Monday 19 June 2023

The Mill Hill Music Festival Preview - The Pogue Traders and The Sundays - Fri 23rd June at the Mill Hill Golf Club

 Today we are looking ahead to what promises to be an exciting and fun night on Friday. The Festival has always put on music that reflects North London and the diverse communities. After a break of several years, we decided that it was high time we once againg featured Irish music on our our programme, albiet with a strong North London influence. The Pogue Traders have become established as the no 1 tribute to the music of the Pogues. I've known the tin whistle player, Paul Evans for many years and when he joined the band, he asked me along to see them, as he knew I was a big fan of the Pogues. I was blown away and have seen them almost every time they've played in North London since, including several appearances at the legendary Dublin Castle. The band are a tribute to the music, they do not pretend to be members. 

Anyone who knows the story of the Pogues will know that Shame Macgowan is an excellent songwriter. He is perhaps, rather unfairly in my opinion, better known for his drinking, but this never stopped him from writing beautiful and brilliant songs. The best known of these is of course Fairytale of New York, but songs such as Rainy night in Soho and a pair of Brown Eyes are classics in their own right and stand comparission with the work of the greatest songwriters of the 20th Century. 

Here is a clip of Rainy Night in Soho from The Water Rats in 2022, a gig I was at and as you see the whole audience had a good old sing song and dance

The band also do a selection of well known traditional songs, such as The Irish Rover and a few of the Pogues covers such as Dirty Old Town. It is often overlooked that the Pogues contained some excellent musicians, such as Phil Chevron and Jem Finer. The Pogue Traders are similarly blessed with excellent players. I am really looking forwarad to seeing the band again. I've dragged many friends to see the band over the years and they all become firm fans, this is a great opportunity to see why, without travelling too far at all.

The support band are the Sundays, a rather fine soul party band, featuring local legend Paul Amsterdam on sax. Paul was one of the early committee members for the festival and was responsible for roping me onto the committee, so if you don't like the music, please buy a ticket and come up and tell him!

Assuming the weather is good, the gig will be outside in the amazing grounds of the Golf club. Beer is good value and there will be a barbeque. 

Here's a few quotes about the Pogue Traders

“The Best Pogues tribute band I’ve ever seen” – Andrew Ranken (Drummer with The Pogues)

“I’ll come straight to the point: The Pogue Traders are absolutely fantastic. Seriously, if you ever see these guys and leave without an ear-to-ear grin spread across your chops and a song in your heart, stop and check your pulse – you may very well be dead.”– Neil Skinner – The Watford Observer

£15 (£18 on the door)


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