THE GOOD THE BARD & THE UGLY

Shake­spears Sis­ter ac­ri­mo­niously split 26 years ago. MAR­ION McMULLEN learns how they put the past be­hind them

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I went to meet Siobhan with an open mind and we aired our dif­fer­ences and clar­i­fied things Mar­cella Detroit on the re­union

‘IDID not think it would ever hap­pen,” says Mar­cella Detroit, of Shake­spears Sis­ter’s re­cent shock re­union. “It just shows that you just never know what is round the cor­ner. We just took a leap of faith.”

The mu­si­cal duo was at the height of its pop­u­lar­ity in the early Nineties with two best­selling al­bums and award-win­ning mega-hit Stay spend­ing eight weeks at num­ber one.

Then Mar­cella learned that Shake­spears Sis­ter was no more when Siobhan Fa­hey’s pub­lisher an­nounced the part­ner­ship was over at the 1993 Ivor Novello Awards.

Mar­cella and Siobhan had not spo­ken since... un­til now.

“I did reach out to her over the years and got a few short emails,” says 66-year-old Mar­cella of her band­mate, “but she just wasn’t ready.”

That changed when Siobhan asked if they could meet up at a cof­fee shop in Los An­ge­les, where they now both live, to clear the air.

Siobhan, who was for­merly a founder mem­ber of Bana­narama, says: “Nei­ther of us wanted to go into it if there was any­thing apart from friend­ship and unity. We did not want a repeat of 1992. Life’s too short. So I think we just ex­plored it slowly. It was time... fi­nally.”

Mar­cella adds: “I went to meet Siobhan with an open mind and we aired our dif­fer­ences and clar­i­fied things. There was no stop­ping this. It was like this snow­ball that just kept on gath­er­ing more and more speed. I think we’ve come to a point where we re­spect and un­der­stand each other more than we ever could have back then.”

The meet­ing led to the pair heading to the desert and rent­ing an Airbnb in Joshua Tree to write to­gether. The re­sult is sin­gle All The Queen’s Horses and the ac­com­pa­ny­ing mu­sic video charts their re­la­tion­ship.

“We had such a great time,” says Siobhan. “It was the whole team back again and it was like old times.”

In fact, the part­ner­ship is now so strong that a new sin­gles col­lec­tion, Sin­gles Party, comes out next month, fea­tur­ing some new tracks, along­side their hits.

They will also be em­bark­ing on the Shake­spears Sis­ter Ride Again tour in Oc­to­ber and Novem­ber play­ing an ex­ten­sive run of UK shows, in­clud­ing a night at the Lon­don Pal­la­dium. They’re even busy work­ing on new mu­sic and hope to bring out an EP.

Siobhan ad­mits singing live on The Graham Nor­ton Show was a nerve-wrack­ing re­turn. “That was ter­ri­fy­ing. We weren’t pre­pared for it. We had just ar­rived in Bri­tain af­ter 27 years and did the show in front of mil­lions. It was very emo­tional for Marcy. Stay started, and stand­ing on that stage was real deja vu. It was over­whelm­ing.”

The two singers were orig­i­nally paired up by song­writer Richard Feld­man who thought their highly dif­fer­ent vo­cal styles would work well to­gether.

“He thought her voice would re­ally com­ple­ment mine and he was right,” says Siobhan.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited about the tour and we en­joy per­form­ing,” she adds. “I think, look­ing back, the Prince gig – sup­port­ing him at Celtic Park – was prob­a­bly one of our proud­est mo­ments. He per­son­ally re­quested us to sup­port him and we were mas­sive fans.”

Siobhan jokes that the stress of the mu­sic busi­ness keeps her young at 60. “I think age is very much in the mind to a large ex­tent.”

Amer­i­can-born Mar­cella has been busy with her solo ca­reer since Shake­spears Sis­ter dis­banded. She adds: “I love be­ing cre­ative and it’s been a whirl­wind since we made up and went off into the desert. It’s crazy. I think my hus­band thought he was go­ing to find me scream­ing in a cor­ner, but record­ing to­gether is prov­ing pretty easy.”

Siobhan says: “I don’t think there is any point in hav­ing re­grets. You can’t re-write his­tory and you never know what the fu­ture might hold – but some­times you just have to be a lit­tle proac­tive.”

The al­bum, Sin­gles Party, is out on July 19. Go to shake­spearssis­ter.tm­stor.es and aeg­p­re­sents.co.uk/events/de­tail/shake­spears-sis­ter for tour and ticket de­tails.

Who’s for desert: Marcy Detroit (left) and Siobhan Fa­hey re­united on a trip to Joshua Tree

Stay With Me made the duo stars

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