Republic of Ireland news

Stars take to Dublin stage for Shane MacGowan's 60th birthday bash

Johnny Depp was snapped rehearsing The Pogues tune A Rainy Night in Soho with U2's Bono in the lead up to the gig
Andrew Madden

POGUES frontman Shane MacGowan celebrated his 60th birthday in style last night with a star-studded concert in Dublin.

The legendary singer turned 60 on Christmas Day and more than a dozen of his famous friends and fans took to the stage of the National Concert Hall to honour him.

Among those taking part in the sell-out event were Bono, Nick Cave, Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream, Glen Matlock of The Sex Pistols and Clem Burke of Blondie.

Led by musical director Terry Edwards, the house band for the evening included Pogues cohorts Cáit O'Riordan, Spider Stacy, Jem Finer and Terry Woods.

Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp also made an appearance, the result of a decades-long friendship with MacGowan.

The Pirates of the Caribbean actor has described him "one of the most important poets of the 20th century" and in 1994 starred in his music video for That Woman's Got Me Drinking, the debut single from The Popes.

The actor was snapped rehearsing The Pogues tune A Rainy Night in Soho with U2's Bono in the lead up to the gig.

The event was hosted by John Kelly of RTE's Mystery Train.

Also in attendance was President Michael D Higgins, who just a few hours earlier had released a tribute to Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O'Riordan, who died in London yesterday afternoon.

Musicians BP Fallon and Finbar Furey and finance minister Paschal Donohoe were also pictured at the event, which was part of the NCH Perspectives Series.

An acclaimed songwriter, Shane MacGowan was born in Pembury, Kent in 1957 before moving with his family to Nenagh in Co Tipperary.

He found fame in the 1980s with The Pogues as well as for his hedonistic lifestyle.

Mixing punk with traditional music, the band drew on Irish nationalism and inmigrant life for their work and in 1987 released A Fairytale of New York, which has become an enduring Christmas classic.

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