Official Video: Shane MacGowan’s Smile by Sacred Heart Of Bontempi

Thomas Paul Burgess has written a song inspired by bumping into Shane early one morning in an RTÉ TV studio in Dublin in 1985.

Thomas Paul Burgess has written a song inspired by bumping into Shane early one morning in an RTÉ TV studio in Dublin in 1985.

Paul was the drummer and songwriter with Belfast band Ruefrex, whose tight explosive post-punk sound saw them score UK hits with Capital Letters and Wild Colonial Boy. The Pogues, labelmates with Ruefrex on Stiff, had burst onto the scene with their Red Roses For Me album and were about to release the brilliant Rum, Sodomy & The Lash.

The bands had toured together in previous weeks, and were booked to appear on a Saturday morning’s children’s TV show. Shane and Paul were delighted to see each other, and Shane offered to share his breakfast with Paul – “a bottle of rum and a bottle of port, one in each hand”.

“How could I refuse?” Paul reminisces. The inspiration for Shane MacGowan’s Smile was born, as the pair shared a breakfast of champions. “The song is a homage to Shane, to The Pogues and to a lost time when Rock Stars really were Rock Stars!”

Paul recorded Shane MacGowan’s Smile recently at Novatech Studios in Belfast, with Sacred Heart of Bontempi, formed for the occasion with his friend Davy McLarnon of Shock Treatment and Peacefrog. Shock Treatment and Ruefrex both started out as labelmates on Belfast’s legendary Good Vibrations label, and Paul and Davy first met when they performed at the celebrated 1980 Good Vibes concert at the Ulster Hall, introduced by compere John Peel.

Their bandmates on the single include Keith McVeigh, also of Shock Treatment and Peacefrog, Niall Lynch, Johnny Vance and Donal McCann. The single was recorded by Gary Aiken and mixed by Mick Glossop, well known for his work with Van Morrison among many others.

Shane MacGowan’s Smile will be released on Espresso Records via Kudos Distribution worldwide on all good streaming and download services on January 12th 2018.

Special thanks to Steve Pyke for his Shane MacGowan portrait.

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