A Conversation for Under-appreciated Singers and Songwriters
Pheroneous Started conversation Dec 27, 2000
As this entry seems about to get to the front page, I would like to record a sadness at the loss of Kirsty McColl, who was almost included in this list until I realised I was not as familiar as I should be with her canon of work. Not under-appreciated at all, to judge from the prominence given to recording her death, and the seasonal ubiquity, of her voice, of 'Fairytale of New York' but a startlingly original songwriter who struggled with stage fright and was burdened, if that is the right word, with a famous father to live up to. Nevertheless she made her own way from folk roots, through 'chip-shop' to the more recent Latin influenced stuff, with panache, humour and a sly slant to many of her lyrics.
Ormondroyd Posted Dec 28, 2000
I was lucky enough to meet and talk to Kirsty on a couple of occasions in the course of my work as a music journalist, and I can certainly confirm that she was every bit as warm, witty and charming in person as her songs would suggest. I've felt desperately sad every time I've heard "Fairytale Of New York" this Christmas; I can't imagine what it must have been like for her family.
She did, as you say, suffer greatly from stage fright, and I remember that she also hated having her picture taken; for much of the Nineties she only trusted one particular photographer to do the deed. She blamed her less-than-prolific output on chronic writer's block and lapses in confidence; perhaps no-one underrated Kirsty MacColl more than Kirsty MacColl. But she touched so many lives, and she is sadly missed.
Pheroneous Posted Dec 28, 2000
Thanks for that, and putting the 'Mac' right.
Ormondroyd Posted Dec 29, 2000
There is a great Kirsty MacColl website at It's very informative, and at the moment it's also very touching, with some terribly poignant messages left by fans from all over the world.
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