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It used to be, when Shane MacGowan had half a brain left and could still manage to drunkenly lean against a microphone on-stage, that The Pogues played Glasgow around Christmas every year. It was a hell of a big gig for me and my friends. Tri-colours flying, drunk to hell and singing before you left the house, never mind the boozer.

I'd never actually got myself a ticket for it tho'.

I'd peddle round places the day before the gig, trying to get someone somewhere to sell me a spare. The idea of trying to buy one when they first went on sale usually came to mind around about this time. Like I hadn't missed this very same night for the past few years.

Anyroads, some kind and gentle type gave me a ticket one year, for the anniversary of my arrival on said planet. Chuffed? I was dancin'.

So I've a month before the gig and I'm lording it over everybody I meet.
"Got yer ticket yet? Naw? I have."
and I'm well looking forward to the event. People are getting sick of it. I'm talking it up like it's going to be the best musical experience since the first Pistols gig.

Comes the actual night and the like was in the boozer across the road from the venue with the rest of them. All sorts were being put down the throat. Buckfast on tap, a rare thing. Blackbush and Jimmies.

I'm stoatin by the time it comes to cross the street. Even when I get out the boozer door to cross the fifty yards to the door of where I'm going to I manage to lose the rest of the crowd.

So up yer man staggers to the doors. A quick (ish) search through pockets for the ticket and I walk through. Almost.

In this place they've got bouncers on the door recruited from the scum that were too rough to get put in the jail for their crimes. Some big ugly swine stands there in front of me

"Where d'you think yer gawn"
"In here", displaying ticket.
"You're too fuckin' drunk son, no way you gettin' in here."

Too drunk?. For a fucking pogues gig? Christ.

So I kindly informed yer man of some gentle (unrepeatable) facts about his mother. And grinned like a mad bastard at him.

The wake-up was slow. I opened my eyes and knew things were hurting. I moved my head a little. Something moved over my forehead and fell to the floor. I opened the eyes. Dark. I turned my head. More things falling off my face and head. Light now. I lifted the head and looked down at the prostrate me.

There I am, covered head to toe in beer mats, lying on a table in the boozer, back across the street.

So, as to the gig, it went well. I spent over an hour passed out cold on the street in front of the concert hall. One of the old boys from the boozer spotted me, bloody and beaten. He had the lads from the pub carry me back across the street. There they laid me out as if in state, on the formica table, carefully covering me in new and used beer mats, where I'm told I lay for an hour or so. Missing the gig.

The year after the bastard Pogues sent Shane packing.

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