Shane and Philip Chevron are both very good songwriters.
The Pogues are an experience.
So, Shane can't sing properly, and his speech is slurred, but contrary to popular legend he is not always pissed when he goes on stage. He is in a bit of a state, but his heart is still there. He puts a lot of what he has left into his performances.
Sadly, he doesn't always do his own songs justice these days as he quite often loses his place and repeats verses, but IMHO he still feels what he sings.
Phil Chevron still sings well and I actually prefer to hear him singing "Thousands Are Sailing" rather than Shane.
Many of the lads have developed into very good players, and one should never forget the presence of Terry Woods.
The Pogues were largely responsible for reviving my interest in folk songs and traditional music. Before hearing their first two albums I had pretty much abandoned folk music during the 1970s in favour of rock music, punk and reggae. A lingering love of blues was pretty much all that remained.
To hear a punky bunch of very different sounding blokes taking inspiration from traditional tunes and from the previous generation of folk revivalists convinced me that there might still be life left in the old dog. Twenty years later I'm more deeply fascinated by songs and trad music than I ever was first time around, thanks to the path The Pogues set me back on.
Many people may go to see the Pogues out of loyalty and love. That's true of many bands. I feel a great affection for Shane MacGowan and the lads.
In a similar way I love old Barney McKenna. After his health problems, Barney doesn't play like he used to, and his links and tales tend to ramble, sometimes to the point of slight embarrassment, but Barney and Shane each have a place in history, and I am grateful to them both for where they have led me.
The Pogues and the Dubs. I owe them. As long as both those bands gig I will go to see them and enjoy every moment of it.