Christmas is nearing, which means that The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York” should be in heavy rotation around any cool household. But it’s another, perhaps more representative song by the Celtic punk legends that made their TV debut on Channel 4’s The Tube. The music video for the band’s rendition of Irish folk hit “Waxie’s Dargle” was raw and ridiculous, with percussion seemingly provided by a beer tray bashed into member Spider Stacy’s head. Naturally, it was a hit. But the fan-favorite song and video haven’t gotten the love they deserve. Now Crock of Gold – a Few Rounds with Shane Macgowan, a new documentary from Julien Temple (Absolute Beginners), looks to fix that and many other Pogue-related problems.
While the two-hour doc from Magnolia—which features new archival footage and animation from Ralph Steadman—focuses on frontman Shane MacGowan, there are few performances that sum up that early punk spirit like “Waxie’s Dargle.” Paste’s exclusive clip from the film intercuts a super-clean version of the music video with MacGowan interviews that center on the band’s formation—and the origin of its name.
Take a look:
It’s no surprise the video attracted attention: the performance is energetic and pissed, with the bare-bones cinematography only highlighting what the band had to offer. “What we were going for from the start was the balls and the feel,” Macgowan explained. “There’s something in the group, it works somehow. Chemistry, whatever you call it, you know.”
The video begs investigation into Spider who, bashing his head into that tray, was the DIY instrumentalist of the group, playing not only the tray but the tin whistle and backup vocals as well. Basically, everything you could want from a band member.
The Pogues’ fly-by-the-seat-of-their-pants origins also get summed up by Macgowen in the clip: “We just had this idea and we tried it, and the next thing we bloody knew, we had to think of a name. It was just a name we thought of on the spur of the moment because we had our first gig the next day. So we said, ‘Stuff it, call it Pogue Mahone,’ which means ‘Kiss my arse.’” Instead of arguing with that perfect logic, let’s just listen to “Waxie’s Dargle” one more time.
Crock of Gold – a Few Rounds with Shane Macgowan is out on all digital platforms on December 4.