Kirsty Maccoll

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 I still can’t get that song out of my head. Yes, the one about liking piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. Photograph: Getty Images

I made piña colada cupcakes after reading Aoife Noonan’s tempting recipe in the pages of this newspaper recently (August 14th). They were very nice in(...)

Shane McGowan is set to see a decline in Christmas revenue. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Musicians behind Ireland’s favourite Christmas hits are facing a steep plunge in their earnings this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Stars (...)

Jon Bon Jovi has released his Fairytale of New York cover as part of a three-track Christmas EP. Photograph: David Bergman/davidbergman.net

Jon Bon Jovi has raised eyebrows – and appalled some listeners – with his new cover of Fairytale of New York, The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl’s Christma(...)

Fairytale of New York: Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan around the time of the song’s release, in 1987. Photograph: Tim Roney/Getty

Once upon a time a band set out to make a Christmas song. Not about snow or sleigh rides or mistletoe or miracles but about lost youth and ruined drea(...)

Shane MacGowan and Nick Cave duet on What a Wonderful World’ in 1992

Nick Cave says the BBC’s decision to censor Fairytale of New York “destroys” the song. In a post for his Red Hand Files newsletter, the Australian si(...)

Bombay Bicycle Club

Any band that gets back together after a few years pursuing those sometimes dreaded “solo” projects will often return to face one of two things: a shr(...)

The Warwick Hotel in Salthill, Galway, “the west’s alternative ballroom of romance”, undergoing demolition.  Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

The walls have come tumbling down at the Warwick Hotel in Galway where tens of thousands of people danced and sang and shifted their way through their(...)

‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’  was written for the 1949 film ‘Neptune’s Daughter’, starring Esther Williams and Ricardo Montalban.  Photograph: Mondadori Portfolio by Getty Images

Although not a Christmas song per se, Baby It’s Cold Outside is an annual festive favourite. The call and response duet details a man trying to convin(...)

‘Last Christmas’ is the ghost of every Christmas past booming from the speakers – from your first Walkman to the background fuzz of festive ‘Top of the Pops’.

Christmas songs are a bit like those tantalising chocolates in the advent calendar. Fun and festive if you pace yourself and indulge at the appropriat(...)

Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan: Fairytale of New York still  retains its emotional heft. Photograph: Patrick Ford / Redferns
Happy 60th birthday, Shane MacGowan

Shane MacGowan celebrates his 60th birthday today. For many, this is a modest achievement, but for this singular singer-songwriter it is remarkable on(...)

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