rest of the Pogues, several of whom are now recovering alcoholics whose survival seemed unlikely at one point and for whose continuing lives I am really very grateful.

      1. Thanks very much for your reply, James. While the Snake was most definitely a return to form for Shane, live appearances were indeed characterized by chaos around that time as I can personally testify to. Here’s hoping that you guys have another album left in you and hope you’ll be announcing some more book appearances in London. Best wishes Sean.

      2. I loved ‘Victoria’ off that album and would play it dead loud in my car. When you say ‘return to form’, maybe a third of material on ‘The Snake’ either exists in demos recorded by the Pogues – ‘Victoria’ and ‘A Mexican Funeral in Paris’ as early as December 1989 – or which I recall rehearsing with Shane before August 1991 – ‘The Donegal Express’ being one. ‘Aisling’ we tried recording at Rockfield when we made ‘Hell’s Ditch’ in the summer of 1990.

        One can’t rule out another Pogues album, but can’t rule it in either.

        Not in London, sadly. I am in England at the beginning of June for the Hay Festival (6th June at 8.00pm in the Big Tent) and to do a reading, discussion, signing at a place called The Leaf on Bold Street, Liverpool on June 7th at 7pm (tickets £5 from Waterstones on Bold Street).

        See you later

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