Anglo-Irish punk legends the Pogues are touring the United States this spring with frontman Shane MacGowan in tow for the first time in years. The tour's not scheduled to visit Cleveland, so local fans of Celtic-accented rock may be saving up their shillings to make the trip to New York or Boston. Still, they shouldn't allow themselves to miss one of these two shows by Flogging Molly, an L.A.-based septet that keeps alive the Pogues' legacy as well as anyone (the Pogues included).
On 2004's Within a Mile of Home, their most recent studio disc, the band continues MacGowan's work of giving everyday blue-collar concerns an epic sweep. "Factory Girls," a foot-stomping duet between frontman Dave King and country singer Lucinda Williams, celebrates working women "drinkin' their Coca-Colas after washing your filthy sheets." Williams' cracked voice (a sort of musical embodiment of filthy sheets) provides the perfect counterpoint to King's sturdy crooning. Flogging Molly's live shows are drunken, spirited events, marked by expressions that are not to be missed.