From Sacred Heart of Bontempi
Shane MacGowan's Smile is released on Espresso Records via Kudos Distribution worldwide on all good streaming and download services on January 12th 2018. It's available to stream and download here, while the new video is on YouTube.
On 25th December 2017 Shane MacGowan, singer, songwriter, poet and Pogue, turned 60. On January 15th 2018 his birthday will be celebrated with a major concert in Dublin. To commemorate these events, Thomas Paul Burgess wrote a song inspired by bumping into Shane early one morning in an RTÉ TV studio in Dublin in 1985.
At the time Paul was songwriter and drummer with Ruefrex, the tight explosive post-punk Belfast band who scored hits with Capital Letters and Wild Colonial Boy. The Pogues, Stiff Records labelmates with Ruefrex, had burst onto the scene with their Red Roses For Me album and were about to release the brilliant Rum, Sodomy & The Lash.
The bands had recently toured together and were due to appear on a Saturday morning TV show. Shane was delighted to see Paul, and offered to share his breakfast: "a bottle of rum and a bottle of port, one in each hand".
"How could I refuse?" Paul reminisces. The inspiration for Shane MacGowan's Smile was born, as they shared a breakfast of champions. "The song is a homage to Shane, to The Pogues and to a lost time when Rock Stars really were Rock Stars!"
Paul recorded Shane MacGowan's Smile recently with Sacred Heart of Bontempi, formed for the occasion with his friend Davy McLarnon of Shock Treatment and Peacefrog. Shock Treatment and Ruefrex were labelmates on Belfast's legendary Good Vibrations label, and Paul and Davy first met when they performed at the celebrated 1980 Good Vibes concert at the Ulster Hall, introduced by compere John Peel.
Bandmates on the single include Keith McVeigh, also of Shock Treatment and Peacefrog, Niall Lynch, Johnny Vance and Donal McCann. The single was recorded by Gary Aiken at Novatech Studios in Belfast and mixed by Mick Glossop, well known for his work with Van Morrison among many others.
Shane MacGowan's Smile will be released on Espresso Records via Kudos Distribution worldwide on all good streaming and download services on January 12th 2018.
Special thanks to Steve Pyke for his Shane MacGowan portrait.
Further information including hi-res photographs and lossless broadcast audio files:
Ross Fitzsimons • e: firstname.lastname@example.org • t :+44-7785-791283
Paul Burgess • e: email@example.com • +353-86-857 7825
Davy McLarnon • e: firstname.lastname@example.org • +44-7825-141822
Sacred Heart of Bontempi (left to right): Johnny Vance (banjo), Thomas Paul Burgess (vocals), Niall Lynch (violin), Davy McLarnon (guitars and vocals), Dr Keith McVeigh (piano and bass guitar) and Donal McCann (drums)
Thomas Paul Burgess, singer, songwriter and drummer, is also a novelist and academic. Paul holds degrees from the University of Ulster, Cork and Oxford and has published widely in the areas of cultural identity and community. His first novel White Church Black Mountain was published in 2015. He is about to publish his latest academic work The Contested Identities of Ulster Catholics (Palgrave MacMillan) and his second novel, 'Through Hollow Lands (Urbane Press) . He is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Ireland.
Paul and Tom Coulter formed Roofwrecks in late 1977 at the Boys Model School, North Belfast. Their debut gig was supporting `Stiff Little Fingers` at The Trident in Bangor. By 1979 they had recruited singer Allan Clarke and released the single One By One on Good Vibrations. After a hiatus in the early 1980s, while Paul went to university, the band gathered momentum in 1985 and signed to Stiff Records, who released their debut album Flowers For All Occasions. The band toured with Stiff Little Fingers and The Pogues, and enjoyed chart success with The Wild Colonial Boy and Capital Letters.
VERSE 1 A bottle of rum and a bottle of port, At nine in the morning, a breakfast of sorts, So now I'm believing in all the reports, Of Shane MacGowan's smile, Of Shane MacGowan's smile VERSE 2 He comes at me slowly, with one in each hand, Says he likes Belfast, my songs and my band, And offers a pull with a cheery command, Of Shane MacGowan's smile, Of Shane MacGowan's smile CHORUS They say he's made of iron, some say he's hard to kill. They say he's quit the gargle, some say he never will. VERSE 3 I don't wish to be haughty, seem stuck up or proud, But his teeth and his slobbers have rendered me cowed, And a group of well-wishers have now formed a crowd, VERSE 4 So I take a deep slug, first of one, then the other, He slaps my back hard and he calls me his brother. And I see right away, what no-one can smother, That's Shane MacGowan's smile. That's Shane MacGowan's smile. CHORUS They say he's made of iron, some say he's hard to kill. They say he's quit the liquor, some say he never will. REPEAT VERSE ONE
© Thomas Paul Burgess 2017 • Published by Kaleidoscope MM&P Limited