The Pogues will be celebrating their 25th anniversary of coming to America by raising "A Parting Glass..." in six cities next month -- which is a nice way of calling the 10-date trek a de facto farewell tour for the rowdy Celtic rockers.
"I think we are basically pretty certain this is the last tour of this type we'll be doing in the States," Pogues co-founder Peter "Spider" Stacy tells Billboard.com. In fact, he adds, the group is putting a wrap on any formal touring, but he stops short of calling the Pogues over.
"There might be the odd sort of one-off here and there, or other things like that," he explains. "We're not saying this is absolutely, definitely the end. But as things stand at the moment, I don't really see us continuing as we have been. It seems to have run its course. You can never say a door is absolutely, definitely and finally shut, but we're drawing the line, to a certain extent, this time."
The Pogues, whose tour starts March 3 in Chicago and wraps with three shows March 15-17 at Terminal 5 in New York, have stayed relatively busy since ending a five-year split and reuniting in 2001. Stacy says a number of factors have led to the decision to curtain the band's touring. "A kind of general sort of fatigue has set in, really," Stacy notes. "There's always a part of me that says, 'Fuck it, we can keep going on and on and on and on.' But that's the more unrealistic side. One has to acknowledge the passing of the years."
Also weighing in, he adds, is "economic reality." The cost of touring an eight-piece band, Stacy acknowledges, necessitates a high ticket price, which is a hard sell in the midst of a worldwide recession -- exacerbated by the group's notoriously wild-card but "brilliant" frontman Shane MacGowan.
"We can't always entirely trust Shane to deliver the goods," Stacy says. "When we're asking ($70) or so, that's a lot of money. I think people have got a right to expect a good evening out, at least -- which is, in all fairness, pretty much what people get. But I'm hardly telling tales out of school when I say that isn't always the case. Anybody reading this who's had any experience at all of seeing the Pogues live: if I say, 'Of course it's completely flawless,' they'll say, 'That's a lie, Spider.' "
Nevertheless, Stacy expects some emotionally charged performances on the upcoming jaunt. "It'll definitely mean something to us, no doubt," he says.
New Pogues music, which the group has steadfastly avoided making since the reunion, also remains out of the question, according to Stacy. "The last album with Shane was 'Hell's Ditch' in 1990," notes Stacy, who sang lead on two subsequent albums after MacGowan's initial departure. "I just think everyone's heads are in such a different space now. It would be a Pogues album by virtue of the fact it would be an album written and recorded by the Pogues, but I'm not sure how recognizable it would be as a Pogues album compared to what people know a Pogues album to be. So it's best to leave that alone."
Stacy intends to continue working on a solo album after the Pogues tour, and he's also planning some acting, including an opportunity he "can't say too much about, but...its has an American angle."