Does Bana­narama still have ap­peal?

Original lineup an­nounces its first North Amer­i­can tour

The Observer (Sarnia) - - ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR - HILARY FOX

LON­DON — It took a kitchen singsong to get ’80s Bri­tish pop group Bana­narama back to­gether and out on the road after 30 years.

The girl group’s original mem­bers — Sara Dallin, Keren Wood­ward and Siob­han Fa­hey — say they are tour­ing the U.S.— with one Cana­dian stop — for the first time in Fe­bru­ary.

Fa­hey left the band in 1988 to form Shake­spears Sis­ter, and Dallin and Wood­ward have been per­form­ing as a duo in re­cent years. They were joined briefly by Jacquie O’Sul­li­van, who took part in a 1989 world tour but left in 1991.

“We were hav­ing a dance around Siob­han’s kitchen a few years ago,” Wood­ward said. “And I said to her, ‘you just don’t un­der­stand the love and how it feels when you are get­ting your songs sung’ and I just thought it was such a shame she had never ex­pe­ri­enced it with us and it just seemed like such a crying shame re­ally.”

Fa­hey, who now lives in Los Angeles, said she was ex­cited to per­form the band’s songs live.

“I am re-fa­mil­iar­iz­ing my­self with our body of work over the sum­mer,” she said. “I was so proud, it is re­ally some­thing to cel­e­brate.”

Re­hearsals be­gan this week and tick­ets go on sale Fri­day. Some Bri­tish tour dates have al­ready sold out.

“It has been a con­stant love wave ac­tu­ally this time around. Times have changed and peo­ple seem to ap­pre­ci­ate us a lot more this time,” says Fa­hey.

Bana­narama’s North Amer­i­can suc­cess be­gan with Cruel Sum­mer of 1983, which be­came a hit after the track was picked to ap­pear on the sound­track for Karate Kid.

The group said it re­al­ized how big the song had be­come when Mike Tyson once sang the lyrics to them as they walked past him in his limo. Fur­ther hits in­cluded Venus, I Heard A Ru­mor and Robert DeNiro’s Wait­ing, which led to a Lon­don meet­ing with the Os­car­win­ning ac­tor. The group was once named by the Guin­ness World Records as the most suc­cess­ful girl group of all time.

The group’s North Amer­i­can tour be­gins in Los Angeles on Feb 20, tak­ing in other cities San Fran­cisco, New York and Toronto.

GRANT POL­LARD/IN­VI­SION

Bana­narama from left, Siob­han Fa­hey, Sara Dallin, and Keren Wood­ward, pose for a por­trait in Lon­don to pro­mote their new tour. Bana­narama is back to­gether after thirty years and it is tour­ing the U.S. for the first time. The girl group’s original mem­bers — Dallin, Wood­ward and Fa­hey say they be­gan re­hearsals this week for the shows, due to start in Fe­bru­ary.

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