This afternoon I attended KirstyFest 2009, the celebration of the life and work of Kirsty MacColl. Kirsty was killed in a diving tragedy off the island of Cozumel in Mexico in 2000 and, ever since, fans and admirers have got together to celebrate her life on the closest Sunday to her birthday. Today would have been her 50th birthday.
The Kirsty Krew originally got together to buy a memorial bench on the south side of Soho Square, echoing one of her songs from 'Titanic Days'. The celebration has gone much wider than the first dozen or so fans who were moved to mark her life with a permanent bench in Soho Square, and each year the celebration gets bigger and bigger. Jean MacColl, Kirsty's mother, always turns up to tell us about developments with the Justice For Kirsty campaign and Kirsty's sons have started attending as well.
I've been a few times, accompanying Chris (one of the original bench stalwarts), and it never ceases to amaze me how many new faces there are at each event. This is a testament to the power of Kirsty's music and the legacy she's left behind her. This year the event was held in the Phoenix Club (underneath the Phoenix Theatre on Charing Cross Road) and organised by Claire, so well done!
It's nice that it's attended by celebs as well as mere mortals, and some of the names I didn't see were Holly Johnson, Phil Jupitus and Steve Lillywhite, although I did see Janice Long. I just never look in the right direction. Still, it doesn't matter about them - it's about Kirsty.