On Tour

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The Independent Culture
The Pogues have been touring since 1984 and we've been to hundreds of places since then. The gigs start to blur after a while. You get this really strange feeling when you go into a new town, like 'I'm sure I've been here before.' Particularly in small German towns. The hotel and the main street all look familiar, you even think you recognise the venue, but you've never actually set foot in the place in your life.

The gig that stands out most in my mind is one we did at Glasgow Barrowlands a few years back. It was after a match between Celtic and Rangers where, for a change, Rangers lost. It felt as though everyone at the gig had been at the match. The atmosphere was just mad - there was this incredible, youthful energy. It was quite overwhelming. There are other nights when it just doesn't happen, the spark isn't there and you feel quite frustrated because the band has high expectations of itself.

I haven't got a jot of Irish blood in me but I always look forward to going to Dublin. We've become a sort of institution in Ireland. We'll go to all the pubs there, places like Mulligan's (010- 3531 874 6182) or Lilly's Bordello, Adam Court for the Guinness. In Ireland the Guinness is a different animal to the stuff you get in London.

I don't feel under any greater pressure now that I'm fronting the band in place of Shane McGowan, although people are always coming up to us to ask where he is. I suppose I had to adjust to the idea that I was officially lead singer, but, in practice, on a number of occasions I was already effectively in charge. There are still disagreements from time to time but the only reason we're touring is that we all like each other. I just can't understand bands that carry on even though they hate each other.

Spider Stacy is lead vocalist with The Pogues. Tonight, Royal Court, Liverpool (051-709 4321)

(Photograph omitted)

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