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Sacred Heart of Bontempi - Shane MacGowan's Smile

Sacred Heart of Bontempi

Shane MacGowan's Smile

Espresso Records

Released: 12th January 2018 | 2 track modern folk single

On 25th December 2017 Shane MacGowan, singer, songwriter, poet and Pogue, turned 60. On January 15th 2018 his birthday will be celebrated with a major concert in Dublin. To commemorate these events, Thomas Paul Burgess wrote a song inspired by bumping into Shane early one morning in an RTÉ TV studio in Dublin in 1985.
At the time Paul was songwriter and drummer with Ruefrex, the tight explosive post-punk Belfast band who scored hits with Capital Letters and Wild Colonial Boy. The Pogues, Stiff Records labelmates with Ruefrex, 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 recently toured together and were due to appear on a Saturday morning TV show. Shane was delighted to see Paul, and offered to share his breakfast: 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 they 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 with Sacred Heart of Bontempi, formed for the occasion with his friend Davy McLarnon of Shock Treatment and Peacefrog. Shock Treatment and Ruefrex were 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.
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 at Novatech Studios in Belfast and mixed by Mick Glossop, well known for his work with Van Morrison among many others.