Forg­ing a sense of be­long­ing in Lon­don

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - TRAVEL - By Jae-Ha Kim

Siobhan Fa­hey played her first over­seas con­cert in 1983, when she was part of the trio Bana­narama. “It was a weird, im­promptu ap­pear­ance by Bana­narama in New York sup­port­ing Steel Pulse,” says the Irish-born mu­si­cian. “(It was) the wrong au­di­ence for us — ir­rev­er­ent punky club kids that we were. It ut­terly confused the crowd — and us. (It was) one of many sur­real sit­u­a­tions I’ve found my­self in my life.”

Cur­rently on tour with her duo Shake­spears Sis­ter, Fa­hey is cel­e­brat­ing the Oc­to­ber re­lease of their new EP, “Ride Again.” When not on tour, Fa­hey splits her time be­tween

Los Angeles and Lon­don.

An edited ver­sion of our con­ver­sa­tion fol­lows.

Q: You spent a good part of your child­hood liv­ing in var­i­ous parts of Europe. Did that make you long for stay­ing in one spot?

A: It has left me with a strong yearn­ing to put down roots, but with­out an at­tach­ment to any­where in par­tic­u­lar. So, I have moved con­stantly search­ing for some­where that feels like home. As I’ve got­ten older, I’ve learned to ac­cept that I may never find that myth­i­cal place.

Q: When you be­came a mom, were you com­fort­able tak­ing your chil­dren with you wher­ever you trav­eled?

A: When the kids were ba­bies, they would travel back and forth with us, but once they reached school age, I wanted them to have a sense of nor­mal life so they could fit in, forge their own friends and have a sense of be­long­ing some­where. We set­tled in Lon­don, as it has al­ways been my de facto home­town. It worked well for my el­dest, who still has a strong bond with a group of close friends that he has had since early child­hood.

Q: How have your trav­els im­pacted your mu­sic?

A: The new Shake­spears Sis­ter EP was writ­ten out in Joshua Tree. I wanted to cre­ate a sound that spoke of the Wild West, psy­che­delic Amer­i­cana, the raw emo­tion, the po­etry and the ro­mance of all that, which is so ex­otic to me hail­ing, as I do, from the old world.

Q: What is your fa­vorite va­ca­tion desti­na­tion?

A: I al­ways loved Ja­maica. Its stun­ning phys­i­cal beauty, its proud and stylish peo­ple, its com­bi­na­tion of spir­i­tu­al­ity and edgy mu­sic, its tra­di­tion and re­bel­lion. Ja­maica is the size of Wales, so get a car and travel around.

Q: What was the first trip you took as a child?

A: The first trip I re­mem­ber (was) the first time I was on an air­plane

Qwhen the fam­ily flew to Ger­many. I was 4. My dad was a sol­dier and we were posted to live there. We were there for five years in to­tal, so I have a great fond­ness for the lan­guage. It sounds cozy to me, though I never learned it flu­ently.

Q: Where are your fa­vorite week­end getaways?

A: When in Los Angeles, I go to Joshua tree when­ever I can. When in Lon­don, I go down to my sis­ter’s near Rye in East Sus­sex. Both cities are be­com­ing too in­tense. I sus­pect it’s a global trend — over­crowded and stress­ful. Time to move out.

Q: If you’ve ever gone away for the hol­i­days, which was the best trip?

A: I have had a cou­ple of Christ­mases on the ski slopes, both in Ver­mont with my kids and my friends, and also in Cal­i­for­nia with friends and my sons. Snow is so cozy, and ski­ing makes you hun­gry. Christ­mas songs and games as you hun­ker down around the fire in the evening — it’s my fave day of the year.


Shake­spears Sis­ter is Mar­cella Detroit, left, and Siobhan Fa­hey. Their new EP is “Ride Again.”

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