Nipple Erectors

Nipple Erectors

Shane MacGowan's First Band

The Nipple Erectors- later the Nips- were one of many mediocre London punk bands riding on the coattails of bands like the Sex Pistols, the Clash and the Damned. The only reason anyone still remembers them- enough to put them up on Youtube apparently!- is because of who their singer was. That man was the great Shane MacGowan (then using the punk pseudonym “Shane O'Hooligan”), later the singer for the Pogues.

If you just listened to the Nipple Erectors, you would never know it, but Shane MacGowan is a lyrical genius, one of the greatest all-time songwriters in popular music. Back when he was singing for the Nipple Erectors, he was just a young fan and follower of the Sex Pistols trying to imitate his heroes and not doing a very good job of it. Just a few short years later, he hit on the brilliant idea of combining the noise and chaos of punk rock with traditional Irish drinking songs, and in the process he discovered that he could write song lyrics so good they've been described as poetry.


Shane MacGowan's long, productive and whiskey-soaked career had to begin someplace, and this is where. It may not be as impressive as his later efforts with the Pogues, but Shane himself must still be nostalgic about it- apparently the Nipple Erectors actually got back together in 2008, and have been performing gigs semi-secretly around London! While I would personally much rather see a Pogues reunion, any Shane is probably good Shane as far as his many fans are concerned. After giving the world so much incredible music, I suppose he can do whatever he wants!