The Pogues slam 'terrible' Guardian obituary of lead singer Shane MacGowan

By Stephen Porzio

December 1, 2023 at 2:27pm


The band took to Twitter to voice their displeasure with the article.

On Thursday (30 November), the news broke that Irish music legend Shane MacGowan had passed away at the age of 65 - sparking a massive wave of tributes online to honour the Pogues' frontman.

However, one particular piece of writing about MacGowan published in the wake of his passing appears to have gone down poorly with his bandmates.

That is the obituary to the singer-songwriter published on The Guardian's website on Thursday, which was penned by Derek Schofield.

No strangers to calling people out on social media - as evident from their brutal putdown of Laurence Fox back in 2020 - The Pogues shared the lengthy obit to the band's official Twitter page, alongside a caption tagging the paper that reads:⁦ "Such a terrible obituary. Full of errors."

You can read the band's post below:


The Pogues slam The Guardian's obituary for Shane MacGowan as terrible

While the Pogues did not mention what specific "errors" they were referring to, several of their fans commented on the tweet to criticise the very first line of the article, which reads:

"With his broken teeth and large ears, Shane MacGowan, who has died aged 65, might have seemed the most unlikely frontman for a pop group."

Referring to this opening line, one commenter wrote: "Absolutely vile words and behaviour."


This is not the first time The Guardian have come under fire this year for their obituary of an Irish singer-songwriter.

Back in July 2023, several fans of Sinéad O'Connor hit out against the paper's obit for her, with it being described at the time as "unnecessarily judgemental", "nasty" and "unfair".

In particular, fans of O'Connor took issue with the following two passages in The Guardian piece:

"If the global superstardom conferred by Nothing Compares 2 U was brief – she lacked the determination needed to keep a top-flight pop career aloft – O’Connor nonetheless remained a household name for the rest of her life."

"Her fervour was accompanied by an inability to edit her pronouncements: years before oversharing became the internet’s default mode, she regularly revealed troubling personal details about her mental health, relationships and family, causing one journalist to mock her as 'the crazy woman in pop’s attic', to which she took great exception."

Meanwhile, just hours after news of MacGowan's passing, there was already a large push to make 'Fairytale of New York' a Christmas number 1 this year.