From what I can gather, Kirsty MacColl is an artist who quite a lot of people quite like… but many of them do so in a quietly stubborn manner. Y’know – the kind of fandom which people proclaim with an embarrassed shrug and a muttered “Yeah, well”. This, you see, is not cool music. It’s too naïve, too straightforward, too droll and too gently bittersweet. It simply isn’t hip.
Yeah, well you can fuck off with yer Hip and yer Cool and yer oh-so-knowing wisearse snide remarks. Kirsty MacColl was great: Fact.
Why was she great? Because she sang on The Pogues’ 'Fairytale of New York' and then she toured with them. And because Billy Bragg wrote extra verses just for her when she covered 'A New England'. And because she had a song called 'There’s a Guy Works Down the Chip Shop Swears He’s Elvis'. And because she wrote warm, funny, incredibly human and often achingly sad songs which had fantastic tunes. And because she sang about painful things with a heartmelting resigned irony which made you grin and sing along. And because she was honest without being a bleeding heart. And because she clearly and simply just loved music.
Kirsty MacColl wrote pop songs with a whole lot of soul and with the rough edges left in, and she was great. If you’re a fan of music with integrity and are prepared to sedate your inner indie snob for the sake of a cracking tune, you could do much, much worse than check her out – 'In These Shoes?' is going to be on repeat play round these parts for a long time to come.