Mighty MacColl’s Merry Christmas

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One of the very few regrets I have in life is that I never got to meet Kirsty MacColl, before she met her untimely death on 18th December 2000. One of my favourite songwriters, with wide-ranging musicality (compare “They Don’t Know” to “My Affair”) and lyrical genius (“Don’t Come The Cowboy With Me, Sonny Jim!” being my favourite), I’ve always felt it an unfair reflection of her talent that her highest charting solo single release was “New England”, written by Billy Bragg. Her best known self-penned number, “There’s A Guy Works Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis”, may be catchy and fun, but offers only a glimpse of her versatility and creativity. If your knowledge of Kirsty’s material stretches little beyond this, then treating yourself to her “Kite” album will show you what I mean. It is nearly Christmas after all!

Of course, it is at this time of year that we hear the lovely Ms MacColl singing alongside The Pogues’ Shane McGowan. “Fairytale of New York” is not only my favourite Christmas song, but its video features my teenage crush, Matt Dillon, dressed in a police uniform. So, as an early Christmas present to myself, and to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, here it is…

 

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I’m No Rebel – View From A Hill

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View From A Hill released “I’m No Rebel” in 1987, the year of my ‘O’ Levels, during which I spent many an evening holed up in my bedroom, revising into the early hours. There was always music playing, and the later it got, the more soulful it became. For me, the story “I’m No Rebel” tells evokes imagery reminiscent of that created by S. E. Hinton in her book “The Outsiders”, when Dallas Winston (played in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 film of the book by Matt Dillon) is fatally wounded. Both the book and the film, which boasted a stellar cast, including Patrick Swayze, Tom Cruise, C. Thomas Howell, Ralph Macchio, Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Leif Garrett and Diane Lane, were hugely influential upon my young, teenage self. Although this track is entirely unrelated to either, it will in my head always be inextricably linked to both.