The Pogues

Streams of Whiskey: Live in Leysin, Switzerland

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The following quote is posted on the front page of the band's website: "This album has been released without the permission, and contrary to the wishes of the band. It is a not great quality recording from a Swiss festival in 1991, recorded from a radio broadcast and previously available as a bootleg, the Pogues ask you please DO NOT buy Streams of Whiskey. Intrigued? Fans will take the warning with a grain of salt, as a Pogues show without blood, sweat, piss, and carnage is about as common as a toothbrush in Shane MacGowan's mouth. The show is a mix of brilliance and catastrophe, marred by sound problems and fueled by a hungry Swiss audience. The direct from the board mix exposes off-rhythm banjo playing, missed accordion notes, and drums that simply vanish, but it's this naked, drunken debauchery that makes the group so accessible. MacGowan, whose slurs and whoops grow more pronounced as the 16-song set progresses, delivers surprisingly coherent versions of classics like "Boys From the County Hell," "Rain Street," and "the Sickbed of Cuchulainn." Despite missed cues on "If I Should Fall From Grace With God" -- where he recovers with a blood-curdling scream -- this is a good night for the icon. As musicians, the Pogues are wrongly ostracized. They tear through each song like a last call beer, unaware that they're about to be cut off. By the time we arrive at the show's closer, the fiery "Sally MacLennane," both band and audience are spent, arms around each other's shoulders, headed to the nearest pub for a nightcap. [In 2005, Silverline released the concert in a dual-disc DVD Audio version.]

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