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The Pogues at Christmas by Ann Treacy
December 25, 2007, 11:50 am
Filed under: Dublin

The Pogues played at a big arena (the RDS) on December 23. I should have ordered tickets online but I was too slow. They were sold out. Then the day before the concert I heard a rumor that a special guest star was going to sing the Fairy Tale of New York. So I was super bummed.

So on the day of the concert I talked Patrick into heading to the RDS to see if we could scalp tickets. Naturally we left late – we left at 8:00; the show was advertised for 8:00. We sat on the bus stop and I was giving up hope. But then (our first miracle of the night) an 84 bus came. I didn’t even think the 84 ran on Sunday. The 84 was the quickest bus that would take us nearly to the door of the RDS.

So we jumped on. Then the next stop up there was some scuttle with a bunch of kids who were trying to get on the bus for being 16 and were clearly carrying several cans of beer. The drinking age in Ireland is young – but not 15. But the hassle was cleared up pretty quickly when the boys sacrificed one friend to stay on the bus stop with the beer and they all stayed on the bus.

So we were again on our way to the show. We arrived and the place was packed. The first thing we heard was someone else asking for spare tickets; not very promising! So we paced near the front gate a bit. We were just decided if we should go home or go into town to see another show when a woman appeared at my elbow and asked if we needed tickets. I quickly said “yes – two” and nearly everyone else around us tried to jump oin her for the tickets – but it was too late. We got ‘em!

We were over the moon. I couldn’t believe it. I held my breath through the various gates and checkpoint until we actually were in the hall.

The RDS is huge. I was there for the Horse Show a long time ago but hadn’t been there to see a show. There were no seat – all standing room. There were two sections – the front and then a set of barriers before the masses. The bar was in another room. There are no giant screens with close-ups or light shows, which was OK with me. The place was packed – of people of all ages but everyone having a great time.

So we had a beer and went in just in time to see (well, hear – we couldn’t see that much) Shane McGowan hit the stage. He was slurring but really no one can sing like Shane McGowan. Either the crowd or maybe Shane McGowan seemed a beat ahead or behind each other for most of the concert – but that was OK. It’s not like we were there to see Pavarotti.

Everyone was dancing – or slamming as the case may be. Poor Patrick was wearing a sweater and a coat so he was sweating. We were dancing around and Patrick didn’t even mind when he got a boot in the face. Someone way up front had foolishly thrown there shoe into the crowd. We didn’t care if he went home barefoot after Patrick got hit.

The finales started and my rumor was right. Sinead O’Connor came out in a Santa suit to sing the Fairy Tale of New York. It was a great show!


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