The Irish rovers

By MIKE MILIARD  |  March 18, 2009

And for a band who seemed dead and buried back in the early '90s, the late naughts seem to be auguring a Pogues renaissance. In addition to the box set and tour, there's Jeffrey T. Roesgen's new contribution to Continuum Books' 33-1/3 series, a 117-page chapbook about the band's seminal, Elvis Costello–produced Rum, Sodomy & the Lash (Stiff, 1985) that alternates chapters about the album's recording with a narrative in which members of the Pogues are fictionalized as 19th-century seafarers stranded on Théodore Géricault's The Raft of the Méduse (which is reproduced on the LP's cover).

That would seem to confer canonical status of a sort on Rum. Will a new record ever be added to the Pogues discography? "We haven't ruled it out," admits Chevron, but he cautions that "it hasn't been a live topic for some time."

Indeed, for all the affinity they still feel for one another, the band members seem content to work on their own projects. Chevron still plays and records with the reunited Radiators from Space. Accordionist James Fearnley plays in a band called Cranky George. Tin-whistle player Spider Stacy has a handful of pick-up bands, and he guested on Dropkick Murphys' Meanest of Times. Banjoist Jem Finer is an experimental musician whose Longplayer composition is nearly 10 years into its millennium-long running time.

"There is a sense that this [reunion] works for us because it's something we do only two or three times a year," Chevron concludes. "Probably we'd enjoy it less if it became more of a full-time thing. This way, people have time to do their own thing, and to put their energies into those projects in a way that we wouldn't if there was more demand on the Pogues. We all just actually really like playing these songs."

THE POGUES + TOM GABEL | House of Blues, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston | March 20-21 at 7 pm | $51 | 617.931.2000 or ticketmaster.com

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