All our Fairytales: part 22

This interesting version comes from Jesse Malin and Bree Sharp. I like it because it does something different with the arrangement (after the first verse which sticks pretty much to the solo piano template). I also enjoy Jesse Malin’s vocals (and Bree’s too of course – there is a version out with Malin and Debbie Harry which is not as good, but in its defence its live without great production).

Malin’s career is interesting. He started out aged twelve in hardcore punk band Heart Attack, a band which auditioned successfully for famed New York club CBGBs, until that venue realised they (and their audience) were too young to sell drinks to. He first came to my attention as a mover and shaker in Strummerfest, the annual charitable celebration of the life and works of Joe Strummer, not just one of my favourite pre-Pogues performers but also a regular live collaborator and occasional stand in for members of the band.

I will use any excuse to promote one of my favourite movies. It is a dreadfully bad but also great movie called Straight to Hell, staring Joe Strummer among others, including a young Kathy Burke, Coutney Love, Dennis Hopper, Jim Jarmusch, Grace Jones and of course the Pogues as Mexican-Irish coffee-bandits The McMahone Gang. Veteran reviewer Roger Ebert called it “simply a record of aimless behavior, of a crowd of pals asked to dress up like cowboys and mill about on a movie set.” What could be better than that? I remember seeking out a video tape in the early days, and having to pay over the odds for a version made for video-rental shops. It did eventually reach the consumer market on a DVD Alex Cox reissue set, and I think you can rent it from Amazon. In a Christmas Classic in waiting.

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