Belfast Telegraph

Johnny Depp hails ‘poet’ Shane MacGowan at 60th birthday bash for Pogues legend

By Allison Bray

It was standing room only as fans from around the world joined a galaxy of stars at Dublin's National Concert Hall last night to celebrate the 60th birthday of legendary Pogues frontman Shane MacGowan.

The Tipperary-born star celebrated his milestone birthday on Christmas Day and yesterday's special event in Dublin was attended by President Michael D Higgins, Hollywood star Johnny Depp, MacGowan's partner Victoria Mary Clarke and others.

Depp described MacGowan, who he worked with on the soundtrack for the 2013 film The Lone Ranger, as "one of the most important poets of the 20th century".

He added: "He's a magnificent man and species. He's a special being."

The stellar line-up for last night's gig included Nick Cave, original Sex Pistols bass guitarist Glen Matlock, Catatonia front woman Cerys Matthews, Blondie drummer Clem Burke, Primal Scream frontman Bobby Gillespie and Libertines singer Carl Barat, all of whom have credited Shane for his songwriting talent and musical output.

President Higgins was also on hand to present a lifetime achievement award on behalf of the National Concert Hall.

Folk legend Finbar Furey said it was a great honour to be among those asked to pay tribute to MacGowan. "He's a great songwriter, a great poet," he said.

Filmmaker Neil Jordan, who was in the audience, recalled making a charity video with Shane and the late Kirsty McColl in the 1980s.

"He's one of the best writers of lyrics I've ever heard," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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