Shakespeares Sister – live at the Town & Country Club – London – March 24, 1992 – BBC Radio 1 –
Shakespeares Sister, in concert at the Town & Country Club in London and recorded by BBC Radio 1 for their In Concert series on March 24, 1992.
Shakespears Sister was formed in 1988 by singer–songwriter Siobhan Fahey, a former member of Bananarama. Based in the UK, Shakespears Sister was initially a solo act, but by 1989 it had become a duo with the addition of the American musician Marcella Detroit. Together they released two Top 10 albums and a string of Top 40 hits, including the 1992 hit “Stay” which peaked at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart for eight consecutive weeks. Detroit was sacked from the band in 1993, leaving Fahey as the sole member again until she ended the project in 1999. After working under her own name for some years, Fahey revived the Shakespears Sister name in 2009. In 2019, Fahey and Detroit reunited as Shakespears Sister for a tour and released a single, “All the Queen’s Horses”.
In October 1991, Shakespears Sister released a new single, “Goodbye Cruel World”, which peaked at No. 59. However, the next single, “Stay”, marked Shakespears Sister’s first and only No. 1, staying at the top of the UK Singles Chart for eight full weeks, and also found similar success in international charts, and won “Best British Video” at the 1993 BRIT Awards. Notably, the song foregrounded Detroit, who sang the majority of lead vocals and featured prominently in the video. This allegedly led to tension with Fahey, with Detroit later claiming that Fahey felt sidelined as the project’s instigator and usual lead vocalist, and that Fahey did not consider the song to be representative of the band and had opposed its release as a single.
Hormonally Yours was released the following month, and sold well on the strength of “Stay”, eventually being certified double platinum by the BPI. The duo continued to enjoy success with further singles from Hormonally Yours; “I Don’t Care” peaked at No. 7, “Hello (Turn Your Radio On)” at No. 14, and a re-release of “Goodbye Cruel World” at No. 32. However, during 1992 tensions between Fahey and Detroit became overt, with backstage infighting and arguments marring the band’s tour. A fifth single, “My 16th Apology”, was released in early 1993, reaching No. 61.
Although Fahey and Detroit seemed at first to have resolved their immediate differences, it became apparent that Fahey was struggling with personal issues, leading to the cancellation of what would have been the band’s highest profile concert (at the Royal Albert Hall) and for her temporary hospitalization with depression. The duo decided to put Shakespears Sister on hiatus, and Detroit began working on a solo album (something which had already been agreed and scheduled around band work). During this time Fahey decided to end her partnership with Detroit, but did not choose to discuss this with her directly. Instead, Detroit was publicly dismissed at the 1993 Ivor Novello Awards ceremony, at which Hormonally Yours won “Best Contemporary Collection of Songs” (and which Detroit attended, although Fahey did not). Fahey’s acceptance speech, delivered by her publisher, contained a farewell to Detroit wishing her “all the best for the future, all’s well that ends well.”
While unsurprised at the final dissolving of the partnership, Detroit was distressed at the way in which it ended and how it was announced. Many years later, she would comment “I was never in it to steal anyone’s glory away; I just did my job. I was asked by everybody to become part of it and then everybody wanted me out… I learned a lot about what it means to be an artist… To put two people as different as we were together – well, we were bound to have differences personality-wise. In the video for ‘Stay’, I was singing to this guy who was dying and she (Siobhan) was the Angel of Death. We used our personality differences to our advantage, but it was a little too real!”
Detroit and Fahey had not spoken to or seen each other for 25 years, before eventually meeting and talking again in 2018.
Shakespeares Sister performed “Stay” on The Graham Norton Show on 10 May 2019; their first TV performance together since 1993. They also announced that they were recording an EP of new material. The EP Ride Again was released on 25 October 2019, preceded by the single “When She Finds You” released 4 September 2019. The single is a collaboration with Richard Hawley. Hawley also appears in the accompanying music video.
And with that, all you have to do now is hit the play button and crank it up an dive back into 1992 – it might relieve some of the angst.