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SHORT STORY: 'Shane MacGowan's Coat' in BEAT THE DUST - Made in Sheffield edition

'He shoved him in number six and slammed the door.
MacGowan told him he was a paddy-bashing bastard.'

Melissa Mann's Beat The Dust is an online magazine dedicated to bringing new writing into the world. An invitation to contribute to the Made In Sheffield edition - curated and introduced by the estimable Mr Simon Crump - was not to be missed.
Based on an article in The Independent some four years ago, over the years I'd written and re-written the short story Shane MacGowan's Coat more times than I care to remember. It had never quite come together in the way I wanted it. For Beat The Dust, I started again and here it is, finished and in full.
It's difficult to remember just what an impact The Pogues had in a post-punk world; seeing the band in the mid-80s, as many will testify, was a riot. A beacon of real music in a sea of synthpop and gated snare drums. I was lucky enough to see them a few times, including a St Patrick's night gig at the Town & Country Club in 1988. Possibly the roughest moshpit I was ever in, but one of those nights you're just glad you were there.

I've just checked my original notes and the piece in the Independent, 'When Shane Met Katie', was written by James Fearnley. Katie Melua had taken on the thankless task of replicating Kirsty MacColl on Fairytale of New York. It was published in 2005, which makes this pretty much the longest gestation period of any short story I've ever written. Maybe that's because it meant the most.


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