CONCERT REVIEW: Shakespears Sister – Royal Concert Hall Glasgow, 8th November 2019

“We had a lot of living to do, and a lot of learning”

Siobhan Fahey’s short but straight explanation of Shakespear’s Sister’s 26 year absence was hardly the nitty gritty of their now famous feud, but satisfied fans who were just happy to have the reunion that many, least of all Fahey and Marcella Detriot, ever saw coming ….

Their first Glasgow show together “since we supported Prince at Celtic Park” in 1992 brought a mixed bag of hits old and new to enthusiastic punters (also a somewhat mixed bag of new fans, and a little older).

The duo released a taster of what’s to come last month with 5 track EP, “Ride Again”; all new tracks got an airing including the poignant, “Time To Say Goodbye” and the tongue in cheek, “C U Next Tuesday”. Fans lapped up the new tracks with surprising zest and the pair themselves commented on how “well received” the new music was with Glasgow and were unable to hide their delight.

A reformed Shakespears Sister has brought a more mature sound; their EP tracks have swapped their pop hooks hits of the past for a more country inspired sound of deep, raw lyrics that showcases their undeniable talent as both songwriters and musicians. Fahey described the birth of “Ride Again” with a heartfelt peek into her painful past year, “Sometimes life turns in on you and breaks you into a million pieces. That’s what happened to me, luckily I had my friend with me to write songs about it”, cementing the reunion with a touching, tight hug.

Of course, it was the hits of their pop past that brought the house down, “You’re History”, “I Don’t Care” and “My 16th Apology” among others, but after almost 30 years, they are still protective of the secrets of the past when they introduced, “The Trouble With Andre” and still declining to reveal his true identity, despite it being continuously asked of them. However, it was their signature song, “Stay” that bonded their audience in awe, swaying and singing along to the hit that we know, remember and love them for.

Siobhan and Marci’s bond appears repaired; their set was littered with exchanges of smiles and hugs, but they are not afraid to poke fun at their former falling out, teasing, “Are We In Love Yet?” before cackling with laughter. Individually, Fahey and Detroit are polar opposites; Detroit cuts an elegant, silent figure who radiates a calm and effortless cool, while Fahey is larger than life, with just the right amount of cockiness, constantly commanding the spotlight to shine on her, but it’s their prominent differences that shape the sound and style that make Shakespears Sister great, and this, one of the most sought after reunions in pop history.

As alternative as ever, the pop pair said goodbye with “Hello (Turn Your Radio On)” which surpassed its 1992 version; it was euphoric yet haunted, and as eerily beautiful as it’s ever sounded on any radio.

Time will tell if Shakespears Sister are really back to stay, but in the meantime, let’s just enjoy the ride again.

 

Review by Siobhanne Beattie