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Review

Shakespears Sister - Royal Concert Hall - 08/11/19


"Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit return for one of the most unexpected reunion tours of the year."

 

Review by Graham McCusker
Posted on 2019-11-09 13:29:48
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The news of a full Shakespears Sister reunion came as somewhat of a surprise when it was announced earlier this year. With one half of the duo, Marcella Detroit having been publicly dismissed live onstage at an awards ceremony at the end of a series of infighting and personal issues, the other half, Siobhan Fahey, ploughed on as a solo entity and has continued to tour both on and off with Shakespears Sister and Bananarama. It is only now Detroit has reunited with her estranged bandmate to release new material, and a full UK tour which calls into Glasgow this evening.

As the duo return to a Glaswegian stage for the first time in twenty six years to the theme to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, the audience waste no time in showing their appreciation by immediately jumping to their feet as they ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ kicks off proceedings. The thundering electro of ‘Heroine’ is an early highlight with the energetic Fahey showing her front woman credentials as she prowls and poses across the stage to the delight of her ardent followers. Dressed like a dysfunctional Dolly Parton, Fahey is clearly the star of the show throughout the evening. Her vocal is in fine fettle and defies her sixty-one years of age. On ‘The Trouble With Andre’ she is a powerhouse on the chorus and she oozes charm and cool throughout the Pretenders-inspired swagger of ‘I Don’t Care’.

For all her charisma, Fahey still knows when to give her more laid-back band mate Detroit her time in the limelight. When she takes on lead vocal duties for the timeless classic ‘Stay’, Fahey takes a breather on the drum riser to fulfil her backing vocal duties as her bandmate delivers an impeccable rendition of the duo’s only number one to date. Detroit’s vocal has not worn in the slightest, and remains as piercingly beautiful as ever. Her exceptional operatic falsetto contrasts seamlessly with Fahey’s seductive purr , peaking during ‘You’re History’, which closes the main set.

The set doesn’t always reach heady heights, though. ‘Heaven Is In Your Arms’ is drab, and the dated ‘Black Sky’ remains rooted in the nineties, having not aged particularly well at all However, more promisingly, the material from new EP ‘Ride Again’, all of which is aired tonight, gives a new lease of life with styles ranging from gothic Americana to the Lee Hazlewood-inspired ‘All The Queen’s Horses’ via the sleazy ‘C U Next Tuesday’. The momentum of reunion shows are usually ruined with the airing of new material, but the crowd lap it up and Fahey in particular shows her appreciation for the warmth they receive.

The evidently devoted super fans of Shakespears Sister have waited a long time to see their heroes onstage together again, to the point they probably thought it would never realistically happen. Detroit passes comment on the unlikely reunion, quipping “hell froze over”, to which she receives the response “and it’s fucking freezing!”. As the anthemic finale of ‘Hello (Turn Your Radio On)’ rings out, Shakespears Sister leave the stage to rapturous acclaim. The Concert Hall is far from full this evening, but the recently reunited duo give those in attendance exactly what they came for, as well as the promise of more.

Photo gallery of the gig is in the link below. All photos courtesy of Stewart Fullerton Photography:

http://www.glasgowmusic.co.uk/viewAlbum.php?albumId=72157711700796013


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