[20] Kirsty MacColl, ‘Free World’

Kirsty MacColl

Sorry, Kirst, for demeaning your memory by playing this song through the iDog. The decorators are coming in to paint our new living room today, so all the stereo components are in a pile next to my bed, and I just couldn’t wait to get started with ’89. You can only go so long without hearing Glen Medeiros’ honeyed tones.

Right, what’s she on about here? Well, it’s a protest song, anti-Thatcherite and bristling with the righteous fury of the masses, man. It’s driven by rattling, chiming guitar, very Smithsy – as I recall, Johnny Marr was all over the Kite album so this is no spooky coincidence. Then we have the familiar, multi-tracked MacColl vocals. I think they’re multi-tracked, she always sounded like that. Or maybe she had more than one larynx.

Anyway, it’s a great record and it gets better every year.

The iDog gave it the full red and yellow lightshow and shook its head around. Junior copied it. The head-shaking bit, I mean. She’s not mastered projecting coloured lights from her forehead yet. God knows what they do at that nursery all day.