She should have died when she was born
While Manics occasionally change the instrumentation or style of the songs they cover to suit themselves, the core of the song always stays the same. The mood or the way the message is conveyed is kept pretty faithful to the original even when the song itself changes its superficial form. The cover of Nirvana’s punky b-side “Been a Son” that the band recorded during a radio session and later on released as a part of Lipstick Traces is the exception to that rule.
The original, which you can rather easily find from Youtube considering Nirvana’s popularity, is a quick and shouty little punk thing where Cobain’s rather impassionate vocal style gives a lovely whiff of emotional detachment to the song; coupled with the repetetive, simple and short lyrics it’s like a pitiful narration without much sympathy. Manics, stripped away from their usual full band getup during the session, slow the pace and minimalise the instrumentation even further. The electric guitar is switched into a menacinly jangly acoustic guitar and the rhythm section is all manpower, claps and foot thumps. James shouts in the mic and breaks the volume meters enough to give it that rough fuzz you’re probably familiar with from several Know Your Enemy b-sides. But the key importance is that James sounds angry. The music is like a jangly one-two-one-two march and rather than Cobain’s nonchalance, the narrator in the Manics version is downright spitefully telling the tale of the misfortunate girl. A simple punk rocker turns into a vicious, revenge-seeking lynch march.
Just the fact that this Been a Son has the clap ‘n thump rhythm section instead of being a James solo acoustic moment like most radio session live performances raises it above a lot of other covers by the band in its sheer intrigue value.