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Shane MacGowan: Music saved me from life of republican violence

POGUES frontman Shane MacGowan has revealed how his parents ensured he embraced music rather than militant republicanism as a young man.

The singer told how his childhood growing up in England as the son of Irish inmigrants filled him with animosity towards his adopted country. "I was brought up by Fenians," MacGowan (56) told Uncut magazine.

"I was told, watch out for the f***ing Brits - them bastards. "That was true when I came over here [to London] and it's still true - all the 'no blacks, no dogs, no Irish'. That was true, you were hated."

However, MacGowan's parents were against the 'armed struggle' and managed to ensure their son steered clear of the Provisionals.

"I was told not to get involved," he said. "I was brought up in an Official IRA family - they didn't like the indiscriminate bombing, the stupid bombing. They didn't like the punishment squads. "The people that brought me up told me to steer clear of all that and to do it with the music."

The Pogues frontman also claims that the band's reunion is about to come to an end at London's Hyde Park this Saturday, when they support The Libertines.

MacGowan was dismissed by The Pogues in the early 1990s for erratic behaviour, going on to form Shane MacGowan and The Popes before reuniting with his former bandmates in 2001.

"I didn't intend it to go on for this long," said MacGowan of the reunion. "Anyway, this is the last gig."

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