The Popes – Release The Beast

Shane MacGowan's old running boyos in serious shindig

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Self-styled city boys with hillbilly souls. The Popes boil up a traditional storm like an Irish Mekons, making The Saw Doctors sound like Sunday choirboys. This live set from 2003 is a hoot, frontman Paul “Mad Dog” McGuinness roaring them on through furious Gaelic rockers and fiddle-strewn hoedowns, replete with “Church Of The Holy Spook” and “New Rose”. Included as a bonus is 2000 debut Holloway Boulevard (all bawdy ballads and breathless flings), highlighted by the great “Like A River” and MacGowan taking lead on his own “Chino’s Place”.

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