The Pogues frontman SHAME MacGOWAN infuriated band members by taking an impromptu holiday to Morocco when he should have been rehearsing with them.

The Irishman suddenly reappeared in London, just in time to record a new version of the Christmas track FAIRYTALE IN NEW YORK with singer Katie Melua for UK chatshow TONIGHT WITH JONATHAN ROSS.

A source says, "Shane is a free spirit. He thought he'd rather be exploring Africa than rehearsing."