Kirstyfest 2023

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all having a lovely start to your week. As most of you know, it was Kirstyfest on Sunday 8th October, gathering in Soho Square at 12pm. Like last year, I went with my Uncle and his girlfriend. I greeted everyone and gave the welcome speech at the bench before we sang ‘Soho Square’ and ‘Don’t Come the Cowboy with Me Sonny Jim!’. Paul Chinniah, Dong Woo-Kang AKA Ezra and Terry Hurley played the guitars. Lee Harrison filmed the performances and uploaded them to the ‘Kirstyfest’ Facebook group.

Soho Square:

Don’t Come The Cowboy With Me Sonny Jim!:

Afterwards, we went to the Spice of Life pub for more singing and fun. My other Uncle and Auntie came as well. I met The Pogues’ tin whistle player, Spider Stacy and his wife Louise for the first time. They were lovely.  Compared to last year, there were more people this time round. I decided to be the first one to perform, playing ‘See That Girl’, ‘The Hardest Word’, ‘They Don’t Know’ and ‘Chip Shop’. 

Next, Chloe Lorentzen and Dong Woo-Kang performed ‘Can’t Stop Killing You’ (with Paul on harmonica), ‘Titanic Days’ and ‘Children Of The Revolution’ (with Paul on harmonica).

Can't Stop Killing You (Kirsty MacColl cover) - Chloe Lorentzen & Dong-Woo Kang - KirstyFest 2023

Titanic Days (Kirsty MacColl cover) - Chloe Lorentzen & Dong-Woo Kang - KirstyFest 2023

Children of the Revolution (Kirsty MacColl cover) - Chloe Lorentzen & Dong-Woo Kang KirstyFest 2023

Cass Francis sang ‘England 2 Columbia 0’, ‘Bad’ and ‘Still Life’ (with Paul on harmonica), accompanied by Terry Hurley on guitar.

Chloe and Dong Woo-Kang came back on and performed ‘Sun On The Water’ (with Paul on harmonica), ‘England 2 Columbia 0’, ‘Caroline’, ‘They Don’t Know’, ‘A New England’, ‘Walking Down Madison’ and ‘Terry’. 

Paul performed ‘Chip Shop’ and ‘Head’ with his wife Sue and his own song called ‘South Street’ with references to Bruce Springsteen and Kirsty.

As many of you may know, we held an auction this year for the Music Fund For Cuba. Kirsty’s friend and artist, Philip Hardaker designed 5 medallions in tribute to her. I read out a piece Kirsty herself wrote about Philip in 1997 to everyone. The medallions were sold for £280! The Rose Cann Family won them along with a copy of the piece.

Natasha Hickman from the Music Fund For Cuba wrote an article about the auction, which you can read in the link below.

The quiz was created by The Rose Cann family this year. It was very good, although they could have given out the answers to the quiz at the end. For the first time in Kirstyfest history, there were 4 joint winning teams, including mine where we all got 16 out of 16. They set a tie breaker question for the 4 of us. I answered quickly and received the Kirstyfest cup for the 3rd time and a card from them, which I thought was a lovely touch. The other 3 winners got a copy of the Kirsty Life In Song 2002 tribute concert programme.  I also won a signed copy of ‘My Bass And Other Animals’, a memoir by bass player, Guy Pratt.

Hannah Rose Cann sang a wonderful version of ‘He’s On The Beach’ with Paul accompanying her on guitar.

Terry Hurley gave me a bag of his Kirsty cuttings, VHS tapes, cassettes and photographs at the pub. He told me he was having a clear out and wanted someone who would cherish and look after them. I’m honoured to own the collection!

It was great to see Louis there this year, bringing his dog with him. Just last week, he unveiled a green plaque dedicated to his Mum outside 48 Mount Park Road, where she lived from 1985 to 2000. Him and Jamie are a great credit to their wonderful Mother’s legacy.

We had a fantastic time and I hope to see some of you in 2024!

From Ruby