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The Crock of Gold

Shane MacGowan - Citizen Shane, The Shane Man, Ireland's finest - continues his fascinating, if alarming emotional and intellectual adventures with the October 27th release of the long, long awaited second solo album "The Crock of Gold".

The follow up to his 1994 classic "The Snake", "The Crock of Gold" deepens and extends Shane's very personal themes and obsession and confirms MacGowan’s reputation as one of the most ferociously poetic and powerfully impressionistic of rock writers. In the very best sense "The Crock of Gold" is more of the same, and beyond that, it's more of the different, and more of the sweet, twisted perception that Shane possesses of the base, the de-based, the holy, the un-holy, the lovely and the un-lovely.

Beautiful, tough songs about Dublin City - yes, they're here. Raucous, rip-roaring and rumbustious drinking songs - yes, naturally. Coarse and furious comic songs - of course. Plus songs harvested out of Shane's strange atmospheric field of vision plus dark iconoclastic nursery songs, plus caustic fables, plus real life drama, plus virulent naturalism, plus a love of lawlessness, plus outlaw exuberance, plus songs of revenge and cleansing, plus romantic cynicism, plus deep sentimentality, plus cracking morality tales, plus Western myth, plus loss and dread knowledge, plus lashing anger, plus, of course, a knot of some of the finest, funniest rhymes this side of Dylan Himself. Plus, plus, plus. Shane's deceptively simple songs contain worlds of life and lifetimes of experience and Shane compresses all manner of human passion into his work, desperate to communicate everything he has lived and found, down to the last ounce of commitment and urgency. In case he forgets.

Ultimately, "The Crock of Gold" is an album of feeling about feeling delivered with feeling and those are the things that always make Shane records so special in a business that often denies and destroys 'feeling" in favour of the numb and the dumb. Shane's records are above and beyond fashion - indeed, they are the very essence of style. They're not temporary things, they're permanent artefacts, dug deep out of the wretched, mysterious soul of someone who actually has lots to say. Crammed onto "The Crock of Gold" are enough images and symbols and stones and memoirs and joys and sorrows to fill a great modem madman's novel. Shane MacGowan wonders what a life is worth and wonders how far he can take life until there's nothing left.

His new album is made up out of this wondering wonder. In this sense, it is a truly wonderful album, one to take seriously even as you find things to laugh at and with.

The album is released just after BBC Television appropriately elevates MacGowan to modem icon status with a profile entitled 'The Great Hunger - The Life and Songs of Shane MacGowan". The profile features the likes of Bono and Sinead O'Connor offering their love and praises. "The Great Hunger" can be seen on BBC 2 on the 4th October 1997.

The Crock of Gold is available now from the Zang Tumb Shop.

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