THE GOOD THE BARD & THE UGLY
Shakespears Sister acrimoniously split 26 years ago. MARION McMULLEN learns how they put the past behind them
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