Has there ever been a better sing-a-long band than The Pogues? Probably not, and you can bet there’ll be many a drink raised and many a sing-a-long sung tonight as the news that the band’s guitarist Philip Chevron lost his battle with cancer, dying aged 56.

Philip Chevron
Paul Chevron will be missed by The Pogues and their fans

A statement posted on The Pogues' website said: "After a long illness Philip passed away peacefully this morning. We all send our sincere condolences to his family." Chevron joined the band on a temporary basis after their debut album, but his value was clearly felt, and he was a permanent member by the time the band got round to their second album.

“We'd like to add our voices of sorrow to the many others in Irish and international music and theatre on the death of our friend, Philip Chevron, who died in Dublin today, aged 56. As was well known, Philip had been living with cancer for some time. He was unique. We'll miss him terribly. Dublin town, and the world, just got smaller,” the statement added.

After first battling head and neck cancer in 2007, Chevron announced in May that it was back, and that it’s “inoperable and will prove fatal in time, though it is at present impossible to measure life expectancy.” The disease returned in the summer of 2012, and while Chevron would continue to play with the band for a short while, he announced that he would take a break from The Pogues.

The Pogues Live
Chevron performing live with The Pogues

He also took a break from the Radiators from Space, one of Ireland's first punk bands formed in 1976. Their songs were later covered by folk singers including Christy Moore and Mary Coughlan.