Lonesome Onry and Mean

No, It's Not Too Early to Start Posting About the Pogues, As a Matter of Fact...

A small band of Irishmen frequent Lonesome Onry and Mean's local waterhole, and they are all abuzz about the arrival of the Pogues at House of Blues October 29.

Led by the charismatic and erratic Shane MacGowan, the Pogues set the music world buzzing when they burst onto the London scene in 1982. Their brilliance lay in the combination of Irish traditional music and instruments with the politics and the aggression of the punk movement.

While at the beginning they mostly covered old Irish songs, by second album Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (1985), they emerged as one of the UK's major acts and were working with the likes of the Clash (Joe Strummer produced 1990's Hell's Ditch), Elvis Costello and the legendary - but soon to go bankrupt - Stiff Records. MacGowan began to flower as a writer during this period with tracks like "The Old Main Drag" (which appears on the soundtrack of My Own Private Idaho) and "A Pair of Brown Eyes."

The reformed band has been doing some of these reunion gigs since a UK tour in 2005. Stick with us during the next week as we build our coverage for this historic Houston concert.

What better way to begin our advance coverage of the Pogues than with the eternal Irish drinking song, "Irish Rover," sung above with members of Irish traditionalists The Dubliners? LOM's significant other once used this song to impress upon me the idea that women are smarter than men, because women would never have overloaded a boat like that and cause it to sink. Feminism at work. In reverse. Or something.

Look at the grins on those people's faces!

The Pogues perform with Justin Townes Earle, 8 p.m. Thursday, October 29, at House of Blues, 1204 Caroline, 888-402-5837 or www.hob.com/houston.

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William Michael Smith