1987-88 touring with the Pogues

The Pogues Years

After her early horrors on the Irish ballroom tour, it took a few years of making guest appearances with the Pogues on the back of the success of ‘Fairytale of New York’ before she would appear on stage again as a solo performer.

releasedNovember 1987
‘Fairytale of New York’ single with the Pogues released on Stiff/Pogue Mahone.

LONDON Electric Ballroom, Camden

December 10 1987. A pre-tour outing for the Pogues at the Electric Ballroom in Camden. We might reasonably expect Kirsty to be there, though this is unconfirmed.

Top of the Pops

December 17, 1987. A TV performance of ‘Fairytale of New York’, with the Pogues. Gary Davies again, this time with Mike Read. Since the show was recorded a couple of days earlier it allowed her to ‘simultaneously’ be in Scotland for Pogues duty!

GLASGOW Barrowlands

The Pogues played a three night residency at Glasgow Barrowlands then toured throughout the first half of 1988 and KM would have appeared at many shows, though we don’t know which. Thanks to Patrice Brouhat’s excellent research.

Pogues ticket from December 1987
Pogues ticket from December 1987

December 17-19 1987. Kirsty sang on ‘Fairytale of New York’ and ‘A pair of brown eyes’. Tracks from the 17th (‘Brown eyes’ and ‘Sally Maclennane’) appear on the CD single for ‘If I should fall from grace with God’.

The Scottish Daily Record reported that “she was only too happy to give the Pogues’ pin-up singer a quick kiss under the mistletoe” after the band’s recent festive concerts at Glasgow Barrowland. “Really, I can’t stand him”, joked Kirsty, “e’s horrible, ain’t he?”. And Shane laughingly added “I’m mad about Kirsty. But then again, I’m not married to her.” “The audience at the Barrowland is the best in the world” Kirsty said.

Pogues on Tour

The Pogues then played an extensive tour so, on the basis that Kirsty will have played at least some of those dates, they were February 21 Norwich UEA, 22 Reading University, 23 Leicester DeMontford Hall, 24 Birmingham Odeon, 26 Newcastle City Hall, 27 Aberdeen Capitol, 28/29 Edinburgh Playhouse, March 1 Leeds University (a confirmed sighting), 2 Hanley Victoria Hall, 3 Manchester Apollo,4 Liverpool Royal Court, 6 Bristol Studio, 7 Swansea Mayfair, 8 Nottingham Rock City, 9 Sheffield City Hall, 10 Electric Ballroom Camden, 11 Cambridge Corn Exchange, 12 Brighton Centre, 13 Southampton Mayflower.

LONDON Town & Country Club

March 14-19, 1988. Kirsty sang on ‘Fairytale of New York’, ‘Lullaby of London’, ‘Dirty old town’ and ‘Turkish Song of The Damned’. The March 17 show was videoed and released as ‘The Pogues Live at the Town and Country: St Patrick’s Night’ on Virgin Music Video VVD405. It was part of a six night residency.

LONDON Brixton Academy

March 20, 1988. The Pogues then disappearing over to Europe for the summer (we don’t think Kirsty was with them) before playing Leeds on 1st December, Paris Cergy-Pontoise on 2nd December and Scunthorpe Baths Hall on 7th December (all with Kirsty).

Top of the Pops

July 13, 1988. The promo video for ‘Days’ was shown. Presenters? Bruno Brookes and Jakki Graham.

Radio interview with JJJ in Australia

At some point in 1989 Kirsty appeared on Australia’s JJJ station with this interview.

Top of the Pops

July 27, 1988. With the continuing success of ‘Days’, Kirsty appeared in person two weeks later. Mark Goodier and Simon Parkin were the presenters this time.

Promo spot with the Kinks

August 15, 1988. According to Kinks piano man (1989-93) Mark Haley, Kirsty sang with the band at the Town & Country in Kentish Town (North London). Mark says, ‘VH1 were filming a documentary all afternoon and Kirsty MacColl who’d just had a Top 20 hit with ‘Days’ was due to sing with the band.’

‘I can’t remember much of the filming, however I remember meeting Kirsty and her husband Steve Lillywhite very clearly. She was extremely nervous during the sound check, literally shaking with stage fright. Once the introduction tape started up, there was no time to be nervous and the roar of recognition as we walked out onto the stage was exhilarating.’


December 9, 1988 guesting with The Pogues. ‘Fairytale of New York’, ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’, ‘Turkish Song of The Damned’, ‘Fiesta’, ‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’, ‘The Irish Rover’.

There were gigs on December 12 at Birmingham NEC, 17 London Wembley Arena and 18 Brighton Centre.

LONDON Brixton Academy

December 19, 1988 guesting with The Pogues. ‘Fairytale of New York’, ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’, ‘A Pair of Brown Eyes’, ‘Honky Tonk Women’, ‘Waltzing Matilda’.

The band played December 22 Dublin Point, and a couple of Brixton dates on March 17/18, 1989. We have no confirmed record of Kirsty appearances in any of those.