The Popes
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The Popes

Band Folk Rock

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Jul
31
The Popes @ Kalmar

Kalmar, Not Applicable, Sweden

Kalmar, Not Applicable, Sweden

Jul
24
The Popes @ Meridian Park TBC

Cleethorpes, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Cleethorpes, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

May
21
The Popes @ The Hub

Exeter, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

Exeter, Not Applicable, United Kingdom

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos

Music

Press


''The warmth & spontaneity of the musicians is infectious, spreading like wildfire& having everyone kicking up a riot''
- Flickley Harrison


You’d imagine that surely Shane McGowan’s brains have melted by now - but no! Stick the mad bastard in The Popes and watch the fireworks start flying again. McGowan is ready to meet his maker on ‘Outlaw Heaven’, a lusty barnstormer that toasts the great dead rebel-poets. Elsewhere, he lustily advises us “Don’t let the bastards grind you down!” on ‘Bastards’. When Shane’s not about, the LP is guided by the cozy and wise burr of Paul McGuinness. This isn’t just an Irish party album with fire in its belly, it’s also the most warm, celebratory and downright mortal LP you’re likely to hear in 2009. 8/10
Ric Rawlins - Ric Rawlins



The Popes are back with their new album, ‘Outlaw Heaven’ showcasing some of their most exciting and brilliant material to date, due for release on May 11th with a long awaited UK and European tour.

Shane MacGowan features on three songs on the new album: ‘Outlaw Heaven’, Bastards’ and ‘Loneliness Of A Long Distance Drinker’. Spider Stacey also guests on ‘Outlaw Heaven’.

Chief songwriter, vocalist and guitarist Paul McGuinesss says, there is an Irishness about the songs on this new album as opposed to it being irish music! The feel is more Thin Lizzy-Van Morrison than it is Shane MacGowan or The Pogues’.

Shane MacGowan formed The Popes to record his album 'The Snake' in 1994 after leaving The Pogues. From that original line up are Paul (Mad Dog) McGuinness, on vocals and guitars (Paul originally played with The Pogues, his first performance being live on the David Letterman show, plucked from the technical team at a moment's notice!). After releasing 2 sell out singles - 'Are You Looking At Me' and 'Holloway Boulevard' on Scarlet Records - The Popes signed to Snapper Records and released their debut album 'Holloway Boulevard' which received great reviews and the record-buying public took the band to their hearts - and their parties! After recording another live album with Shane in New York on St Patrick’s Day, ‘Across the Broad Atlantic’, and extensive touring, Paul began writing material for the new album.

Inspiration for ‘Outlaw Heaven’ came in the unlikely form of a 4-month stint in Pentonville prison where Paul was being held on remand for perverting the course of justice. Also battling with drink and drugs Paul says of his prison experience ‘I hated being stuck in a cockroach, mice infested 8x6 cell for 23 hours a day, but once I got over the bad food and cramped conditions I began to realise it was the best thing to happen to me in a long time. I imagined I was in a luxury hotel getting the rest, detox and seclusion I needed to sort my life out. I also met some of the kindest, straightest, upfront people ever, and that was only the murderers! Prison is however the mother of creativity and before you could say OUTLAW HEAVEN I was off writing and singing songs to my cellmate. I didn’t have a guitar so I wrote the lyrics down on the three pieces of paper I was allowed every fortnight, the music I composed in my head. If I was able to get to church on sunday I was able to borrow the priest’s guitar. Thank god for the folkmass (I never thought I’d say that)’

The end result is a ferocious, modern rock record that comes across with sincerity and heartfelt emotion. Lyrically the album is very insightful and the main theme running through the songs is hope followed by love and hate and the tenuous link between them.



After Paul was released from prison and following the sad death of Popes banjo god Tommy McManamon at the end of 2006, he reformed The Popes with a new line up of fantastic and experienced musicians; drummer Will Morrison (Here be Dragons, Lisa Knapp), guitarist/producer Charlie Hoskins (Lisa Knapp, Badly Mixed Bastards), Laurie Norwood on bass, Fiachra Shanks on banjo, mandolin, guitars and vocals and Ben Gunnery on fiddle.

Paul says, ‘When we began this project I took a bunch of half written songs to Will and Charlie and it came together slowly. Although the three of us worked together, Will helped more with the lyrics and arrangements while Charlie was more at home capturing the sounds and texturing the songs, but it took a team effort to complete the album’

Paul concludes,‘It’s been three years since I walked down the Caledonian Road out of the ‘ville with a plastic bag full of her Majesty’s notepaper containing the ideas and half written songs for OUTLAW HEAVEN and with some amazing help and support along the way I’ve got a band I’d die for, music I care for an and album hopefully people will be willing to pay for’

The album features the superb artwork of Brian Whelan (http://www.brianwhelan.co.uk )

Instrumentation
Paul (Mad Dog) McGuinness - Guitar and Vocals
Charlie Hoskyns - Guitars and Backing Vocals
Will Morrison - Drums and Backing Vocals
Laurie Norwood - Bass and Backing Vocals
Fiachra Shanks - Mandolin, Guitar, Banjo and Backing Vocals
Ben Gunnery - fiddle

Discography
Outlaw Heaven (LP / May 2009)
Holloway Boulevard (LP / 2000)
Release the Beast (LP)


http://www.thepopes.uk.com/
http://www.myspace.com/thepopesmusic



For more information please contact stephka@elninodiablo.co.uk / 020 7622 8626 / 07939 015 025
- El nino diablo


"...Don't underestimate The Popes - they're the Irish music equivalent of Booker T & the MG's. Sparse, punchy, killer." (Irish Voice)

- Irish Voice


"Sounding like The Pogues beating The Dubliners to death with a carjack" (Donal O'Sharpe)

- Donal O'Sharpe


* Top 5 Traditional/folk album - as voted for in Ri-ra's best of 2000 poll. (Holloway Boulevard)
- ?


The Popes 12 Bar Westcott Place Swindon If you want to know how to party then hook up with an Irish man and if you really want to party hard hook up with an Irish man in a kilt. Paul McGuiness lead singer with The Popes stands tall and proud in a black vest and black kilt and gives it welly with a set of bone-crunchingly cracking tunes. Shane McGowan from The Pogues originally set up The Popes and sneaked Paul away from the Irish legends and now the singer heads up a confederacy of corking musicians with enough instruments between them to sink the Titanic all over again. The Popes set is a storytelling journey of highs and lows and a fair smattering of drinking songs for light relief along the way. The foot stomping beat of a beer-swilling, renegade tune marches sweetly alongside the haunting pipes of a song dedicated to Paul’s beautiful red haired daughter. The musicians effortlessly mix it up, turn it on its head and then head back to the beginning in a mishmash of gorgeous guitar and mandolin wizardy. The set included two of The Popes big hits Holloway Boulevard which did it for me and Are You Looking At Me. A 16-year-old guest artist played the Irish drum the bodhrun along with the band to the crowd’s great delight. The warmth and spontaneity of the musicians is infectious, spreading like wildfire and having everyone jigging along and kicking up a rumpus in front of the stage. It is all good humoured with easy going camaraderie and banter. - Flicky Harrison


Rumours had circulated that Shane MacGowan was going to be making a guest appearance but sadly at the last minute it was reported that he had been unable to make it. However one thing is for certain, this band do not need Shane MacGowan. The Showmanship and lead vocals of Paul (Mad Dog) McGuinness leaves you screaming for more. Backed by a band that oozes quality and craftmanship they delivered a set covering material from their 2000 album 'Holloway Boulevard' and onto material we can expect from their New album 'Outlaw Heaven'. (Due out in October 2008).

The finale to round off an exceptional night was of course the title track of their new album. If it wasn't for the fact that the gig was in the basement of the legendary '100 club', they would quite literally have taken the roof off the place such was the crowds reaction.

Charles Dewhurst (No Celtic Boundaries) - Charles Dewhurst


* The Mike Tyson of Celtic Rock. These guys hit hard with an instrumental punch that will leave you speachless. Power, Drive and sheer ' Bollocks to it, we're having a party. Join us with our blessing. '
No Celtic Boundaries (Global broadcaster) - Global Broadcaster


Discography

Outlaw Heaven (LP / May 2009)
Holloway Boulevard (LP / 2000)
Release the Beast (LP)

Photos

Bio

Shane MacGowan formed The Popes to record his album 'The Snake' in 1994 after leaving The Pogues. From that original line up are Paul (Mad Dog) McGuinness, on vocals and guitars (Paul originally played with The Pogues, his first performance being live on the David Letterman show, plucked from the technical team at a moment's notice!).

After releasing 2 sell out singles - 'Are You Looking At Me' and 'Holloway Boulevard' on Scarlet Records - The Popes signed to Snapper Records and released their debut album 'HOLLOWAY BOULEVARD' with a 'never been done before' - (and I should imagine never again!!) one day - 6 venues - musical pub crawl along the Holloway Road in North London! 'Holloway Boulevard' received great reviews and the record-buying public took the band to their hearts - and their parties! After recording another live album with Shane in New York on St Patrick’s Day (Across the Broad Atlantic), and extensive touring, Paul began writing material for the new album.

Following the sad death of Popes banjo god Tommy McManamon at the end of 2006, Paul reformed THE POPES with a new line up of fantastic and experienced musicians; drummer WILL MORRISON (Here be Dragons, Lisa Knapp), guitarist/producer CHARLE HOSKINS (Lisa Knapp, Badly Mixed Bastards), LAURIE NORWOOD on bass, FIACHRA SHANKS on banjo, mandolin, guitars and vocals and BEN GUNNERY on fiddle

‘The Popes' new album - ‘Outlaw Heaven’ will showcase some of their most exciting and brilliant material to date, and is due for release Mid April 2009, with a long awaited UK tour.
To coincide with this, there is a four month local and national Pr campaign by ‘el nino diablo’ starting Feb 09. and a Scandinavian tour late July.
Shane MacGowan and Spider Stacey feature on three tracks on the new album, and it has some amazing art work from the London Irish artist Brian Whelan.Ta.P.
Townsend Records are distributing the record via Universal bringing a great team together to ensure the band reach the success they deserve.