Shane MacGowan 60th Birthday Celebration at National Concert... - live review

A stellar line-up gather to celebrate the punk-folk icon’s life in song

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Jesse Malin kicks the night into touch with an exhilarating That Woman Got Me Drinking enhanced by the stellar line-up of Clem Burke, Spider Stacy and Glen Matlock. Next up Carl Barât has a crack at If I Should Fall From Grace With God, giving further affirmation of the punk Behan’s influence on subsequent generations weaned on his London/Irish sagas. The Libertine also does a convincing London Girl, making it his own. Dublin’s Damien Dempsey rattles through Streams Of Whiskey at a canter while Cerys Matthews’ affecting Broad Majestic Shannon is dedicated to Dolores O’Riordan not long after news of her death.

The house band includes Pogues’ Cáit O’Riordan, Terry Edwards, Jem Finer and Waterboys fiddler Steve Wickham. They back Bobby Gillespie while he leads the crowd with arms outstretched through A Pair Of Brown Eyes with spine-tingling results. Johnny Depp channels his best Keef while striking up an enchanting chemistry with Bono whose voice is on potent form during A Rainy Night In Soho. Nick Cave and MacGowan previously recorded a memorable What A Wonderful World. Reunited tonight to perform the enigmatic Summer In Siam their voices and presence create another spellbinding encounter. Shane conjures a poignant Wild Mountain Thyme to end the celebration – perhaps Jesse Malin puts it best when he says: “He’s our Sinatra.”