SHANE MacGowan was ordered by doctors not to perform at a fundraising concert for a former bandmate in London last night and is said to be suffering from “exhaustion”.
The Pogues frontman was due to headline a show in aid of musician Paul ‘Mad Dog’ McGuinness, who was a member of MacGowan’s former backing band The Popes.
However he was forced to pull out of the fundraiser on the grounds of medical advice amid suggestions that he was also unwell during his performance with The Pogues in Hyde Park over the weekend.
The London-Irish legends played in front of 65,000 fans as the main support act to The Libertines on Saturday night.
Those close to MacGowan say that he is going through “one of the worst” periods of ill health, amid concern for the singer who recently hinted that this may be his last year performing with The Pogues.
Dave Lally, co-organiser of last night’s benefit show in Camden, told the Irish Post: “Shane was heartbroken he couldn’t do the show but the man is just not well. He’s exhausted. It was doctor’s orders that he take it easy and so he’s gone back to Ireland. He wasn't well at Hyde Park either.
“My co-organiser, Tom Creagh, went down to visit him at his hotel yesterday and he was totally out of it. His energy was just gone. He was zapped, just exhausted. The doctor was on the way at that stage. He wasn’t booked to go back to Ireland until tonight (Monday) but the advice was that he should go last night and rest up.
“We’re trying to get some messages of support across to him. His sister just texted to say that he isn’t in good form; that he is bad. Things have obviously been bad over the years but this is one of the worst ones. So fingers crossed he’s okay.”
The fundraiser for Paul ‘Mad Dog’ McGuinness continued in MacGowan’s absence last night with Hungry Grass, The London Lasses, Juno’s Daughter and The Crooked Jacks among a host of London-Irish musicians that performed.
All funds raised will support McGuinness’ ongoing rehabilitation as he recovers from serious brain injuries sustained in a traffic accident last November.
The London Irishman has remained in hospital since and while he is making a ‘great recovery’ his friends and family claim there is still a long way to go.
Lally previously told The Irish Post: “Paul suffered a serious brain injury in a traffic accident last November. Thankfully he’s making a great recovery in Homerton Hospital, but has a long road ahead of him. So the proceeds from the event will help defray Paul’s expenses as he undergoes continuing rehabilitation.”
He added that he was “100 per cent certain” that MacGowan would return for a future fundraiser for McGuiness should one be organised.
What they said on Twitter following The Pogues performance on Saturday
Shane Macgowan from The Pogues literally looked like a walking corpse yesterday, god knows how that mans still alive
— Max (@I_AmAHorror) July 6, 2014
Don't know how Shane MacGowan is still a living person after watching The Pogues at Hyde Park he made Pete Doherty look like Mother Theresa
— KG (@kristinagarner_) July 7, 2014
Dont understand how shane macgowan managed to finish his set at BST
— Alex Frias Del Rio (@AlexFriasDelRio) July 7, 2014
Seeing pictures from last night Shane macgowan looked terrible god knows how he lasted his set
— rachael craig (@rachael_craig) July 6, 2014
Was genuinely very sad seeing Shane Macgowan looking so awful last night, he could barely get any words out
— hamish penman (@hamishpenmann) July 6, 2014
Shane MacGowan from the Pogues looked like a dead man walking yesterday
— Beth (@bethspropeller) July 6, 2014