2000 major UK tour for Tropical Brainstorm

LONDON Palladium

February 6, 2000, supporting Ian Dury & the Blockheads.

LEEDS Duchess of York

February 10, 2000.

GLASGOW King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut

Kirsty at King Tut's © Brian Mathieson
Kirsty at King Tut’s © Brian Mathieson

February 11, 2000. Photos (above) by Brian Mathieson. Note the famous percussive object waiting for its brief appearance.

“I remember it being a freezing cold February night, the snow was laying thick – so we rushed to the bar to order a wee dram of whisky. King Tuts was packed out that night. The crowd being very mixed. There were those who had just discovered Kirsty and others who eagerly held there single copies of ‘A New England‘ in the hope of a signing at the end.

10pm and the buzz within the club was at boiling point. The set up looked amazing, with the big brass section sparkling in the light. The band appeared with Kirsty in the middle. The audience go wild. Kirsty shouts “Well guys, it looks like we got ourselves an audience!”. They leap straight in ‘Us Amazonians’. Kirsty looks a little uncertain through the first half of the set, partly to do with nerves and the fact that she can’t remember the words. She apologies for this. But asks us to stick with it and if we are very good the treats will come later. ‘In these Shoes?’ is the big hit of the night – even on It’s first hearing the crowd are going wild. After much of ‘Tropical Brainstorm’ we get a stipped down version of ‘Days’ and various hits from ‘Kite’ and ‘Electric Landlady’. We also hear Jobim’s ’How Insensitive’, which for me was the really highlight of the night and demonstrated how angelic and beautiful Kirsty voice was. By this point my feet were inching for ‘My Affair’ and I just had to shout it out. To my surprise she said “I thought you‘d never ask!” and the band really rocked to probably the best Kirsty sing-along tune. The classic ‘A New England’ rounded the night off leaving the crowd merry and ready for the album in March.

I did managed after much persuasion to get back stage. I was terrified. What was I going to say. Anyway, I walked in to the dressing room and there was Kirsty with a huge glass of red wine laughing her head with the rest of the band. She signed at least 4 albums and gave me a promo of the new album. When I asked her what she thought of the gig she said ‘I love the Scottish crowd, you guys are great. I really enjoyed that – we are going to get another date here soon.‘ It’s just so sad we won’t here that great voice live again. But the memories live on.” Source: TO2

MANCHESTER University (Hop & Grape)

February 12, 2000. Ticket Stub courtesy of ME. £5.50? That was a steal…

Manchester ticket. 2000
Manchester ticket. 2000

BRISTOL Fleece & Firkin

February 15, 2000.

LONDON Dingwalls

February 16, 2000. “When a British pop artist does an album of Latin rhythms, my heart sinks a bit. There’s an element of forced gaiety about it, a hint of student party-time. At Dingwalls a relaxed, composed MacColl gives it an airing, accompanied by a seven-piece band. Her opener, ‘Us Amazonians’, is a brash, promising mix of Irish jig and manic Brazilian beats, but this is followed by the more whimsical ‘Here Comes That Man Again’ and ‘Celestine’.

Dingwalls, 2000
Dingwalls, 2000

The crowd jiggle along patiently. The Latin influence sounds like pastiche, and she’s more Victoria Wood at an Ann Summers’ party than urban poetess. The fiery horns and percussion work better on ‘England 2 Columbia 0’, an edgy take on failed romance. MacColl is most effective when she lets go of the laid-back, winsome delivery and injects biting passion into those honey-sweet tones. This is evident on the funky ‘Walking Down Madison’ and on ‘Days’, which tonight sounds fulsome and poignant. MacColl is one of the few artists who can sing a cover version and make it stronger than the original. The evening ends on a high note when she performs Billy Bragg’s folk-punk classic ‘A New England’, and receives a riotous reception. This is the anthem that the crowd has been waiting for. It wasn’t so much the technically proficient Latin rhythms that got them going, but the fire and tension in her unmistakable voice.” Source: The Guardian by Lucy O’Brien

“She opened her sellout gig at Dingwalls by apologising for how cramped it was and explaining that they were going to hold it at the Millennium Dome, but that the owners weren’t too happy about filling it with “dope smoking homosexuals” (not a reference to the Conservative party). Anyway, judging by the stunned silence that followed, I Don’t think most of them had any idea that they were ‘camp followers’”. Source: Rough Trader. Photos by auralfixation.

released28 February 2000
‘In These Shoes?’ single released on V2.

Kelly TV show

Broadcast on March 10, 2000. Northern Ireland TV program, with ‘In These Shoes?’ and ‘My Affair’ on the menu.

GLASGOW Scottish Television Studio

Boxed Set ticket, 14 March 2000
Boxed Set ticket, 14 March 2000

March 14, 2000 (broadcast in October)
‘In these shoes?; England 2 Colombia 0; Walking down Madison; Celestine; Us Amazonians; Wrong again; Head; Here comes that man again; My affair; New England’

’Kirsty and band ran through most of the standard live set with James‘ brother Bob filling in for Dave Ruffy. Lots of problems with the sound recording (requiring several songs to be re-done) and a strangely uninvolved and placid audience. The studio layout didn’t lend itself to huge involvement since almost the entire audience were seated BEHIND the band. Curious, but fun.

released27 March 2000
‘Tropical Brainstorm’ album released on V2.

Later with Jools Holland

April 15, 2000. TV appearance on BBC2 “Later“ with Jools Holland. ‘ In these shoes?; England 2 Colombia 0’

Kirsty performed ‘In these shoes?’ and ‘England 2 Colombia 0’ in addition to doing Jools‘ interview by the piano on the 100th “Later“. Earlier in the day the complete video for ‘In these shoes?’ appeared on TOTP2.

released24 April 2000
‘Tropical Brainstorm’ album released in US on Instinct Records.

Open House with Gloria Hunniford

Kirsty with Angela Rippon
Kirsty with Angela Rippon

April 25, 2000. TV appearance on Channel 5 “Open House with Gloria Hunniford“. ‘ In these shoes?; England 2 Colombia 0’

Kirsty performing on Open House
Kirsty performing on Open House

Kirsty appeared on the couch with Angela Rippon, hawkishly standing in for Gloria Hunniford along with a curious performance of ‘England 2 Colombia 0’ (the Scumbag mix).

A Question of Pop

May 6, 2000.

TV appearance on BBC1 “A Question of Pop“

“A QUESTION OF POP“ was the latest program to benefit from an appearance from Kirsty, for the record Kirsty’s team was beaten by Suggs, Kelle Bryan and Roger Taylor. Based extremely closely on “A Question of Sport“ this show was toe curlingly awful!

WOLVERHAMPTON Wulfrun Hall

Ticket from Wolverhampton
Ticket from Wolverhampton

May 13, 2000 (support: Bucky). ‘Us Amazonians; Não Esperando; Mambo de la Luna; Here comes that man again; Free World; Head; Autumngirlsoup; Celestine; In these shoes?; England 2 Colombia 0; Wrong again; Days; Don’t come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!; Treachery; Walking down Madison; A new England; My affair; There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis’

“This gig was a lot different than the last time I saw her here around Galore time when the line up was a basic guitar, drums, bass. The current 8 piece (percussion, sax, trombone, trumpet, flute) really enhance the whole sound not just on the new album tracks but the old songs as well. The band seemed to be really enjoying themselves especially the bass player who got the crowd going. ’

The Wolverhampton setlist
The Wolverhampton setlist

‘The atmosphere was very relaxed (no sign of nerves!) and even when Kirsty forgot the odd line as on ‘Cowboy’ the crowd sang out loud and helped her out. She laughed this off after the song explaining that she’d been stoned for 15 years! The new songs went down very well with people dancing and clapping along. Highlights for me were ‘Wrong again, Treachery, Head, Days’ and ‘England 2 Colombia 0’. My only complaint is that the 1 and half hours they played wasn’t long enough and went in a flash. I was hoping for ‘Titanic Days, Pretty girls’ and ‘You know It’s you’ but you can’t have it all. On the whole it was an excellent gig and a lot different from the last gig I saw (Cure at wembley–very intense and brilliant) but I hope Kirsty doesn‘t leave it as long till her next album/tour.” Source: NB2 Ticket and set list – Tim E

SHEFFIELD Leadmill

May 14, 2000 (support: Bucky). ‘Us Amazonians; Não Esperando; Mambo de la Luna; Here comes that man again; Free World; Head; Autumngirlsoup; Celestine; In these shoes?; England 2 Colombia 0; Wrong again; Days; Don’t come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!; Treachery; Walking down Madison; A new England; Insensitive; My affair; There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis’

“The band was really tight – excellent sound and crystal -clear vocals from Kirsty. The brass section added new sounds to the old songs and the rhythm section loud and exciting. I thought the crowd reacted enthusiastically to the new stuff although Free World received the biggest cheer of the first half. The set seemed to pick up pace with In these shoes which got most of the audience dancing. From here on we were blasted with one fantastic song after another. The audience sung along to ‘Cowboy’ word perfectly, and ‘Treachery’ was FANTASTIC! ‘My affair’ (surely Kirsty’s signature tune) made a great encore, and ‘chip shop’ rounded off a great, uplifting gig.” – Andy M

HOW INSENSITIVE

We don’t know which gig this was recorded at but here is ‘Insensitive’, performed by Kirsty with Michèle Drees on guitar.

Radio Session?

Rumours of a session recorded with Nick Lowe for the Johnnie Walker show on BBC Radio some time in 2000. Can anyone confirm or deny this? Source: EO

She was certainly interviewed by Lynn Parsons for BBC Radio 4:

EDINBURGH Venue

15 May, 2000 (support: Bucky). Same set list as Sheffield. “The temperature inside The Venue was already uncomfortably high, but Kirsty MacColl and her band took it beyond melting point. Never one for doing things by halves, MacColl had filled every square inch of the stage with instruments and equipment – then added a percussion unit the size of an oil rig. There was hardly any space for an extra microphone stand, let alone the seven piece band she had brought with her. But the band wasn’t there simply to take up space. Brought together on to a tiny Edinburgh stage from Colombia, Brazil and Puerto Rico, they brought with them all the relentless, driving sounds and rhythms of Latin America. And they used that sound to great effect, turning the gig into one big party. It was an electrifying performance, with a swinging horn section and the irrepressible Colombian bassist Chucho Merchan ensuring that the whole routine never came off the boil. The result was a sizzling show delivered by a remarkably talented band, and a sound so entrancing that the audience refused to move until they had been given not one but two encores”. – Drew McAdam (Edinburgh Evening News).

Freeworld says – yep it was great stuff! Even the dread of the ‘Chip Shop’ encore was lightened by the swinging horn embellishments. All the older songs are benefitting from the treatment, and of course ‘Madison’ now swings as well as rocks!

MANCHESTER University

May 16, 2000 (support: Bucky).

Manchester University

‘Us Amazonians; Não Esperando; Mambo de la Luna; Here comes that man again; Free World; Head; Autumngirlsoup; Celestine; In these shoes?; England 2 Colombia 0; Wrong again; Days; Don’t come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!; Treachery; Walking down Madison; A new England’

LONDON Forum

May 18, 2000 (support: Bucky). Same set list as Sheffield

“It was a wonderful show, I can’t imagine anyone going home disappointed. One of my friends who is not familiar with the new album yet was really surprised (pleasantly) to hear the older stuff, as I was too. Would have liked a little more chat from Kirsty as she has a fine sense of humour but I guess the time she saved in chatting made up for more songs. The band were indeed very impressive and everyone seemed to be having a ball. I think my favourites were ‘Head’ (in fine voice here) and ‘Wrong again’. ‘New England ’went down a storm with everyone too. Once again I was amazed at how truly great Kirsty’s voice is live. I always expect it to be a bit weak but it really was faultless – she seemed so confident on stage. It was a joy to witness.” – Ross

BBC Music Live

May 30, 2000. Appearance on BBC TV & Radio “BBC Music Live“. ‘England 2 Colombia 0’ and Celestine.

BBC Television and Radio joined together for a five-day festival on-air culminating in 24 hours of non-stop music on Mon 29th May. This included an appearance on BBC London Live in the early hours, a guest spot on Johnnie Walker’s afternoon show on Radio 2 and this appearance in the middle of the night on BBC2, introduced by Phil Jupitus:

Earlier in the day, Kirsty and band appeared on HMS Belfast, in the River Thames, and performed ‘Não Esperando, England 2 Colombia 0 and My Affair’ for live radio broadcast.

released2000
‘England 2 Colombia 0’ promo single released for radio only on V2.

ZDF Fernsehgarten (German TV appearance)

June 4, 2000. Kirsty had a TV appearance on the very popular Sunday morning show “ZDF Fernsehgarten” with “In these shoes”. The “ZDF Fernsehgarten” is a weekly show that now runs for about 30 years. It’s an open-air-show broadcast live from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the summer month from Mainz, the town where the ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) is located.

I remember very well that I was very surprised that Kirsty was there singing in front of a swimming pool, and I also remember two female dancers in the background, which I found strange. ”

Thanks to Joachim E.

LONDON FLEADH (Finsbury Park)

June 10, 2000. ‘Us Amazonians; Não Esperando; Here comes that man again; In these shoes?; England 2 Colombia 0; Treachery; Free World; Don’t come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!; Days; A new England; My affair; There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he‘s Elvis ’

Fleadh poster, 2000
Fleadh poster, 2000
Kirsty at the 2000 Fleadh
Kirsty at the 2000 Fleadh

“She came onto the main stage at about 17:15 and played for a whole hour. The sun was beaming down the whole afternoon and I really can’t describe how fitting it was to have Kirsty performing in this huge park in the middle of London on a beautiful summers day. Kirsty didn’t do much talking but she did remind us about the Greenpeace campaign going on in the park to stop dumping rubbish in the Irish Sea.

Chucho Merchan
Chucho Merchan

‘In These Shoes?’ was introduced as ‘a song about dodgy footwear!‘ For ‘England 2 Columbia 0’ we learnt that the song was ‘written during the last World Cup and has nothing to do with football, some of you may be relieved to hear’. It still received a cheer though. I reckon the record stores will be shifting a few more copies of ‘Tropical Brainstorm’ on the back of this performance. She really won the crowd over with the new stuff, everyone was ready for a dance in the sunshine!

Michèle Drees
Michèle Drees

I’ve no idea how many people were there – at least 10,000 I would’ve thought – not bad promotion is it? I also saw Billy Bragg who headlined the small stage at the end of the night. Heard ‘A New England’ for the second time that day! Billy announced it, rather territorily, as ‘my song!’. Before Kirsty came on stage, three of her songs were played over the PA; a dance mix of ‘Shoes’, a new dance re-mix of ‘Us Amazonians’ and a song called ‘Xodo’, a cover of a Brazilian tune, which is currently unavailable but may turn up as a b-side in future.” Source – RM (The unissued song could be Dilermando Reis, Xodo de Bahia). Note that three songs from this show were featured on VH-1 TV alongside an interview.

LONDON Brixton

June 16, 2000. ‘Hit me with your rhythm stick’ – Guest vocalist in Ian Dury tribute night alongside various Blockheads.

Jools Holland radio show

Never Mind the Buzzcocks

October 13, 2000. Appearance as guest panellist on BBC TV “Never mind the Buzzcocks“ compered by Mark Lamarr, with team captains Phill Jupitus and Sean Hughes. Kirsty was on Sean’s team and was accused of being the first guest ever to be actually trying to answer the questions.

COVENTRY Warwick Arts Centre

Kirsty at Warwick in 2000
Kirsty at Warwick in 2000

October 27, 2000. ‘ Us Amazonians; Não Esperando; Mambo de la luna; Here comes that man again; Freeworld; Head; Autumn girl; Celestine; Shoes; England 2 Colombia 0; Wrong again; Days; Cowboy; Treachery; Madison; New England; Insensitive; My affair; Fairytale (with Dave Ruffy); Chip Shop’

“As soon as Amazonians began, a major problem became obvious: it being all-seated, the audience was very flat and unexcited. no jigging around like at wolverhampton.great sound quality, but (as ever) Herself’s voice was a bit lost in the mix. Not much audience response apart from my posse jigging about in our seats. Free World got a rousing cheer. Band on top form, especially some splendid guitar work from Pete Glenister and the usual arsing around from Chucho. He seemed to be having more fun than anyone I could see in the audience; indeed, at one point I leaned over and took the pulse of the bloke sat in front of me, was surprised to find he actually wasn’t dead.

Kirsty and James on stage in Warwick
Kirsty and James on stage in Warwick

‘Head sounds very Twin Peaksy when performed live. After a wonderful, spectacular, dramatic beginning to Cowboy, she forgot the words halfway thru the first verse (just like w‘hampton!) and had to start again, explaining she loved the intro so much it distracted her from the rest of the song. Encore – bit of chatter, then explaining they‘re nervous because the band has never done this song before. me frowning, apprehensive. Kirsty explains Dave Ruffy will be doing the Shane MacGowan bit, and we should all join in. gasps from round the room … Fairytale of New York. “snow“ effects over the Tropical Brainstorm banner thing (seen in the background on jools holland), and a surprising version of the song, with the brass fitting in brilliantly. Then “hmmm, that was nerve-wracking. we‘ll do something easy now“ … and a cry from the audoence of CHIPSHOP!! “ah, the very thing“, and a splendid, fast, rocky version of that old standard – and that was that.“’ Source: CW Photos from footage by Graham Scaife

“Agree that gig was held in the wrong kind of venue, I wanted to dance too. I was pretty disgusted with the lifeless audience, they didn’t give her any feedback at all, (‘cept me). Cx” Source: CF

LONDON Shepherds Bush Empire

In action at Shepherds Bush
In action at Shepherds Bush

October 28, 2000. setlist probably the same as Warwick but with Spider Stacey & Sonny George on ‘Fairytale’ . Also no ‘Insensitive’.

“9.35 SHE appears on stage, the place erupts and we‘re into a brilliant ‘Us Amazonians‘. Most of TB follows, interrupted only by ‘Free World‘ – ‘as It’s near Halloween, a song inspired by Margaret Thatcher‘ – and KM shows what a wonderful performer she really is. ‘Autumngirlsoup‘ is a standout, Kirsty switching effortlessly between the beautifully sung choruses and venomous verses.

Ticket from Shepherds Bush
Ticket from Shepherds Bush

She poses, struts and provocatively wiggles her way through a killer rendition of ‘In These Shoes?’ Then she indicates Chucho, her Colombian bass player, and says the next song will evoke sad memories for him – ‘England 2 Colombia 0 ’follows, Kirsty giving it loads of vitriol – stunning. Next a beautiful ‘Days’, KM accompanied by a sole guitarist until the end when all the band come in, ‘Treachery’ is perfectly done too and her banter with the audience goes down great – especially when her ‘That’ll be lovely’ says what we all think about Keating doing Fairytale! She then brings on Spider Stacy and Sonny George for a rendition of the Xmas classic Keating can only dream of living up to. ‘Chipshop’ closes the show and out on the street a group of women are singing E2C0 – oh what a night… ” Source: JC

“Superb gig with Kirsty in fine form, and the first time EVER I’ve stood on the balcony at Shepherds Bush and people have actually shut their faces and listened to the music. Usually you can’t hear over the yakking. ‘Fairytale …’ was definitely the highlight for me, but I wish she‘d move ‘Us Amazonians’ further down the set, It’s wasted as the opener …” Source: DC

As they walked off stage after the show, Kirsty MacColl turned to Pete Glenister and said “That was the best gig I’ve ever done.” It was to be her last.

The last gig © Matthew Bell
The last gig © Matthew Preston Bell

Sadly there is no known video or audio record of Kirsty’s final stage performance at Shepherds Bush Empire. However, Matthew Bell took these shots at the gig.

released2000
‘Treachery’ promo single released for radio only on V2.

Janice Long radio show

In November/ December 2000 Kirsty recorded some songs with Philip Chevron (of the Pogues) for a new musical he was in the process of writing, then she took her family to Mexico for a well earned holiday.

1999 road testing Tropical Brainstorm

LONDON

Kirsty and Billy Bragg
Kirsty and Billy Bragg

February 13, 1999. Valentine’s Day in London: Cuban benefit: Kirsty played (with Billy Bragg headlining) at a benefit concert to benefit Cuban medical and educational causes. Kirsty joined Bill on stage for ‘A new England’. Cuban Solidarity Campaign. Photo courtesy of auralfixation.

LONDON Greenwich Up the Creek

June 16, 1999. Charity gig : Kirsty played with Glenn Tilbrook alongside some comedians in a benefit for something I have now forgotten. It was a lot of fun according to Janis and Mark.

“Always good to Glenn see on home turf especially tonight with the wonderful Kirsty MacColl. Malcolm Hardy, proprietor of said venue, did his usual MC routine introducing first, two local stand up comedians. After the interval on came Mr Tilbrook started with a Smokey Robinson song ‘Tracks of my Tears’, he sang lead whilst the audience were invited to be the Miracles doing backing vocals. He had to stop singing several times whilst he reminded the audience of how the song went. Then on came Kirsty MacColl, Glenn remained on stage to accompany her on vocals and guitar. They did a load of her stuff: ‘They Don’t know’, ‘Days’ (the Kinks cover), ‘Don’t come the Cowboy with Me Sonny Jim’ as well as an Everly Brothers‘ cover which Glenn was unfamiliar with before they had started rehearsing it in Kirsty’s studio.

There was great banter between the two throughout the evening, Glenn worried about their guitars being in tune and a particularly lovely moment when Kirsty introduced a song by saying ‘Tonight Mathew I‘m going to be…‘ then turned to Glenn and said they‘ve never done me on ‘Stars in their Eyes‘ have they done you? Glenn replied somewhat sheepishly that he was afraid they had.

‘Kirsty MacColl has a gorgeous voice and it combined really well with Glenn’s especially on their cover of the Elvis (Presley) song ‘Always on my mind‘. I reckon they could release that as a single. Another cover was the Frank and Nancy Sinatra song ‘Something Stupid‘. The encore was a rocking version of ‘There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears his Elvis’.” Source: PG

LONDON Jazz Cafe, Camden

July 19, 1999. Charity gig with Glenn Tilbrook & Billy Bragg (separately)
KM & Tilbrook: ‘Days, There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop, They Don’t Know ’and covers of Beatles classic‘ If I Fell, Always On My Mind’ + an unspecified Everly Brothers song..

Kirsty teamed up with Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze at Camden’s Jazz Cafe for a one-off performance. It was a benefit organised by comedian Jeremy Hardy to raise funds for the legal costs of the family of Robert Hillman, an Irish Catholic “kicked to death in 1997.”

Planet Mambo

Kirsty launched her new latin sound on air during Gerry Lyseight’s radio show on London local radio.

HOT PRESS Music Awards

October 7, 1999. Kirsty performed ‘Mambo De La Luna’ at The Heineken Hot Press Rock Awards in Dublin, 9th October 1999.
Footage from Peter Checksfield, uploaded by Ruby Pepper. This was the first live performance anywhere from the Tropical Brainstorm era.

DUBLIN HQ at the Irish Music Hall of Fame

October 8, 1999.

Kirsty at HQ in Dublin, 1999
Kirsty at HQ in Dublin, 1999

For a performer with such a diverse body of work behind her, this new band seems to be an attempt to consolidate her various influences, including Latin, country, torch songs and others. The voice is as beautiful as ever, while the songs are about lost love. If she doesn’t actually hate men, it appears that, at the very least, we’re a disappointing bunch. Whether tongue-in-cheek as in ‘England 2, Colombia 0’, ‘It might have ended badly but you never really had me’ (sic), or heartfelt, ‘You threw me the cliche that we’d still be friends, but my friends are people who love me, not like you’ she sings with real conviction in ‘Wrong again’.

Advert for the HQ gig, 1999
Advert for the HQ gig, 1999

Infectious dance numbers include ‘Celestine’, a jokey brass-powered workout, and the band even manage to inject the Ray Davies tune ‘Days’ with a Latin swing feel that, against the odds, makes perfect sense. By the first encore the punters are dancing in the aisles, and she returns to the stage twice more. It seems that in this incarnation MacColl has decided that ‘New England’ is old hat. Or should that be old sombrero?” Stephen Robinson (Hot Press). Photo: Cathal Dawson’

LONDON Jazz Cafe, Camden

Jazz Cafe flyer, 1999
Jazz Cafe flyer, 1999

October 12/13, 1999 (support: Imelda). Kirsty MacColl (vocals and brief handling of percussion type object), Pete Glenister (guitars), Dave Ruffy (drums), Cucho Merchán (bass), Michèle Drees (percussion, Brazilian guitar & vocals), James Knight (saxophone), Joe de Jesús (trombone, trumpet & flute), Ben Storey (First trumpet).

Set list: ‘Us Amazonians; Não Esperando; Mambo de la Luna; Head; Autumngirlsoup; Wrong again (13th only); Celestine; In these shoes?; Designer life; Days; Don’t come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!; England 2 Colombia 0; Walking down Madison; Insensitive; My affair ’

These were the first proper shows in years for London. This was the first chance to hear the new material so expectations were high. Kirsty was in fine voice despite suffering from a sore throat for the past week, I was really impressed. A rousing start to an evening of largely unaired material with the mighty ‘Amazonians’. I seem to remember it as something the Pogues would enjoy. In keeping with the musical textures which Kirsty is using at the moment the band was put together with a sublime ability to throw all manner of Cuban/Brazilian style rhythms and brass shapes. ‘Não Esperando’ followed with its slinky groove leading on to the forthcoming single ‘Mambo de la Luna’. Don’t be afraid of the rhythm, it takes you to where you want to be. Having been overtaken by all sorts of other “Mambos“ in the charts let’s hope it gets the exposure it deserves. More reflective moments came in the form of new songs ‘Head’, ‘Autumn girl’ and the most gorgeous desperation of ‘Wrong again’.

Two of the best of the new batch are the fabulous ‘Celestine’ (about Kirsty’s “alter ego“, the wild and wicked slut) and likely future single ‘In these shoes?’ laced with humour and featuring glorious horn section highlights from the incandescent trio of Joe de Jesús, Ben Storey and James Knight. ‘Designer Life’ is a casually languid condemnation of anyone who lives for a label and is sung over a delightfully paced Samba rhythm (I think). Late in the set we found some old favourites in ‘Days’ and ‘Don’ come the cowboy’ before returning to the pleasures of the new material with the naughty ‘Here comes that man again’ promoting Anglo-Dutch relations, the blazing cannon that is ‘England 2 Colombia 0’ complete with sound effects from Colombian bass maestro Cucho Merchán and ‘Treachery’ where James, Ben and Joe really cranked it up leading into a storming ‘Walking down Madison’ with old hands Pete Glenister and Dave Ruffy going for broke. For encore we had the Antonio Carlos Jobim song ‘Insensitive’ accompanied only by the sensational Michèle Drees on Brazilian guitar. Throughout the rest of the set Michèle was a powerhouse of exotic percussion. Final word was ‘My Affair’ (captured for later release on the cd single for ‘In these shoes?’) which should have left only sad cases longing for the rest of ‘Galore’ disappointed as they departed into the fine London night.

I‘m not sure the crowd knew what to expect, and some complained that there were too many songs they didn’t know. Shame on them. Hearing the new songs live, the collective set increasingly sounds like it will be a terrific album in its completed form. The songs are consistently strong, hardly ever miserable and Kirsty and band have succeeded in capturing some great rhythmic moods for want of a better expression. OK I‘m biased and was familiar with much of the set beforehand so by way of balance I had another music fan with me on night who didn’t really know much of Kirsty’s work and he really enjoyed the gig.

Support was by Imelda (presumably Imelda May, who went on to some success a decade later?), described by someone as a strange blend of Bessie Smith and rockabilly. Her brief set was pleasing enough if unspectacular. Sadly I can’t remember the songs.

released8 November 1999
‘Mambo de la Luna’ single released on V2.

Sean Hughes

Kirsty appeared on GLR (Greater London Radio) being interviewed by Sean Hughes on the 12th.

BELFAST Limelight

November 21, 1999.

DUBLIN HQ at the Irish Music Hall of Fame

November 22, 1999.

BBC Radio 2

November 27, 1999. Kirsty and the band, performed live on Billy Bragg’s BBC Radio 2 show. Set List: ‘ Mambo de la Luna, England 2 Colombia 0, My affair, A New England.’

Gospel Show

As part of a December radio gospel concert, Kirsty sang the Isley Brothers’ classic ‘Harvest for the World’.

Janice Long show

Kirsty appeared on BBC Radio with Janice Long around this time.

1995 major US and UK tours

CHARLESTON WV Mountain Stage

January 22, 1995. Radio broadcast from Mountain Stage. ‘Fifteen minutes; They Don’t know; Caroline; Miss Otis regrets; Still life; Free world; Roll me easy; My affair.’

Kirsty visited Charleston for a radio broadcast live show from Mountain Stage, accompanied by Pete Glenister and occasionally the Mountain Stage house band. Decent tapes of this performance used to be available from Airwaves Concerts in San Diego USA, maybe still. Other acts on the stage that day were Tom Paxton, Baaba Maal and Lucy Kaplansky.

PHILADELPHIA PA Tin Alley

January 25, 1995. “Wasn’t there, but got a tape of that gig too. Class act all the way and gone too soon.” Source: SH

MINNEAPOLIS IL Miravonda Coffee Cafe

January 27, 1995. “Private show for a radio station here in town.” Source: DT

MINNEAPOLIS IL Loring Cafe

January 28, 1995. Source: DT

BBC Radio 1, Kevin Greening Show

February 20, 1989. ‘A new England, Caroline, Free world, He’s on the beach’. Pete Glenister (guitar). Later released on ‘What do pretty girls do?’

LONDON Jazz Cafe, Camden

Kirsty with Brian Kennedy
Kirsty with Brian Kennedy

March 7, 1995. A special appearance in Brian Kennedy’s gig.

LONDON Mean Fiddler

March 10, 1995. Special guest: Billy Bragg. (no support). This was a warm up gig for the American tour.

ATLANTA GA The Point

March 13, 1995

PHILADELPHIA PA Theatre of the Living Arts

March 15, 1995. “I Don’t remember going to this gig. However, I got the ticket and I‘ve taped both shows that I was at so I must have been there.’ Source: SH

ALEXANDRIA VA The Birchmere

March 17, 1995 (support: Fossil). Notes from 1993 gig: ‘A very intimate venue – 150+ or so (I‘m guessing). The place was sold out, totally packed. A great gig, one of the best if not the best I‘ve seen. She didn’t perform “I Wanna Be Sedated“ that night (although she did when she returned to the Birchmere on St. Patrick’s day 1995 for the Galore tour – I almost went to NY the next day to see her at Tramps!). ’Source: TH

NEW YORK NY Tramps

March 18, 1995 (support: Ruth Gerson & Fossil). ‘Titanic Days; Caroline; Free World; Mother’s Ruin; Children of the Revolution; Innocence; Miss Otis Regrets; Bad; My Affair; He’s On The Beach; Can’t Stop Killing You; Don’t Come The Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim!; Walking Down Madison; You Just Haven‘t Earned It Yet, Baby; A New England + Perfect Day; They Don’t Know; I Wanna Be Sedated + There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop..’

Tramps poster from New York 1995
Tramps poster from New York 1995

“I thought it was time that I sat down and sent an email recalling the Kirsty MacColl concert at Tramps in NYC March 18, 1995 – this is the one which I sent you the poster from – I‘m glad to see that it made it on to the website. I have been thinking about this show a lot since Kirsty passed. I didn’t realize just how lucky I was to have seen her at the time. I didn’t know that she rarely toured … but something told me I needed to attend.

In addition to Ruth Gerson, Fossil also played as an opening act. They were the ‘special guest‘ listed on the poster. Kirsty did not take the stage until quite late… and the audience was quite drunk. The club was packed and noisy … especially back by the bar. I remember that she asked people several times, between songs, to be quiet. She finally gave up, saying “Well, you paid your money to get in here I guess you can do what you want.“

Some of these people were probably there for one of the opening acts – they seemed to have little knowledge of her songs. ‘Chip Shop’, the final encore, received the most enthusiastic response. There were the devoted fans at the foot of the stage, though. She asked if there were any requests, and mentioned some guy up front who was “Mr. Requesting Obscure B-sides.“

I recall her version of ‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ like it was yesterday – I hope there is a decent recording of Kirsty doing this number somewhere. I recently found the set list I had scrawled on a scrap of paper the next day. There are one or two songs missing – I was still getting to know Kirsty’s music at the time, and didn’t know a couple of titles. I have since forgotten what they were.” Source – BF

BOSTON MA The Paradise

March 19, 1995 (support: Fossil). Guitar: Pete Glenister, Bass: Marcus Williams, Drums: Roger Johns.

Partial song list: ‘Haven’t Earned It Yet, Tread Lightly, Can’t Stop Killing You, Mother’s Ruin, A new England, They Don’t Know, Chip Shop, (I Wanna Be) Sedated’.

Ticket from Boston Paradise gig
Ticket from Boston Paradise gig

“I can vouch for this gig having taken place because I was, happily, present. The Paradise is a small club and the house was far from packed that Sunday night after St. Patrick’s Day, but appreciative. The Boston Globe’s Jim Sullivan and I both liked the show very much, and Kirsty’s ‘Sedated’ later made Sullivan’s end-of-year list (and my private one) of great rock ‘n‘ roll moments in Boston.’ Source – WE

PHILADELPHIA PA Theater of the Living Arts

March 20, 1995 (support: Fossil). “I went early — several hours early — in order to meet Kirsty. And I did — we chatted for about a half hour as her people hauled in their gear. She was very friendly. She signed my ‘Titanic Days’ jacket, which is attached to this email, and she also gave me some fun promo material from Galore.

Dedication from the US Tour
Dedication from the US Tour

I was front row, center for the show itself. Fossil opened, and received the typically stoic Philly crowd reception reserved for unknown openers. However, the audience was very excited and enthusiastic for Kirsty. The people in attendance all seemed like die-hard fans. The first half hour had some serious sound problems, which resulted in a rather frustrated yet perky Kirsty stopping the show in-between songs so the sound people could get their act together. To pass the time, she asked me, “So could you hear me at all?“ I said, “Not really. Mostly just bass distortion.“ She then spoke into the mic to the sound people, “There’s a girl in the front row who says she’s going to kill someone if you Don’t turn down the bass.“ She winked at me. Everyone laughed.

‘The rest of the show was fantastic. I wish I could remember the exact setlist — I just know I heard just about everything I wanted to hear and then some. She looked like she was having loads of fun, and was talking to the audience a good bit. I remember she made a Bobbit joke when she introduced ‘Bad’. The audience showered her with love — and she seemed most appreciative. She sang several audience shout-outs, which sent the crowd into rapture. Despite the sound problems, it was a warm show — one of the friendliest concerts I‘ve ever attended. ” Source: Patty

ST. LOUIS MO Mississippi Nights

“March 1995? I just cannot remember the date. She was here — that one time. I think it was around ‘96 [most likely ‘95 since we have no record of any tour dates in ‘96]. It was very folky, musically. I reviewed the show for the Riverfront Times. She was slightly heavier than I imagined her (but still lovely) and had on a long sort of hippie dress. She played an acoustic guitar. I forget the opening band. She signed the CD after the show. She seemed very shy — but sweet.”Source: Jordan

PITTSBURGH PA

March 24, 1995 “7pm show, can’t remember the support act, though. Anyway, it was a terrific show. Rosebud was a rather intimate club space with a bar, tables, dance floor, and a small balcony area. Kirsty and band were wonderful. I can’t remember the set-list. All in all, it was a great show that my wife and I are still so happy we saw. A rare treat, indeed.” JMS

CINCINNATI OH Bogart‘s

March 25, 1995 “I saw Kirsty on Saturday March 25th, 1995 at Bogart’s in Cincinati Ohio. We were walking down the street before the show and saw her in a restaurant with her band. We went in to talk to her and said we were sorry for disturbing her during dinner. So she gave us backstage passes. There were maybe 100 people at the gig. After, we spent about an hour talking to her and Pete backstage. They even gave us a beer. She was very nice, yet very shy. She was as interested in us as we were in her. A great memory.” Source: DC5

CHICAGO IL Double Door

March 27, 1995 (support: Fossil). Guitar: Pete Glenister, Bass: Marcus Williams, Drums: Roger Johns

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/nrhPywlljO8/hqdefault.jpg?sqp=-oaymwEXCPYBEIoBSFryq4qpAwkIARUAAIhCGAE=&rs=AOn4CLDGUz26mR0bPsRGRRZojwgnvYKRUA

“I got to meet and talk with Kirsty after this show. I‘d played at the Double Door a few days earlier with my old band, Owen Meany, so my friend Dona and I wrote “We love you Kirsty – Dona & Jackie“ on the ceiling pipe in the dressing room. After Kirsty’s show, we went down to see her and get her autograph, and she‘d seen our message, and knew to spell it “Dona“ with only one “n“. Dona was walking on air for days after that. The message is still up there.” Source: JMS

MINNEAPOLIS MN Fine Line Music Club

March 28, 1995 (originally thought to be the 25th). Bass: Marcus Williams, Drums; Roger Johns, Guitar: Pete Glenister. Set list: ‘ Titanic Days, Caroline, Freeworld, Mother’s Ruin, Bad, Innocence, He’s On The Beach, Tread Lightly, Roll um Easy, Children Of The Revolution, Can’t Stop Killing You, My Affair, 15 Minutes, Sonny Jim, Walking Down Madison, You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby, A New England + Chip Shop, They Don’t Know, I Want To Be Sedated’

MINNEAPOLIS MN Acoustic Set

Earlier in the day Kirsty performed a small acoustic set with Pete Glenister which was broadcast on local radio: ‘ Fifteen minutes, A new England, Free world, Still life, Miss Otis regrets, Don’t come the cowbo, Caroline, They Don’t know and My Affair.’

World Cafe

Also on this tour, Kirsty made her second appearance on the networked World Cafe radio program hosted by David Dye, performing ‘Caroline’, ‘They Don’t know’ and ‘Roll um easy’ live in the studio. This show was rebroadcast on January 9th, 2001 in a tribute to Kirsty. Source: PK

SEATTLE WA

March 29, 1995 (date unconfirmed)

“I was fortunate enough to see Kirsty and her band at a club in Seattle, Washington a few days before her Los Angeles Troubadour concert. I cannot find the ticket stub for the exact date and name of the club (it has apparently changed names since then). The show was, of course, fantastic and converted me as all I had known before then was that she wrote Tracey Ullman’s hit single. I just wanted to let you know that she played Seattle at about the end of March, 1995 but it is not on your list. The set list was the same, as far as I can remember, as the Minneaplois show, including “I Wanna Be Sedated“ (“an old American folk song“, as she introduced it). Thanks for the great site!”

BOULDER CO Fox Theatre

Boulder ticket
Boulder ticket
Boulder set list

March 30, 1995 ‘Titanic Days; Caroline; Free World; Mother’s Ruin; Bad; Innocence; He’s On The Beach; Tread Lightly; Roll Um Easy; Children of the Revolution; Can’t Stop Killing You; My Affair; [Miss Otis not played]; Fifteen Minutes; Don’t Come The Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim!; Walking Down Madison; You Just Haven‘t Earned It Yet, Baby; A New England + Perfect Day; They Don’t Know; There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop…; I Wanna Be Sedated ’

Scans by Tom Lawrence with thanks

Boulder advert
Boulder advert

ALBUQUERQUE NM El Rey Theater

March 31, 1995 (date unconfirmed)

TEMPE AZ Gibson’s

April 1, 1995 (date unconfirmed)

SCOTTSDALE AZ

April 2, 1995 (date unconfirmed)

“She played in a rather intimate place, which might have held 150 people, tops. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy the performance, but after the show she sat down and signed autographs and chatted with the audience in a one on one setting. It was so easy to see how successful Kirsty was and how polite she was to her fans.” – JS

RENO NV Hacienda del Sol

April 3, 1995 (date unconfirmed)

SAN FRANCISCO CA Great American Music Hall

April 4, 1995

San Francisco ticket stub
San Francisco ticket stub

“I went with my roommate and had a few Mexican beers intermittently, and I stood very near the front. I was more of an ’80s fan of Kirsty’s music (“Electric Landlady”) and less familiar with her latest songs, so her eyebrows seemed to raise conspicuously when I started gyrating wildly to “Children of the Revolution” as it was a song I knew well. I remember it was more of a reggae-type feel than the studio version, perhaps it was the bongos?” – JEL

LOS ANGELES CA Troubadour

April 5, 1995 (capacity 450, tickets $12.50)

Reviewed by Variety Music: “Veteran English singer-songwriter Kirsty MacColl’s dramatic and perky pop songs of faith, disenchantment, heartache and hopeful naivete are soothing and uplifting — written with a keen view of the human experience. In concert, though, much of the singer’s appeal is lost because she conveys little of the emotional attachment found on her recordings. ’

Despite her songs‘ involving lyrical nature and the wealth of musical influences she borrows from, many of the tunes played at the near-capacity Troubadour came across as faceless. MacColl swung back and forth between engaging and flat-out shallow. The softer-spoken songs were more effective — namely, a sweet rendition of Little Feat’s “Roll Um Easy” and MacColl’s own “Children of the Revolution.” Others, like opener “Titanic Days,” were surprisingly bland.“

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO CA Coach House

April 6, 1995 (Support: Fossil, Kerry Getz). ‘Titanic days; Caroline; Free world; Mother’s ruin; Bad; Innocence; He’s on the beach; Tread lightly; Roll me easy; Children of the revolution; Can’t stop killing you; Fifteen minutes/ Don’t come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!; Walking down Madison; You just haven’t earned it yet baby; A new England; Dancing in limbo; Miss Otis regrets; Chip shop; (I wanna be) Sedated’

The LA Times reported that the band (Glenister, Johns and Williams) “played with fire and precision” with Glenister providing “scorching solo breaks”. Kirsty’s music, while ranging “from jaunty country to rich psychedelia” had a “distinctive touch” throughout. Her set received two standing ovations “from an audience whose enthusiasm far outstripped its size”. Local singer Kerry Getz opened the show, and “with each successive performance she appears to be securing a voice of her own”.Middle billed Fossil hailed from New Jersey and were described as “tuneful” though “unnecessary”. Oh well..

SAN DIEGO Belly Up, Solana Beach

April 7, 1995 (date unconfirmed)

1995 Tour Flyer
1995 Tour Flyer

REDCAR Bowl

May 7, 1995. Start of the May UK tour.

GLASGOW Garage

Glasgow Garage ticket, 8 May 1995
Glasgow Garage ticket, 8 May 1995

May 8, 1995 (support: The Libertines). Using a basic rock lineup of guitars, bass and drums including the former Ruts rhythm section of Dave Ruffy and Vince Seggs and Pete Glenister. Gary Sandford (ex Aztec Camera) was also involved around this time.

Titanic days; Caroline; Free world; Angel; Bad; Innocence; He’s on the beach; They Don’t know; Tread lightly; Mother’s ruin; Roll um easy; Children of the revolution; Can’t stop killing you; My affair; Big boy on a Saturday night; Fifteen minutes; Don’t come the cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!; Walking down Madison; You just haven’t earned it yet baby; A new England; There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis; Brown eyed handsome man; I wanna be sedated.

“Kirsty only rarely emerged from behind the big rock band sound to play the more subtle arrangements which she provides so well on record. It was also LOUD – I was standing so close to the speaker stack my ears buzzed for a whole week. I remember Kirsty complaining that not enough people were dancing!” Source: HLW

NORWICH University of East Anglia

May 10, 1995.

NORTHAMPTON The Roadmender

May 11, 1995 (support: The Libertines).

Roadmender ticket (11 May 1995)
Roadmender ticket (11 May 1995)

CAMBRIDGE Corn Exchange

May 13, 1995.

LEICESTER De Montford University

May 14, 1995.

MANCHESTER University

May 15, 1995. On the same tour as Glasgow, Kirsty played at Manchester Students’ Union. She added ‘Miss Otis regrets’ and the tape misses out ‘Brown eyed handsome man’, ‘Mother’s ruin’ and ‘Big boy on a Saturday night’.

LEEDS Town & Country Club

May 17, 1995.

SHEFFIELD University Octagon Centre

Ticket from Sheffield, 1995 tour
Ticket from Sheffield, 1995 tour

May 18, 1995 (support: The Libertines). “I remember there was quite a big set list and she played for about 1 hr 40mins – did the majority of ‘Galore’: started with ‘Titanic Days’, i think she did ‘perfect day, chipshop, bad, can’t stop killing you, innocence, cowboy, madison, new england, 15 minutes, days, beach, they Don’t know, free world‘ and for the encore (yes there was one!): she did ‘Eleanor Rigby‘! But I know she didn’t do ‘Sedated‘ (unfortunately). Great gig – best £7.50 I ever spent !!” Source – LR

WOLVERHAMPTON Wulfrun Hall

May 19, 1995.

CARDIFF St. David’s Hall

May 21, 1995.

PORTSMOUTH Pyramids Centre

May 22, 1995. “As elswhere on the tour Libertines sounds familiar as the support group. Can’t remember the full set list but do recall there was an encore during which a guitar string snapped and so we were given the treat of Kirsty’s solo version of ‘Lydia‘ (“Oh Lydia, oh Lydia That Encyclopedia. Oh Lydia the Tattoed Lady“). A great night out.” Source – RM

LONDON Forum

May 23, 1995. Verified by GT, who was there.

LONDON Fleadh (Finsbury Park)

June 10, 1995. ‘Tread lightly; Caroline; They Don’t Know; Innocence; Free World; Miss Otis regrets; My affair; Don’t Come The Cowboy…; Walking Down Madison; A New England; I Wanna be Sedated’

“Other acts featured included Sinead O‘Connor, Courtney Love, the Beautiful South, Saw Doctors, Shane MacGowan, the Frames, the Dubliners, Dervish, Van Morrison, Capercaillie, Christie Hennessy, Big Geraniums, Big Country, John Martyn, Brian Kennedy, Boyzone and non-Celtic headliners the Beautiful South. The Fleadh, now in its fifth consecutive year, is a festival dedicated to Celtic music and its diaspora. ’

The line-up illustrated well not only the geographical dispersal of Celts, but their cross-cultural influences as well. Irish traditionalists like the Dubliners, Christy Moore and Mary Couglan were counterbalanced by D:Ream’s progressive house music, Blink’s neo-punk and the soft rock of New Zealand’s Crowded House. The 35,000 revellers were blessed on Saturday with the weather of an early summer‘s day. The crack, as well as the beer, was flowing.

‘The one shadow was cast by Shane MacGowan, a character who could illustrate the tortuous tie between muse and booze. The ex-Pogues‘ gravelly voice seemed badly fractured; Pogues‘ songs like ‘Streams of Whisky‘, ‘Sally McLennane‘ and a version of ‘Whisky in the Jar ‘which followed Thin Lizzy’s arrangement, were delivered in a hoarse rasp. The Popes, MacGowan’s supple new five-piece band, seemed undermined by the singer’s between-song rambles. Kirsty MacColl made a guest appearance to duet on ‘Fairytale of New York ‘and to waltz slowly with MacGowan. With its themes of bitterness, booze and the loss of love, MacGowan’s song was chilled by his evident decline and the overall effect was one of immense sadness. [later] Kirsty MacColl rolled out her impeccable, velvet-trimmed back catalogue.” Source: LG

This show was broadcast by BBC Radio.

releasedJune 1995
‘Perfect Day’ single released on Virgin.

LONDON The Grand, Clapham

July 21, 1995.

“The only time I saw Kirsty play live. There with my closest friend, who still is. After the show the place became a nightclub!” – PC2

STOKE-ON-TRENT The Wheatsheaf

July 22, 1995.

“One hell of a hot day as i remember and even hotter in the pub! This gig was like a dream come true for me, made all the more special being on the eve of my 35th birthday,and kirsty played an absolute blinder. Had my photo taken with kirsty (still holds pride of place on my living room wall)and while signing my c.d sleeves she politely told me off because i hadn’t got a copy of ‘titanic days‘ !! With that cheeky grin she wished me a happy birthday (it had gone 12 o‘clock by now) and that was it, and pardon the pun but for me it was a ‘perfect day”. DS

LEEDS Roundhay Park (Heineken Festival)

July 23, 1995. “I also remember seeing her at Leeds Town & Country Club in 1995. As well as doing her own set at the Heineken Festival, she also joined Shane MacGowan & The Popes for ‘Fairytale‘..” – MH

WARRINGTON Parr Hall

July 24, 1995 (support: Tansads). “I recall it being a very good gig, but also very uncomfortable,due to it being a really humid july evening.” – WC

releasedJuly 1995
‘Days’ single re-released on Virgin as TV advert tie-in.

released1995
‘As Long as You Hold Me’ recorded for ‘Mad Love’ film soundtrack.

1993 festivals and North American tour

London

February 25, 1993 with the Saw Doctors. BBC Research Central has a note of a recording on this date, but the tape no longer exists.

released1991
‘The Essential Collection’ compilation released on Stiff.

London Fleadh (Finsbury Park)

Fleadh poster, 1993
Fleadh poster, 1993

June 12, 1993. Other artists at the ‘93 Fleadh included Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, The Pogues, Runrig and Stiff Little Fingers.

A gig planned for the Mean Fiddler in London on June 18, 1993 was cancelled.

GLASTONBURY FESTIVAL

June 25 or 26, 1993. Guesting with The Kinks.

LONDON Mean Fiddler

July 23, 1993 (support: Summerhill).

Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1993 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1993 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1993 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1993 © Terry Hurley

BRADFORD Wool Exchange (part of Bradford Festival)

July 24, 1993. Source: MH

SOUTHSEA Castle Field (Heineken Beer Festival)

August, 1993. According to JC she “blew Tom Robinson off the stage”.

LEICESTER Student Union, De Montford University

October 31, 1993 (no support). ‘Innocence; Titanic Days; Free World; Mothers Ruin; Bad; Angel; My Affair; You Know Its You; Tread Lightly; Still Life; Fifteen Minutes; Don’t Come The Cowboy…; Soho Square; Walking Down Madison; Cant Stop Killing You; You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby; Big Boy On A Saturday Night; Miss Otis Regrets; I Wanna Be Sedated; A New England; They Don’t Know; Chip Shop’

releasedLate October 1993
‘Titanic Days’ album released in US on IRS.

ATLANTA Variety Playhouse

November 4 , 1993 (support: David Gray). JCF reported, “ At the cosy 700 seater Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, Kirsty put on a show of impeccably chosen originals with a charm and conviction which overcame both her and her audience’s early reservations. By the time it was all over, she had firmly established herself as an abundantly talented songwriter and singer with a lot of substance to say, and a disarmingly natural way of saying it.

There were songs of bored housewives plotting revenge, women making a strike for independence from parents and lovers, keenly observed portraits of the lonely and displaced, also witty tales and cries of hope. Some of the songs from the current release, ‘Titanic Days’gained noticeable power with the live treatment.

The versatile, though hardly virtuoso, band included Pete Glenister on lead guitar. There were great songs such as ‘Fifteen Minutes’, which on record relied heavily on elaborate brass arrangements. They did them acoustically, and surprisingly it worked! Much of the audience sang along on the joyous salsa chorus of ‘My Affair’

For the encore Kirsty reached back almost a decade and a half to some of her earliest songs, such as the girl-group style classics ‘Chip Shop’ and ‘They Don’t Know ’. Over 20 songs, good value for $10. They used tapes for ‘Madison Avenue’ (sic) and ‘Angel’ backing effects, though with four guitars playing over the tapes, it hardly seemed necessary once they got going. Kirsty played a Gibson electric for about 5 or 6 songs. I was struck by the great variety of musical styles, she rarely repeats herself. I was reminded of Richard Thompson – and also she has a similar shy, self-effacing demeanor. For the most part she let her music do the talking, and very eloquent it was too.”

PHILADELPHIA Chestnut Cabaret

November 6, 1993. “I think it was her first time in the city of Brotherly Love. Got to meet her after the show and give a copy of my show the Listening Room. Since it was a dinkyass 10 watt station nobody listened to us, but I could play whatever I wanted so I did a whole show on Kirsty. She even did a station ID for me. Also showed her my acetate of the unreleased Stiff single a buddy of mine had picked up in England. Kirsty was surprised at its existance and mentioned it later in some interviews.” Source: SH

ALEXANDRIA VA The Birchmere

November 7, 1993 (Support: David Gray). ‘Titanic Days, Free World, Innocence, Mother’s Ruin, Bad, Angel, You Know It’s You, Tread Lightly, Still Life, My Affair, Fifteen Minutes, Don’t Come The Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim!, Walking Down Madison, Soho Square, Can’t Stop Killing You, You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby, Big Boy On A Saturday Night + Miss Otis Regrets, They Don’t Know, There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis.’

“A very intimate venue – 150+ or so (I‘m guessing). The place was sold out, totally packed. A great gig, one of the best if not the best I‘ve seen. She didn’t perform ’‘I Wanna Be Sedated’ that night (although she did when she returned to the Birchmere on St. Patrick’s Day 1995 for the Galore tour – I almost went to NY the next day to see her at Tramps!).’ Source: TJH

Note: support act David Gray (eight years or so before hitting the big time!) had a common link to Kirsty in that her half brother Neill played in his band and on some early Gray recordings. Source: TH

Here’s the show calendar from the venue for November 1993!

NEW YORK Tramps

November 10 or 11, 1993 . Ed says “[Vin Scelsa] mentions her appearance in town that week to promote Titanic. I was at that show, at a club called Tramps in midtown”. Source: ES

The venue closed in 2001, and has since transformed into assorted other incarnations.

Interview by Dawn Eden on Videowave

November 11 1993. Singer Dawn Eden interviews Kirsty at 594 Broadway.

Late Night with Conan O’Brien


Kirsty on the Conan O’Brien Show in 1993[/caption]3 (re-broadcast on December 27, 1993). “TV appearance on the just started Late Night with Conan O‘Brien talk show that airs on NBC. I believe that I caught a rebroadcast of this show in which she performed ‘Can’t Stop Killing You’ with a full band. I don’t remember the visual, but I did tape it onto audio casette. Unfortunately, that tape has been lost among many others, although I do hope to find it again some day. Source: PK

World Cafe

Also on this tour, Kirsty made her first appearance on the networked World Cafe radio program, performing acoustic versions of ‘Can’t stop killing you’, ‘Bad’, ‘Children of the revolution’ and ‘My Affair’ live in the studio.

BOSTON Axis

November 13, 1993 (support: David Gray).

Vin Scelsa Radio Interview

Broadcast November 14, 1993.

TORONTO El Mocambo

Kirsty MacColl at El Mocambo, 1993
Kirsty MacColl at El Mocambo, 1993

El Mocambo

November 15, 1993 (support: David Gray). ‘Titanic Days; Free World; Innocence; Mother’s Ruin; Bad; Angel; You know it’s you; Tread Lightly; Still Life; My Affair; Fifteen Minutes; Don’t come the Cowboy with me, Sonny Jim!; Soho Square; Walking Down Madison; Can’t Stop Killing You; You Just Haven’t Earned it Yet, Baby; Miss Otis Regrets; New England. ’ Pete Glenister (guitar), Dave Ruffy (drums), Gary Sanford (guitar), Segs (bass).

ANN ARBOR MI Blind Pig

November, 1993 (date unconfirmed)

“I saw Kirsty in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I think it was during 1995. I’m a friend of Gary Sanford (Aztec Camera) and he was in the band for that show. It might have been at the Blind Pig, which doesn’t exist anymore.” Source: TT

CHICAGO Park West

November 20, 1993 (support: David Gray).

“I was lucky enough to see her back in November 1993 (late in the month, can‘t
recall the exact date) at Chicago’s Park West — David Gray opened for her.” Source – JMS

St. LOUIS Mississippi Nights

November 21, 1993 (support: David Gray).

MINNEAPOLIS Rouge Night Club

November 23, 1993. Source: DT.

BOULDER Colorado Fox Theater

November 24, 1993 (Support: David Gray). “Wednesday night before the Thanksgiving holiday weekend on a snowy and deserted University of Colorado campus. David Gray was the amazing and then completely unknown opening act. A great show!” Source: JM

SAN FRANCISCO Slim’s

November 28, 1993 (support: David Gray). Source – sfpromo

SEATTLE The Backstage

November 29, 1993 (support: David Gray).

LOS ANGELES Troubador

November 30, 1993 (Support: David Gray).

SAN DIEGO Solana Beach Belly Up

December 1, 1993 (Support: David Gray). “This gig was recorded by IRS, and two songs – ‘Free world’ and ‘Miss Otis regrets’ – were later released as B sides. The rest of the tape is long lost we believe. Source – ZTT. I was lucky to see the show. I had seen her at The Troubador the night before in Los Angeles and the next day I drove down to Solana Beach. The Belly Up Tavern is a good sized establishment with several rooms but it also has a very good closed circuit TV system and her show was broadcast all over the Tavern on TV. I always assumed that both a good audio & good video copy existed but never heard of any.” JK

SCOTTSDALE Rockin‘ Horse Saloon

December 2, 1993 (support: David Gray).

releasedDecember 1993
‘Angel’ single released on ZTT.

Venues unknown

December 1993 or January 1994. Guesting with Shane MacGowan and the Popes.

1992 festivals and extensive UK tour

Top of the Pops

Jan 2, 1992. The show where Kirsty is wearing a blue top and Kirsty & Shane are both wearing hangover protecting sunglasses (no other Pogues present …) was recorded on Jan 1 and shown the following evening. This was to coincide with the Christmas 1991 re-release of Fairytale of New York. Kirsty had spent the evening before the recording (i.e. New Years Eve 1991) supporting Billy Bragg at the Hackney Empire. Show presenters – Adrian Rose and Steve Anderson.

Top of the Pops

Jan 16, 1992. Kirsty appeared with The Wonderstuff larking about to Welcome to the Cheap Seats. Source: TH (and he should know).

GLASGOW Fleadh (Glasgow Green)

May 24, 1992.

Glasgow Green Fleadh, May 1992
Glasgow Green Fleadh, May 1992

LONDON The Grand, Clapham

Flyer from The Grand, 27 May 1992
Flyer from The Grand, 27 May 1992

May 27, 1992 (support: The Forget-Me-Nots). May – August tour lineup: KM, Mark Nevin, Dave Ruffy, Gary Tibbs, Jamie West-Oram.

Set List: A New England; Innocence; Children of the Revolution; Mothers Ruin; You Know It’s You; Irish Cousin; You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby; Still Life; My Affair; Fifteen Minutes; Don’t Come The Cowboy…; Tread Lightly; Happy; Train In Vain; Walking Down Madison; Free World; They Don’t Know; There’s A Guy…

NORTHAMPTON Irish Centre

June 5, 1992. This venue closed its doors in 1997.

READING 21st South Street

June 6, 1992.

LONDON Fleadh (Finsbury Park)

June 7, 1992.

Venue unknown – probable gig

June 13, 1992.

LAMPETER University

June 19, 1992. Verified by DC4, who did the sound!

COLCHESTER Essex University

June 20, 1992. A New England; Innocence; Fifteen Minutes; Don’t Come The Cowboy…; Tread Lightly; Happy; Train in Vain; Walking Down Madison; Angel; Free World; Soho Square; They Don’t Know; There’s a Guy… (this set list seems a bit short. Children of the Revolution was definitely sound-checked but doesn’t appear on the gig tape – Terry)

LONDON Mean Fiddler

Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1992 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1992 © Terry Hurley

June 22, 1992 (support: Handsome). A New England; Innocence; Children of the Revolution; Mother’s ruin; You know it’s you; You just haven’t earned it yet, baby; Still life; My Affair; Fifteen Minutes; Don’t Come The Cowboy…; Tread Lightly; Happy; Train in Vain; Walking Down Madison; Angel; Free World; Soho Square; They Don’t Know; There’s a Guy…

Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1992 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1992 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1992 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1992 © Terry Hurley

LONDON The Grand, Clapham

June 23, 1992 (support: Liberty Cage).

Kirsty MacColl at Clapham, 1992 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at Clapham, 1992 © Terry Hurley
Ticket from The Grand, Clapham 23 June 1992
Ticket from The Grand, Clapham 23 June 1992

GLASTONBURY Festival

Glastonbury poster 26 June 1992
Glastonbury poster 26 June 1992

June 26, 1992, from the Pyramid Stage.

1. New England, 2. Innocence, 3. You Just Haven’t Earned it Yet, Baby, 4. Fifteen Minutes, 5. Happy, 6. Tread Lightly, 7. Train in Vain, 8. Free World, 9. Chip Shop

BERLIN – GERMANY Bizarre Festival

Bizarre festival ticket, Berlin, June 1992
Bizarre festival ticket, Berlin, June 1992

June 27, 1992. Love the sight and love the sound, I wish that I could stick around Berlin

SWITZERLAND Leysin Festival

July 8, 1992. Walking Down Madison from this gig was broadcast on MTV. Source: GT

The main link is to Patrick Joller’s youtube video of the day.

SHEFFIELD Don Valley Big Top

July 11, 1992.

PRESTON Avenham Park Big Top

July 26, 1992.

THURLES Féile Festival

August 2, 1992. An annual festival in North Tipperary, hence the nickname of “The Trip to Tipp”. ‘Free World; Train In Vain; Walking Down Madison’ (there must have been more than this but my tape has only these three – Terry)

POOLE Art Centre

Kirsty MacColl at Poole Art Centre, August 1992 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at Poole Art Centre, August 1992 © Terry Hurley

August 6, 1992. New England; Innocence; You know it’s you; Mother’s ruin; Irish cousin; You just haven’t earned it yet, baby; Still life; My affair; 15 minutes; Cowboy; Free world; Happy; Train in vain; Walking down Madison; Angel; Tread lightly; They don’t know; Chip shop.

Ticket from Poole Art Centre
Ticket from Poole Art Centre

Ticket stub and Set list reproduced from the private collection of Rob Whitmarsh.

Setlist from Poole, August 1992
Setlist from Poole, August 1992
Kirsty MacColl at Poole Art Centre, August 1992 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at Poole Art Centre, August 1992 © Terry Hurley

BELGIUM Folk Festival, Dranouter

August 7, 1992.

Dranouter poster, August 1992
Dranouter poster, August 1992

NEWCASTLE Riverside

August 18, 1992.

MIDDLESBROUGH Arena

August 19, 1992.

TELFORD Oakengates Town Hall

August 21, 1992.

oakengates-300x211

Ticket scan from Johnny Marr’s website.</>

Probable gig (?), venue unknown

August 22, 1992.

BATH WOMAD Festival, Royal Victoria Park

August 23, 1992.

World in the Park poster, 23 August 1992
World in the Park poster, 23 August 1992

HULL Spring Street Theatre

August 25, 1992 (Possible support – Boo Hewerdine).

NEWCASTLE-UNDER-LYME Bridge Street Arts Centre

August 26, 1992.

LONDON Mean Fiddler

August 28, 1992 (support: The Prayer Boat & Andy Wilson). Set List: Tread Lightly; Innocence; Irish Cousin; Children of the Revolution; Mothers Ruin; Soho Square; You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby; Still Life; My Affair; Fifteen Minutes; Don’t Come The Cowboy…; Free World; Happy; Angel; Train In Vain; Walking Down Madison; Dancing In Limbo; They Don’t Know; A New England; There’s a Guy…

CAMBRIDGE Junction

August 29, 1992. Tread Lightly; Innocence; You Know Its You; Mothers Ruin; Irish Cousin; You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby; Still Life; My Affair; Fifteen Minutes; Don’t Come The Cowboy; Free World; Happy; Angel; Train In Vain; Walking Down Madison; A New England; Soho Square; They Don’t Know; There’s a Guy…

BRIGHTON Stanmer Park Big Top

August 30, 1992.

LONDON Borderline

October 1992.

“The GLR Children in Need gig took place in Oct’92, highlights broadcast on GLR Nov’92, 4 hours condensed to 2 on air 🙁 Sam Brown, Voice of the Beehive, Squeeze, Tasmin Archer, and Kirsty was a surprise unannounced guest who was really pleased that, even so, most of the audience knew the words to her songs.” Mick_the_Knife

LONDON Mean Fiddler

Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1992 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1992 © Terry Hurley

October 16, 1992 (support: The Lost Soul Band). Happy; Innocence; You Know Its You; Soho Square; Cant Stop Killing You; You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby; Don’t Go Home; My Affair; Fifteen Minutes; Don’t Come The Cowboy…; Free World; Angel; Walking Down Madison; Tread Lightly; Big Boy On A Saturday Night; They Don’t Know; A New England

Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1992 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty MacColl at the Mean Fiddler, 1992 © Terry Hurley

BRISTOL Hanser Portbury

October 17 , 1992.

NEW YORK Bottom Line (2 shows)

October 19, 1992. American performer Marshall Crenshaw recalls being in the club for one of these shows, and hanging out with Kirsty after the show. They had been friends since early 1984 when the Crenshaws met up in New York for dinner with the newly engaged Steve Lillywhite and Kirsty. The Bottom Line turned out to be the last time they met up.

NEW YORK Bottom Line (2 more shows)

October 20, 1992.

LOS ANGELES Club Lingerie

October 22, 1992.

Club Lingerie 1992 set list
Club Lingerie 1992 set list, thanks to Anna G.

Later with Jools Holland

November 19, 1992. BBC TV. Soho Square, Angel

LONDON Alexandra Palace

December 19, 1992. Supporting Morrissey. Kirsty was joined by Shane MacGowan. Yes, “Fairytale” was sung, naturally.

1991 first ever UK tour dates

LONDON Hackney Empire

Kirsty at Hackney Empire, Feb 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty at Hackney Empire, Feb 1991 © Terry Hurley

Feb 2, 1991. Charity gig in aid of Homerton Hospital, Hackney. KM (assisted by Elliott Randall & Phil Rambow) with Frankie Miller & band: ‘Brown-eyed Handsome Man, That’ll be The Day, There’s a Guy Works Down The Chip Ship’. KM with Ron Wood & the Wilfs: ‘Neon To Dust, Walk Right Back, Sugar Bee.’

Kirsty with Ron Wood at Hackney Empire, Feb 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty with Ron Wood at Hackney Empire, Feb 1991 © Terry Hurley

ALBANY NY (Cancelled). Source: Di

Spring 1991

releasedMay 1991
‘Walking Down Madison’ single released on Virgin.

releasedMay 1991
‘Electric Landlady’ album released on Virgin.

LONDON Fleadh, guesting with the Pogues

June 2, 1991

Top of the Pops

June 6, 1991. Kirsty’s final appearance on the show as a solo artist, this time with ‘Walking down Madison’. The show was compered by Mark Goodier.

BBC Radio 1, Nicky Campbell Show

June 26, 1989. ‘Chip Shop, Walk right back, Darling let’s have another baby, A new England’. Phil Rambow (guitar), Lu Edmonds (guitar?), Billy Bragg (guitar), Guy Pratt (bass). Later released on ‘What do pretty girls do?’

releasedJuly 1991
‘My Affair’ single released on Virgin.

WHTG Interview

Kirsty MacColl appeared on my former radio station (WHTG in Asbury Park, New Jersey) on July 8, 1991.

She didn’t perform, but she did an interview (of which I have a partial recording). Afterwards, she went out to dinner with a few people from her U.S. record company and a handful of us from the radio station. Lovely evening!

Mike Sauter

THURLES Féile Festival

August 3/4, 1991 guesting with Billy Bragg and (separately) The Pogues. The Wonderstuff and the Happy Mondays also played so Kirsty was positively surrounded by chums.&nbsp, She was interviewed by Lorraine Kelly on TV-AM just prior to this weekend.

LONDON GLR

August 27-29, 1991. Kirsty did three shows for GLR Radio, no record of content. Source: TH

LONDON Town & Country

September 23, 1991. Private show for Virgin executives only. Bet she loved it.

LONDON Mean Fiddler

Kirsty at the Mean Fiddler, Sept 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty at the Mean Fiddler, Sept 1991 © Terry Hurley

September 25-26, 1991 (no support). The first proper solo gigs! Same set both nights, the photos and reviews are from the 26th. Set Lists: ‘Walking Down Madison (slow version), Fifteen Minutes, Days, Don’t Come The Cowboy…, My Way Home, Children of the Revolution, Halloween, A New England, Lying Down, Free World, All The Tears That I Cried, Dancing in Limbo, All I Ever Wanted, My Affair, Walking Down Madison, We’ll Never Pass This Way Again, They Don’t Know, You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby, Chip Shop.’

NME Review from 5 October, by Dele Fadele

“So that’s what you look like!” Kirsty MacColl exclaims, faced with an altogether too respectable crowd of 30 and 40 somethings, then launches into an eerie, sparse and spine-tingling version of ‘Walking down Madison’. For someone who seldom treads the boards, she sure knows the right devices to stoke up an audience. She can be cutting, sharp, witty, acerbic and always observes situations with a sharp eye for detail. If only she wasn’t so bogged down in the boredom and drudgery of the everyday, there could be a Nobel Prize yet.

Kirsty with Elliott Randall at the Mean Fiddler, Sept 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty with Elliott Randall at the Mean Fiddler, Sept 1991 © Terry Hurley

“OK that’s facetious, but this is generally a medium-sliced size of enjoyment with plangent highs when it could be ‘all’ highs. Certainly, the hand picked and efficient backing band are often too clinical and measured, straining to reproduce musical memories rather than re-interpret and make some of their own. And the drummer is particularly guilty of bringing the more Latin tunes – with dizzying percussive pitter-patter – down a notch by being resolutely leaden and straightforward. But, on the favourable side there are horns sharp as scythes and Ms MacColl’s delightful voice.”

“When Kirsty hits the higher register or subsides into a gentle scream you sit bolt upright. And when she wavers between shifting sands of violins, keyboards, drums and bass beating a military tattoo or wrestling with a vague Irish melody, you know why her singing voice is in so much demand in the industry. But let’s not forget the wry and acute – if sometimes too realist – songs. ‘Days’ is fluffy cloud pop with an autumnal edge, while ‘Children of the Revolution’ is spooked and wired with just traces of a latent Happy Mondays influence.”

Kirsty at the Mean Fiddler, Sept 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty at the Mean Fiddler, Sept 1991 © Terry Hurley

“The bracing classic trio of ‘Don’t come the cowboy with me Sonny Jim’, ‘They don’t know about us’ and ‘There’s a guy works down the chip shop swears he’s Elvis’ are diverse – almost routinely – and rather funny as well, with pathos bubbling underneath in places. My affair echoes Brazilian metropoli with humid, dense percussion and the dance version of ‘Walking down Madison’ is only marred by the screeching and wailing of the gung-ho guitarist.”

“Kirsty MacColl should get here more often as she certainly has more to offer than some of her simpering compatriots who’re merely content to be ciphers for a masked Svengali. She’s got the guts, the songs, the jazz, and the faraway rhythms. Why hang on to them when you can spread them around?”

Terry's Mean Fiddler ticket, 26 September 1991
Terry’s Mean Fiddler ticket, 26 September 1991

Guardian Review by Robin Denselow:
“Kirsty MacColl may have been writing and recording for 12 years, but she’s still something of a genial enigma, largely because it has taken her so long to get round to live performance. Her career thus far has been low key but colourful, starting out as the teenage composer of the charming singalong ‘They Don’t Know’ (later a big hit for Tracey Ullman), then moving on to record her own hits like the whacky burst of rockabilly, ‘There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis’, while constantly being asked to duet with famous friends like the Pogues. Meanwhile, largely unnoticed, her own writing has been developing and maturing. She is not a novelty singer or a folkie (she’s the daughter of the late Ewan MacColl) but a mainstream rock artist with bravely eclectic taste, and the planned autumn tour should have confirmed her new status. But it’s been cancelled – thanks to the recession, say her record company – and all she’s allowed are two tantalising shows at the Mean Fiddler.”

“Which is tragic, for this was a memorable live debut, if with a very shaky start. She came on looking as vulnerable as the late Sandy Denny, then gradually gained confidence to match Denny’s humour and ability to find unexpected power just when it seemed she’d be swamped by the band. And this band is very special – an eight piece that included Steely Dan guitarist Elliott Randall, grinning wildly as he unleashed some scorching solos, and a tight Latin brass section who doubled on guitar and fiddle. They changed track constantly, to match her very different songs, from the thoughtful ‘Walking Down Madison’, to a Latin dancer, ‘My Affair’, or the country-tinged ‘All I Ever Wanted’. Not all her new ballads were quite this strong, but she topped up with songs from Bragg, the Kinks and the Smiths (a belting version of ‘You Haven’t Earned It Yet, Baby’) and of course her rocker about chips and Elvis.”

Kirsty at the Mean Fiddler, 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty at the Mean Fiddler, 1991 © Terry Hurley

Cancelled dates at Chippenham Gold Diggers (Sept 29), Manchester International 2 (Sept 30), Leicester Polytechnic (October 2) and Reading University (Oct 3).

releasedOctober 1991
‘All I Ever Wanted’ single released on Virgin.

LONDON Borderline

November 24, 1991. Kirsty was a surprise unannounced guest at a Borderline gig for Children in Need, sponsored by GLR, which also featured Alison Moyet, Sam Brown, Voice of the Beehive, Squeeze, Tasmin Archer, Ian McNabb and Thomas Lang. According to Mick via twitter, “[Kirsty] was really pleased that, even so, most of the audience knew the words to her songs.” Highlights were broadcast on GLR, though its 4 hours were condensed to 2 on air.

MILTON KEYNES Woughton Centre

Ad for the Woughton Centre, 6 December 1991
Ad for the Woughton Centre, 6 December 1991

December 6, 1991 (support: The Forget-Me-Nots). The December tour lineup (until the 22nd) was KM, Mark Nevin, Pete Glenister, Dave Ruffy and Gary Tibbs.

Set list: ‘Children of The Revolution, Days, Mother’s Ruin, The Last Day of Summer, Free World, You Just Haven’t Earned It yet Baby, Still Life, Fifteen Minutes, Don’t Come The Cowboy…, Angel, Happy, Tread Lightly, Train In Vain, Walking Down Madison, A New England, They Don’t Know, Chip Shop.’

Please note Terry’s ticket number!

Terry's Woughton Centre ticket
Terry’s Woughton Centre ticket

NEWCASTLE Riverside

December 7, 1991.

Poster from the Riverside
Poster from the Riverside

Framed poster from John’s personal collection.

LONDON Borderline

December 8, 1991.

LONDON Mean Fiddler

December 10, 1991 (support – The Forget-me-nots). Set list: ‘ Children of the Revolution, Last Day of Summer, Mother’s Ruin, Free World, You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby, Still Life, My Affair, Fifteen Minutes, Don’t Come The Cowboy…, Angel, Tread Lightly, Train In Vain, Walking Down Madison, Happy, A New England, They Don’t Know, Chip Shop.’

SHEFFIELD Leadmill

December 11, 1991

NORWICH Waterfront

December 12, 1991

COVENTRY Tic Toc

December 13, 1991

LONDON Borderline

December 15, 1991 (no support). ‘A New England, Children of the Revolution, Mother’s Ruin, Last Day of Summer, Innocence, You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby, Still Life, My Affair, Fifteen Minutes, Don’t Come The Cowboy…, Angel, Tread Lightly, Train In Vain, Walking Down Madison, Happy, Free World, They Don’t Know, Chip Shop.’

CAMBRIDGE Junction

December 17, 1991. KM, Mark Nevin, Pete Glenister, Dave Ruffy, Gary Tibbs.

1. A New England, 2. Children of the Revolution, 3. Mother’s Ruin, 4. Last Day of Summer, 5. Innocence, 6. You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby, 7. Still Life, 8. My Affair, 9. Fifteen Minutes, 10. Don’t Come The Cowboy…, 11. Angel, 12. Tread Lightly, 13. Train In Vain, 14. Walking Down Madison, 15. Happy, 16. Free World, 17. Dancing in Limbo, 18. They Don’t Know, 19. Chip Shop.

NORTHAMPTON Irish Centre

Ticket from the Irish Centre in Northampton
Ticket from the Irish Centre in Northampton

December 18, 1991 (support – The Forget-me-nots). Set list: ‘A New England, Children of the Revolution, Mother’s Ruin, Last Day of Summer, Innocence, You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby, Still Life, My Affair, Fifteen Minutes, Don’t Come The Cowboy…, Angel, Tread Lightly, Train In Vain, Walking Down Madison, Happy, Free World, Dancing in Limbo, They Don’t Know, Chip Shop. ’

Kirsty at the Irish Centre, 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty at the Irish Centre, 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty with Mark Nevin at the Irish Centre, 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty with Mark Nevin at the Irish Centre, 1991 © Terry Hurley

BRADFORD Queens Hall

December 20, 1991. “Some freezing cold, wet December night … ” GH.

Ticket from Bradford, 20 December 1991
Ticket from Bradford, 20 December 1991

1. A New England, 2. Children of the Revolution, 3. Mother’s Ruin, 4. Last Day of Summer, 5. Innocence, 6. You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby, 7. Still Life, 8. My Affair, 9. Fifteen Minutes, 10. Don’t Come The Cowboy…, 11. Angel, 12. Tread Lightly, 13. Train In Vain, 14. Walking Down Madison, 15. Happy, 16. Free World, 17. Dancing in Limbo, 18. They Don’t Know, 19. Chip Shop.

DUBLIN Olympia Theatre

December 21, 1991.

LONDON Borderline

December 22, 1991 (no support) with Special Guest Shane MacGowan! Set list: ‘A New England, Children of the Revolution, Mother’s Ruin, Last Day of Summer, Innocence, You Just Haven’t Earned It Yet Baby, Still Life, My Affair, Fifteen Minutes, Don’t Come The Cowboy…, Angel, Tread Lightly, Train In Vain, Walking Down Madison, Happy, Free World, Dancing in Limbo, They Don’t Know, Chip Shop, Fairytale of New York’ (featuring Shane). ‘“Erasure’s Andy Bell was in the audience, and backstage.“’ TH

THE GHOSTS OF OXFORD STREET (TV)

December 25, 1991. Includes a version of ‘Fairytale of New York’ sung with Shane. Copies are in circulation.

LONDON Hackney Empire

Kirsty at Hackney Empire, Dec 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty at Hackney Empire, Dec 1991 © Terry Hurley
Poster from the Hackney Empire, December 1991
Poster from the Hackney Empire, December 1991

December 29-31, 1991. These 3 shows featured KM as part of a superb line up with Zap Mama opening the shows, Billy Bragg topping the bill and Phill Jupitus compering.Lineup: KM, Mark Nevin, Dave Atherton, Dave Ruffy, Gary Tibbs.

Bragg: ‘Richard, Little Time Bomb, St Swithin’s Day, A Lover Sings, Honey I’m A Big Boy Now, The Few, The Man In The Iron Mask, Levi Stubbs Tears’, KM & her band: ‘A New England, Fifteen Minutes, Don’t Come The Cowboy, Train In Vain, Walking Down Madison, Free World, They Don’t Know, Chip Shop, Fairytale of New York’, KM & Bragg duet: ‘Darling Lets Have Another Baby’. Jupitus as Porky the Poet: ‘Bestiality’, Bragg: ‘Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards, The Warmest Room, Sulk, Accident Waiting to Happen, Help Save The Youth Of America’, Everybody: ‘Auld Lang Syne’, Billy Bragg: ‘You Woke up my Neighbourhood, Greetings to the New Brunette, Body of Water, North Sea Bubble, Must I Paint You A Picture, Mother of the Bride’, Bragg with KM on backing vocals: ‘Cindy of a Thousand Lives, Sexuality’, Bragg: ‘Between The Wars, A New England, Billericay Dickie’, Everybody: ‘A Message To You, Rudi’, Bragg: ‘A13, Trunk Road to the Sea.’

Kirsty and Billy at Hackney Empire, Dec 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty and Billy at Hackney Empire, Dec 1991 © Terry Hurley

Photo by Terry Hurley, who recalls “The guitarist who stepped in for Pete Glenister for these shows was Dave Atherton of a band called The Adventure Babies. Kirsty said that Dave stood in at ‘24 hours notice’ so Pete must have had some urgent commitments or fell ill or something because Pete definitely played the 22 December gig at the Borderline (I was there!)”

David Sinclair wrote in The Times, “‘Let’s remember the hostages who are home at last’, said Billy Bragg as the seconds ticked away to midnight on New Year’s eve. ‘The Birmingham Six, the Tottenham Three … hostages of the British legal system.’ A mighty roar went up, then it was the bells courtesy of Radio 2, which seemed bizarre, given that the show was being broadcast live on Greater London Radio followed by an up-tempo pseudo-skiffle version of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.

“Bragg’s year-end shows have become a tradition, and like other regular seasonal rock shows by Lindisfarne, Gary Glitter, Marillion it has become a relaxed and unchallenging ritual. There was a comedian, called Porky [Phill Jupitus], who made fun of Americans and Northerners and parodied Bragg’s song ‘Sexuality’ by turning it into a hymn to the joys of bestiality. And there was, of course, Bragg himself, the perennial song and joke man with a shopping list of familiar political slogans.”

“And then there was Kirsty MacColl, seeing out a year of ups and downs which brought a chorus of acclaim for her album ‘Electric Landlady’, but a rude shock when her record company initially declined to underwrite her touring costs. It has to be said that, as a live performer, MacColl is not the best advertisement for her own work. The woman who pulled off the barely imaginable feat of providing a romantic foil for Shane MacGowan on The Pogues’ song ‘A Fairytale of New York’ is apparently a retiring personality, and at Hackney her stage presence was low-key to put it mildly. With her competent four-piece band, featuring guitarist Mark Nevin (formerly of Fairground Attraction), ranged in front of the scenery flats for the pantomime currently in residence at the theatre, it all looked cheerfully makeshift. But after a tentative start with ‘A New England’ (written by Bragg) and ‘Fifteen Minutes’ an unappealing moan about how awful it is to be a pop star, the mood of orderly bonhomie gradually brought her out of her shell.”

Poster from the Hackney Empire in 1991
Poster from the Hackney Empire in 1991

“Her voice, with its clear vowel sounds and pronounced folky lilt, teased out fresh nuances from the old Clash song ‘Train in Vain’ which segued, falteringly, into ‘Walking Down Madison’ the standout track from ‘Electric Landlady’. As Nevin coaxed a polite shrieking noise from his guitar and wah-wah pedal, MacColl reminded us that ‘It’s not that far from the sharks in the penthouse … to the bag lady frozen asleep in the park’ a message which seemed to capture rather well the pessimistic spirit in which this new year will have been greeted by many people.”

“Wisely sticking to the more uptempo material from her varied portfolio, she rocked out with ‘Free World’ and set off at a lively canter through the rockabilly swing of her first hit ‘There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip shop Swears He’s Elvis’. By the time she ended the set with the Johnny Moped song ‘Darling Let’s Have Another Baby’ performed as a vaudevillian duet with Bragg, she had generated considerable warmth. The only major disappointment of the night was Bragg’s failure to join her for ‘A Fairytale of New York’ which MacColl bravely sang by herself.”

Highlights:

1. Train In Vain, 2. Walking Down Madison, 3. They Don’t Know, 4. Fairytale of New York, 5. Darling Let’s Have Another Baby

Kirsty at Hackney Empire, Dec 1991 © Terry Hurley
Kirsty at Hackney Empire, Dec 1991 © Terry Hurley