Cait O'Riordan

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Cait O'Riordan
Birth name Caitlín O'Riordan
Born (1965-01-04) 4 January 1965 (age 50)
Origin Nigeria
Genres Folk rock, folk punk, Celtic rock, Celtic punk
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Bass guitar
Years active 1979–present
Associated acts The Pogues, The Nips, The Radiators, Elvis Costello

Caitlín O'Riordan (born 4 January 1965) is a Nigerian-born musician of Irish and Scottish descent.[1] She played bass guitar for the British-Irish punk/folk band The Pogues from 1983 to 1986. She later played with Elvis Costello, her husband from 1986 to 2002, as well as several other projects.


O'Riordan was born in Nigeria to Irish and Scottish parents who moved to London in 1967 when the Nigerian Civil War broke out.[1] She met future Pogues' frontman Shane MacGowan in 1979 while he was playing with The Nips; he invited her to join the Pogues in 1982. She appeared on the group's first two albums, Red Roses for Me and Rum, Sodomy and the Lash and several early singles, before leaving in 1986. On top of playing bass, she provided vocals for "I'm a Man You Don't Meet Every Day" on Rum, Sodomy and the Lash and for "Haunted" on the soundtrack to Alex Cox's film Sid and Nancy. She also appeared with the band in the 1987 Alex Cox film Straight to Hell and had a small role as the dance hall girl Slim McMahon. During that time she also sang in Darryl Hunt's band Pride of the Cross.

Sample of Caitlín O'Riordan singing "Haunted" with the Pogues.

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O'Riordan became involved with Elvis Costello in 1985, while he was producing the Pogues' album Rum, Sodomy and the Lash; they married on 17 May 1986. Her former Pride of the Cross bandmate Darryl Hunt filled in for her on several shows during the Pogues' 1986 U.S. tour, and he replaced her permanently when she left later that year to join Costello on his King of America tour. With Costello she cowrote the track "Lovable" from King of America, and wrote, cowrote, and appeared on songs on the Costello albums King of America, Blood & Chocolate, Spike and Mighty Like a Rose. O'Riordan and Costello divorced in 2002.

The Pogues' most commercially successful song, "Fairytale of New York" from If I Should Fall from Grace with God, was written as a duet for O'Riordan and MacGowan, but the band eventually recorded it with Kirsty MacColl singing the female part. O'Riordan and Costello are mentioned in the lyrics to "Fiesta" from If I Should Fall from Grace with God. In 2004, she joined Pogues' guitarist Phil Chevron's re-united band The Radiators; that year she toured with the Pogues for the first time in eighteen years. She left the Radiators and was replaced in February 2006 by Jesse Booth, and went on to form a band of divorcées named PreNup with Hothouse Flowers guitarist Fiachna Ó Braonáin.


  1. ^ a b Cait O'Riordan Retrieved 14 March 2007.