Movie Review: Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (2020)

Title: Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan
Release Date: December 4, 2020
Director: Julien Temple
Production Company: Infinitum Nihil | Nitrate Film | Wild Atlantic Pictures | BBC Music | Warner Music | Screen Ireland

“People were always calling me a poet, but it’s very annoying to be called a poet when you’re a musician, because it means you’ve wasted your time writing the music.” – Shane MacGowan

This documentary is a straight-forward biography of singer/songwriter Shane MacGowan, most famous for his work with the Celtic punk band The Pogues, in that it covers his life from birth to the present.  Straight-forward except that delightfully-weird animation that is used to recreate key moments of MacGowan’s life as well as what seems to be found footage to complement archival footage of MacGowan, his family, and The Pogues.  MacGowan credits his childhood years on the family farm in Tipperary, Ireland with moulding is life.  He started to drink at the age of 6, but also learned traditional music and lived on a land that still bore the scars of the Great Hunger and the Irish War of Independence.

The movie features original interviews with MacGowan and archival footage where he talks (mumbles, really) about his life and inspirations. There are also scenes of him in conversation with his friends actor Johnny Depp and Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams.  Interviews with Macgowan’s parents, his sister Siobhan, and wife Victoria Mary Clarke fill out the story.  I would argue the main flaws of this film is that it is overly long and repetitive.  If there’s one thing anyone knows about Shane MacGowan is that he drinks a lot, so that point didn’t need to be beaten to death at the expense of, say, learning more about his songwriting process.  Still, this is an insightful film about a complex and talented man.

Rating: ***

24 hrs of St. Patrick’s Day 17: “If I Should Fall From the Grace of God”

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day I’m posting one of my favorite Irish songs every hour.

17. “If I Should Fall From the Grace of God” by The Pogues

The revolutionary band The Pogues blended punk rock rage with traditional Irish sounds to pretty much redefine Irish music. I could recommend several albums, but here’s one track that shows them at their best.


Favorite Songs of 1985

The project continues with my favorite songs of 1985.  Read the first post for the detail on this project.

Bitchin’ Camaro – The Dead Milkmen

Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears

I’m A Man You Don’t Meet Every Day – The Pogues

The Show – Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick

Life in a Northern Town – Dream Academy

Lyin’ Ass Bitch – Fishbone

Raspberry Beret – Prince and the Revolution

Something About You – Level 42

Walk of Life – Dire Straits

West End Girls – Pet Shop Boys

And my song of shame for 1985: We Built This City – Starship

What 1985 musical memories are stirring your brain?  List them in the comments!