The Pogues guitarist Philip Chevron has passed away at the age of 56 following a battle with cancer.
In the 70s, Irish was still struggling to assert its own economic independence. The country was attempting to push ahead, yet decades of emigration had hampered any sign of progress. Which is perhaps why punk impacted with such force on the island.
Philip Chevron led Radiators From Space, a band who combined the punk sound with a uniquely Irish identity. Hugely important in the evolution of Irish music, The Radiators split after a ferociously creative spell.
The guitarist was then asked to join The Pogues, an act whose opening album 'Red Roses For Me' marked them out as potent voices in both the punk fall out and the Irish diaspora. Adding a renewed sense of musicianship to the band, Philip Chevron also lent a maturity to Shane MacGowan's rapidly developing songwriting.
Working with the group during their peak. Chevron arguably helped push The Pogues to become one of the leading creative voices of their generation.
Diagnosed with head and neck cancer back in 2007, the guitarist was given a clean bill of health back in April 2012. Tragically, another tumour was found shortly after which proved to be inoperable.
In a short message on their website yesterday (October 8th), The Pogues confirmed the death of their guitarist. "After a long illness Philip passed away peacefully this morning. We all send our sincere condolences to his family."
A concert was held for Philip Chevron earlier this year, sparking a number of warm tributes. Irish author Joseph O'Connor told the Irish Herald:
"Ever since my teens, his work has meant a great deal to me. I have enormous admiration for his achievements. His song 'Faithful Departed' sums up everything about growing up in the Ireland of my childhood. Then there's his magnificent writing on the Radiators 'Ghost Town' album."
"Not to mention everything he's done with The Pogues. I have never met Philip but I feel I've known him since I was 15. To any Irish person of my age who loves music, Philip is nothing less than a hero".
(via The Irish Independent)
Get the best of Clash on your iPhone - download the app here