There are three things I can rely on each year, as a sort of advent calendar, that mark the coming of Christmas. First, the Christmas markets arrive, and I get to guzzle overpriced offal and down gluhwein, while wondering how the Germans so seamlessly stole Christmas. Second, the place where I work gets a (usually eccentric) Japanese intern. Third, I get to listen to the greatest duet of all time on feverish repeat: “Fairytale of New York”. It’s hard to imagine Christmas sounding and feeling quite the same without this masterfully subtle, bittersweet killer.
It’s also hard to imagine The Pogues not playing a Christmas show, but we’re going to have to as this year looks set to be their last – though guitarist Phil Chevron is somewhat disparaging about this announcement, suggesting that it’s a marketing ploy.
Whatever. With a bunch of seminal albums and an unpredictable and charismatic frontman this will be, as ever, the musical event of Christmas. The Pogues play the Apollo on Friday 17th December, and are supported by the excellent Sparrow And The Workshop.