“The short life and tragic death of Kirsty MacColl – Kirsty MacColl led a dazzling life – tender, creative, heroic and full of love. This book, by her mother Jean MacColl, charts with moving insight Kirsty’s early years, and celebrates her brilliant career at the front rank of the music business in the 1980s and 1990s, with such hits as the Pogues collaboration ‘Fairytale of New York’. It mourns her tragic and untimely death – killed by a speedboat in Mexican waters in December 2000. It also tells, with heartfelt truth, the shocking story of the elaborate cover-up and gross miscarriage of justice that followed and appeals for justice to be done in her name.”
This is a republished version of ‘Sun on the Water’, which was first published in 2008. Highly recommended!
This is the 2014 incarnation of the ‘freeworld’ Kirsty MacColl web site, now almost 19 years old! You can now easily add to the body of knowledge by leaving comments on virtually any part on the site, or continue to send messages to me via the Contact Us page. I hope you enjoy exploring the new site.
Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs (of the Bangles) recently released their third ‘Sid & Susie’ covers album, including a cover of ‘They Don’t Know’. “It’s very good, I think, with a neat baroque-pop feel to it (complete with harpsichord). And unlike some other TDK covers, the BAY-BEE! is there in all its glory” – Rich
Another cover version of They Don’t Know from Lydia Loveless on her latest album Somewhere Else. “It’s a very simple, almost perfect pop song. The lyrics are incredibly clever, but not self-aware in their cleverness, if that makes sense. I just really admire it” as Lydia told the cmtedge.com site recently.
The next Kirstyfest is due to take place at noon in Soho Square on Sunday 11th October 2020, moving on to a nearby hostelry.
Obviously while COVID-19 walks the dark streets of London and everywhere else, this could change.
2 days ago
I've arrived very late, sadly, to a proper appreciation of the epic talent of the beautiful, sweet and thoughtful Kirsty MacColl. I was up all night until dawn this morning hooked to her on Youtube, after it lead on from Tracey Ullmans cover of 'They don't know'. It was a revelatory experience. She had originally passed me by, mostly, as my life has predominantly been within dance music. But I was utterly hypnotised and totally blown away by her last night. So many perfectly poignant, deeply emotional, funny and melancholy masterpieces. And timeless. The mark of genius. The sheer variety and quality of her compositions unknown before to me. To many others also I sadly suspect. I listened for hours with tears in my eyes. I would go so far to say that she is (was sadly) one of the greatest singer-songwriters this country has ever produced. I've not heard anything better. So quintessentially British too. The awful, shocking nature of her untimely death at the hands of the vilest of people is just sickening. Heartbreaking. Devastating and angering. And difficult to get over. But the poignance of her music is not embellished by this occurrence. For it is perfect in it's own right and remains so. I so wish that I had arrived here earlier. I would have loved to have gone to one of the Kirsty days. And spoken to her mother. Attempted to convey to her the feelings that Kirsty's words, music and spirit have brought out in me. But alas, that cannot be now. Much of her music is on it's way to me now. As is her biography. I'll end by posting this composition of hers. I cannot believe it is so little known. It's an ambient masterpiece in my opinion and so contemporary. And not what I would ever have expected. Until last night. It affects me very deeply. A haunting piece of music that will follow me for ever. Kirsty MacColl. What a talent. ...
Better late than never. Welcome. Any fan of Kirsty’s is a friend of mine
There are a couple of songs late on Titanic Days that are so melancholy and moving. Kirsty’s inspiration from the Wall of Sound really shines throughout her career. Listening to Kirsty’s music, it’s easy to get a feel for what she was like as a person: politics, environment, walls of sound, Latin rhythms, sharp lyrics, sex, jokes: it’s all there.
Chris: am I right in thinking you’d never really paid attention to or noticed Kirsty til she crossed your YouTube?
I adore that album. The divorce album.
Absolute stone classic. Brilliant record.
It's never too late to get into Kirsty's music! It's lovely to hear that you have just discovered it, and are enjoying it so much.😀
Wow! I loved reading your post. It reminded me of all the feelings I had whenI first discovered her music here in the USA. I saw Electric Landlady at a record store and only knew of her fromBilly Bragg records. I envy you for the fresh find of great music! I haven't experienced that in a while.
Beautifully said. Kirsty was and still is so beautiful,talented and warm. There are so many words to describe her. She lives on in so many ways,in our hearts. Tracey Ullman though? Was never a fan personally
I pretty much listen to this song once a day for years now. I have many "favorites" but this is my private, true favorite, if you understand what I mean? I always sing along to this and usually on a walk in nature. It connects me back to my truest self.🌞
A beautiful album. Just lets you float away. Could be my favourite.
I read it was the first time they met was at the TOTP studios. Kirsty laid down her vocals separately. Also the Happy Monday’s were banned from TOTP after their performance for swearing at the director, producer or someone like that. A sensitive soul lol
Love Kirsty. Forever and always for so many reasons 😍😍😍
Wow, and there she is on another artist I like, John Wesley Harding, it is strange but once you know it’s obvious and clearly Kirsty. I feel like an idiot as I’ve heard that song dozens of times and never considered who the female backing singer was! Thanks chaps
Soo funny u should say that. I only noticed thst yesterday
I read somewhere that she's actually dancing to the Happy Monday's when she pops up on the TV screen in the video for Free World. I had already guessed it might be them by how she was dancing
I’m showing my ignorance here, but I have only learned about the bench in Soho Square through this group and also just read that there is an annual meet up in October to celebrate Kirsty’s songs. I am guessing many of you have attended this gathering and I wonder what the experience was like? I have added this to my bucket list and hope my ignorance does not get me kicked out of this group 🥺😉￼ ...
Although I have known about KirstyFest for well over 10 years last year was the first time I attended. It's a great day with lots of friendly people some of whom have managed to get to every KirstyFest. They go out of their way to make newcomers welcome
I’v been nice and aim to get there but work always interfere. Hoping to get there this year
Welcome William Nightingale. I've been going since 2006. It is a great day. We meet at the Kirsty bench at 12:00. We then sing 2 or three songs (don't worry it's just a singalong and we have song sheets people bring). Before her death Kirsty's mum used to attend. One or both of her sons usually come. Then a few short speeches to welcome everyone. Then a short walk to the nearby Spice of Life pub. We have the entire basement bar for the rest of the day exclusively.We have singers and a quiz etc and a great time is had by all! Oh and the pubs food is pretty good as well! Come along. I've made some lovely friends at the fest over the years...
I did my third year last October.
One of the best days of the year.
A great atmosphere, a chance to speak to fellow fans, and the drink is reasonably priced.
Neill, join the related Kirstyfest page. I've been a couple of times and it's a friendly atmosphere, though I don't know if it's going ahead this year with covid etc
I went in 2004 and had a great day out. There were 30 approx people there, I'm sure it's grown since. Jean greeted everyone and talked about the Justice for Kirsty campaign. Some fella with his acoustic guitar and wearing an impressive Electric Landlady t-shirt lead us into renditions of Soho Square and Days. Both Kirsty's son's were there too. Then it was off to a nearby pub, where upstairs was reserved for us and a good deal of drinking, singing and chit-chat occurred.
This won't be the year but I've been to the bench and hope to make th fest some day.
A truly wonderful, warm, friendly and fun event. Love it, love it, love it. xx
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We have had over 1 million visitors since December 1995. We have been talking ’bout Kirsty ever since! This is the definitive online history of one of the best British singers and songwriters.
Kirsty said in 1999 … “Freeworld is the one, there’s tons and tons of it. It’s got records I didn’t know I’d ever done.”
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