The Men They Couldn't Hang PhotoAfter Shane MacGowan's original band, The Nips, broke up, bassist Shanne Bradley (aka Shanne Hasler) stole the name MacGowan had in mind for his new band and used it for her new combo, which became The Men They Couldn't Hang. The group's other members included vocalist Cush, guitarist/songwriter Paul Simmonds, vocalist Phil "Swill" Odgers, and drummer John Odgers. Much like MacGowan's band, The Pogues, The Men They Couldn't Hang played folk and traditional roots music with punk attitude and energy.

Their first performance was at a London alternative country music festival in 1984, after which Elvis Costello signed them to his Demon subsidiary LMP. The Pogues' Philip Chevron produced parts of the group's 1985 debut, Night of a Thousand Candles, whose cover of Eric Bogle's "The Green Fields of France" became a hit on John Peel's BBC show. Nick Lowe produced 1986's Greenback Dollar EP, which was followed by How Green Is the Valley. The Men continued to improve and refine their approach on the LPs Waiting for Bonaparte (1988) and Silvertown (1989), and called it a career after 1990's slicker The Domino Club, which also debuted keyboardist Nick Muir. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide