Kirsty MacColl – A New England

When I think of Kirsty McColl I think of 4 things. The abiding memory is her feisty performance on the best Christmas song of them all ‘Fairytale of New York’ with the Pogues. And to think she wasn’t even the first choice to vocal spar with Shane McGowan. Secondly, and I have to thank Weetabix for their cassette giveaways of the mid eighties for this, there is the irritation that was her tune ‘There’s A Guy Down The Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis’. Rubbish title, rubbish song. Thirdly her horrifying and untimely death in Mexico still unsettles and the fact that she left behind 2 young children makes it all the more tragic. Finally, and on a happy note, there was her exuberant reworking of Billy Bragg’s ‘A New England’. Everything about this cover is magical, as soon as the song races from the traps it evokes feelings of spontaneity and a unique joie-de-vivre. Bragg’s version was laden with acoustic’s and his own brand of Northern angst but it is dwarfed by this ecstatic reworking. KD

Kirsty MacColl – A New England

Watch The Video

More Info: Official & Myspace
Buy Album: [UK] The Best of Kirsty Maccoll [US] The Best of Kirsty MacColl
Year: 1985

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  1. April 23, 2007

    What a great tune. For some reason I have three copies of it on 7″. I might need them as i played it four times in a row the other day. Smashing stuff.

  2. April 25, 2007

    This is a great version – almost as good as the original – but I have a couple of pedantic points to make.Firstly, Bragg’s version didn’t really use acoustics at all – just an electric guitar played almost as if it were acoustic.Secondly, Billy is from the South. His accent is classic Essex-cockney which is, I think, just North East of London, but virtually in the Greater London area.Not that any of this makes it less of a great song, of course. I always liked her contribution to Greetings to the New Brunette as well.

  3. April 25, 2007

    Thanks Matthew for the corrections. Sometimes my research aint the best, but then its more about the music I suppose.

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