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The Pogues’ fairytale of Pet Shop Boys: Filthy meth-heads have no rhythm

Can you believe it’s three decades since Fairytale Of New York didn’t hit the top spot in Britain? And the smelly old Pogues are STILL banging on – more twisted than gifted – about being ‘robbed’ by, and I quote, “Two queens and a drum machine,” for the coveted Christmas No.1.

In this charming clip, the worse than bad loser that is Shane MacGowan splutters and sprays that Always On My Mind “was a disgusting fucking record. Cynical, jaded, pathetic. And I quite liked the Pet Shop Boys before then.”

The skankhead’s more bitter than all of the ales he sups by the barrel put together, but it’s really the casual homophobia from his colleague that is the most distasteful. Especially because when I lived in Kilburn in the 1990s, MacGowan was notorious for doing all kinds of unspeakable acts in various men’s toilets along the pubs of the High Road. Nasty! Just like their ubiquitous, overplayed dirge of a record.

I actually witnessed MacGowan cameoing on that over-played Christmas song when Kirsty MacColl supported Morrissey at a gig at Ally Pally in 92. You could smell the halitosis from 50 rows back. His, not Kirsty!’s or Mozzer’s.

Steve Pafford

45 at 33: Pet Shop Boys’ Always On My Mind + bye bye Barbara Windsor is here

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