Joe Strummer calls Shane MacGowan 'one of the finest writers of the century' in new 'Crock of Gold' clip (exclusive)

Tom Butler
·Senior Editor
·3 min read

Watch: Joe Strummer pays tribute to Shane MacGowan

Joe Strummer, the late frontman for iconic punk band The Clash, calls Shane MacGowan a ‘visionary’ in this new clip from Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan.

The Pogues singer is the subject of this new documentary – in UK cinemas from 4 December – and Strummer, who died in 2002, is just one of many contributors to pay tribute to the legendary Irish musician.

Talking over a clip of The Pogues performing their 1986 song A Rainy Night In Soho, Strummer says: “Shane MacGowan, the visionary, the poet of the band, I think is like one of the finest writers of the century.”

And it takes one to know one.

CROCK OF GOLD: A FEW ROUNDS WITH SHANE MACGOWAN (Altitude)
CROCK OF GOLD: A FEW ROUNDS WITH SHANE MACGOWAN (Altitude)

The film had its world premiere at the San Sebastian International Film Festival last month where it won the Special Jury Prize and positive reviews.

Read more: MacGowan thinks it’s ‘ridiculous’ the BBC is censoring Fairytale of New York

Helmed by the multi-award-winning and critically acclaimed film, documentary and music video director Julien Temple (Glastonbury, The Filth and the Fury, London: The Modern Babylon) and produced by Johnny Depp the film is a cinematic exploration of the legendary poet, punk and Pogue Shane MacGowan.

Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan. (Altitude)
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan. (Altitude)

Combining interviews, previously unseen archive footage and specially commissioned animations with an impressive soundtrack, the documentary details Shane’s explosive existence from his early days growing up in Ireland, to time spent on the mean streets of London and embracing the punk scene, to forming The Pogues.

Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan will open in cinemas in the UK from 4 December with VOD and DVD to follow on 7 December. For more info visit crockofgold.film.

The film arrives as the annual conversation around The Pogues’ festive hit Fairytale of New York surfaces once again.

Singers Kirsty MacColl (1959 - 2000) and Shane MacGowan with with toy guns and an inflatable Santa in a festive scenario, circa 1987. In 1987, the pair collaborated on the Pogues' Christmas song 'Fairytale of New York'. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)
Singers Kirsty MacColl (1959 - 2000) and Shane MacGowan with with toy guns and an inflatable Santa in a festive scenario, circa 1987. In 1987, the pair collaborated on the Pogues' Christmas song 'Fairytale of New York'. (Photo by Tim Roney/Getty Images)

BBC Radio 1 will play an edited version of the Christmas favourite in a bid to avoid offending listeners.

The Pogues’ gritty festive hit with Kirsty MacColl is a Christmas staple, though in recent years it has been the focus of debate over its lyrics.

The song includes the words “f*****” and “slut”.

This year, Radio 1 will play an alternative version of the track, with the record label providing different lyrics sung by MacColl.

It is understood Radio 1 bosses were wary of offending younger listeners with derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.

Radio 2 will play the original song, but said it will continue to monitor listeners’ views. 6 Music said it has made an edited version available and will allow presenters to make the choice.

In a statement, the BBC said: “We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing the version of the song most relevant for their audience.”