Shane MacGowan, the Pogues frontman who died on November 30, had recorded a new solo band with the help of Irish band Cronin before his death.
MacGowan began collaborating with the band's frontmen Johnny Cronin and Mick Cronin a few years back for what would be his final album.
The Cronin brothers acknowledged this week in the Irish Sun that while they were involved with the album, it is very much a MacGowan solo album.
“Shane was always in charge when we went into the studio, he was telling us what to play and where to play it," Johnny told the Irish Sun, noting that MacGowan was adamant about not using professional production tools and only wanting "live takes."
Johnny said: “Shane came up with some beautiful songs as well as (recording) some cover versions.
“We spent seven years working on this with Shane, and he brought in people like Spider Stacey and Jem Finer [former Pogues bandmates] to play on some of the songs as well as Waterboys fiddle player Steve Wickham and musical duo Foster and Allen."
Johnny said he would drive up to Dublin to record vocals at MacGowan's house.
"He was ill but he wanted to keep working," Johnny revealed.
Back in 2021, Mick told the New York Times that once MacGowan was in the studio, "he’s all guns blazing."
At the time, the Cronin brothers said they had recorded 20 tracks with MacGowan, a mix of original songs and covers.
“It’s still punk, and it’s still Irish, and it still goes to the heart,” Johnny told the New York Times.
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“I just did an album with a bunch of guys called the Cronins," MacGowan told The Times in 2022.
“It’s very rough. It’s not finished. I can always do a few old songs, can’t I? You get writers’ credit by rearranging old stuff. Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains did that. But he doesn’t drink. And he’s a dwarf.”
After some protest, MacGowan relented and played the new album for The Times, who reported: "There is a raw but affecting version of the traditional ballad 'Wild Mountain Thyme;' a musical reading of Yeats’s 'Down By the Salley Gardens;' and some new songs by MacGowan including a rock’n’roller called 'Gino’s Place,' which sounds a bit like Sam Cooke.
"The new music is very good: raw, vital, exactly what you want from MacGowan."
The Cronin brothers had long been pals with MacGowan, with Johnny revealing to the Irish Sun: “We shared so many adventures."
Back in 2017, MacGowan made a special appearance during Cronin's set at Electric Picnic in Ireland, singing his hit song "Sally MacLennane."
(Skip to 3:30 to see MacGowan)
Indeed, the social media pages for Cronin show plenty of moments shared between the Irish musicians - including appearances from none other than Johnny Depp and Bruce Springsteen, both friends of MacGowan.
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Speaking on his and his brother's behalf, Johnny told the Irish Sun that they are "beyond devastated" upon MacGowan's passing.
"The only consolation we have is that Shane had finished all his vocals for this record," Johnny said.
Johnny added: “Shane wanted this record out, so it will come out. But it’s not something we are thinking about right now.”
MacGowan, 65, died peacefully at home in the early hours of November 30 after a lengthy hospital stay. His funeral will be held this Friday, December 8, with a procession in Dublin before a Mass in Nenagh, Co Tipperary.