On 26th February, Dr Joe Bennett was in conversation with Gordon Smart on his BBC Radio 5 Live show about storytellers in songwriting. Kirsty, along with artists like Tom Petty and Harry Nilsson are discussed in this episode. They start talking about Kirsty and her song, ‘What Do Pretty Girls Do?’ at 20.52.

Storytellers: Tom Petty, Simon & Garfunkel, Kirsty MacColl, Harry Nilsson, Gordon Lightfoot…

From Ruby

All I Ever Wanted (Demo)

An excerpt of Marshall Crenshaw and Kirsty’s 1983/84 demo  was uploaded to YouTube on Thursday. She recorded her vocals on top of the backing track, which Marshall sent to her by post.

Kirsty MacColl & Marshall Crenshaw - All I Ever Wanted (demo)

This reminds me of ‘(We’re Gonna) Shake Up Their Minds’ from Marshall’s 1985 album, ‘Downtown’ in terms of melody.

(We're Gonna) Shake Up Their Minds

From Ruby

Croydon Exhibition

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend so far. It has gone off to a great start for me as I visited the new ‘Rewind: This Is Croydon’s Music’ exhibition today at the Museum Of Croydon. It celebrates the borough’s rich musical history.  There 5 sections in the exhibition:

Music On The High Street – This takes a look at the history of the borough’s music stores over the years, including Bonaparte where Kirsty worked in the 70s.

Music Venues – This maps out Croydon’s  different venues through the years.

Music Makers – This features Croydon-related acts who have made a significant contribution to music, including Stormzy, Saint Etienne, Ralph McTell and of course, Kirsty.

Music Creatives – This looks at the association between music and art. For example, people who have attended the Croydon School of Art like Jamie Reid who designed artwork for the Sex Pistols.

Music Moments – This delves into the borough as a destination for music, from festivals to acts on tour. For example, The Beatles playing in Croydon.

The exhibition includes interactive activities for visitors. This involves writing music memories on CD shaped paper. Or you can make your own phrases or lyrics on a magnetic wall of words.

On the Kirsty front, the artwork sleeves for ‘Chip Shop’ and ‘Innocence’ were on display. A write-up about her was included in the wall of fame with a great black and white photo taken during the making of her promo video, ‘A New England’.  On a CD shaped card, someone wrote: “Not a place, but love Croydon queen Kirsty MacColl”. I did a similar thing.

I had a brilliant time overall and the exhibition was wonderfully put together.

I will see you in the next post.

From Ruby


Croydon Music Heritage Trail

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all having a wonderful week so far.

On Saturday 12th August, I visited Croydon for the first time. It was for the Music Heritage Trail walking tour as part of This Is Croydon, the Mayor of London’s Borough of Culture.

We met at The Queen’s Gardens where the Croydon Symphony mural is located. The mural was designed by  ATMA Art and the unveiling was on 17th June. As well as Kirsty, it features Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Avril Coleridge-Taylor, Ralph McTell, Desmond Dekker, Captain Sensible, Shirin Sriram, Stormzy and Nadia Rose.

Afterwards, we went outside Fairfield Halls which is an arts, entertainment and conference centre built in 1962. Many renowned musical acts have performed there such as Duke Ellington, The Beatles, David Bowie, Morrissey, etc. Rat Scabies and Captain Sensible from The Damned both worked as cleaners there in the 1970s.

Next, we walked to Croydon College where the likes of  David Bowie and Ray Davies attended.

Our third stop was Boxpark, where the building of the Bonaparte record store used to be. Kirsty had a job at the store during the late 1970s, working in the mail order department. While we were there, I spoke to everyone about this fabulous website and her bench in Soho Square. I also told them about the ‘Kirsty MacColl’s London’ map, which you can visit here. She achieved the 3rd highest vote from local Croydon residents to be featured on the trail. Very well deserved!

We also went to The Greyhound And The Blue Orchid, the site where Beanos and Big Apple Records used to be and Ruskin House Folk and Blues Club.

After the tour finished, I walked to Wellesley Road where Kirsty had a photo session on 5th June 1979 to promote her debut single, ‘They Don’t Know’.

Overall, I had a brilliant time visiting these places, meeting new people and sharing my love for Kirsty.

I will be returning to Croydon this Saturday for an exciting new exhibition which will feature Kirsty, celebrating their musical heritage, hosted by the Museum Of Croydon.

From Ruby

Conte de Fées de New York

On Thursday 18th, a book was published about The Pogues and Kirsty classic, ‘Fairytale Of New York’. It’s written by Yann Liotard. The book is in French, but hopefully there will be an English version one day.

Here is the synopsis in  English:

‘Celebrating Christmas in a sobering up cell. What a program! “Fairytale Of New York” is decidedly the anti “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (or the other way around, since the first single dates from 1987, the second from 1994). A far cry from the Justin Bieber/Mariah Carey duo, Shane MacGowan has the immeasurable talent of the late Kirsty MacColl. Despite recording in the middle of the summer, the Pogues were able to capture the magic of Christmas for a punk and folk anthem. That was all it took for Yann Liotard, a big fan of Les Pogues devant l’Eternel (to the point of having already written a book on the second LP, Rum, Sodomy And The Lash at Editions Density in the Discogonie collection), to dive into the story of the most perfect Irish Christmas single. Then to visit other Christmas songs more or less subversive.’

You can order a paperback or an e-book version using one of the following links.

From Ruby

Kirsty artikler

Recently, I found these articles about Kirsty from the Norwegian website, ‘LeffesLab’.

This is an interview the writer, Leffe did with Kirsty in 1989.

She did another in 1991 to promote ‘Electric Landlady’.

This is an article about when Leffe met her for the first time. The story is one of the many examples of her kind and caring personality.

They are all in Norwegian, but a translation to English should come up.

From Ruby

Les Pogues et Kirsty à la télé Française

Last month, I posted a rare video of The Pogues and Kirsty performing ‘Fairytale Of New York’ on French TV.  Recently, I have found two more videos from the same show, which were broadcast on 26th February 1988. The band performed ‘Dirty Old Town’ and ‘If I Should Fall From Grace With God’ with Kirsty making appearances in both of them.

The links for the videos are in French, but translations for English should come up in your browsers.

From Ruby