More than 25 years since they disbanded, 1990s duo Shakespears Sister are back together and raring to go with a new singles collection, a handful of new songs and a UK tour, taking in a date at the Bournemouth Pavilion this month. Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit talk to Lucy Mapstone about how they came to reunite after all this time and their plans for the future


Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit of Shakespears Sister are kicking off a string of reunion gigs, marking their first time on stage together in nearly three decades.

Shakespears Sister – who in the late 1980s and early 1990s were riding high as one of the biggest bands of the time with their goth-tinged pop-rock stylings – parted ways in 1993 following a period of tension and reported in-fighting between the pair.

Former Bananarama star Fahey, who founded Shakespears Sister in 1988 and was joined by American singer Detroit the following year, was said to have been irked that her colleague had sung the lead vocals on their biggest hit Stay.

The 1992 song and its accompanying video, which also focused on Detroit, topped the UK charts for eight weeks and won the pair a Brit Award. But things fell apart the following year at the Ivor Novello Awards when, during Fahey's acceptance speech for a prize for their second album Hormonally Yours, Detroit was publicly dismissed from the band.

At the time, Fahey said that she wished her band-mate "all the best in the future". And that was that.

Detroit, who was born Marcella Levy but changed her name in honour of her home city, went on to have a solo career while Fahey continued Shakespears Sister by herself, but she was later dropped by her record label, releasing two more albums under the band's name much later down the line.

Now, more than quarter of a century later, Detroit, 67, reveals she attempted to make contact with Fahey several times over the years.

But it was a "clandestine meeting" her husband had with her ex-colleague last year that put the wheels in motion for their reunion.

"He never even told me about it - I was really surprised," Detroit says.

"He was just trying to see where she was at. The good news is it finally happened and we were able to, in that meeting, clarify some misconceptions that we'd had of each other, and of what was going on.

"It was vital. Not only for many other reasons, but personally, to have that rift going on for so long... it bothered me."

Of their first meeting after years of no communication, Fahey, 60, says: "There were a few awkward hugs and I certainly got a lump in my throat.

"I was caught off-guard by the emotion of the situation."

Detroit adds: "We wanted to go into it with open minds. And to try to clarify things and see how we got to the point we got to.

"It was really all about miscommunication and how things were misconstrued, and people around us weren't really helping the situation, so it was emotional of course.

"You'd have to be a robot not to have any feelings in that moment."

Shakespears Sister marked their return earlier this year with comeback single All The Queen's Horses, a fun, punchy, pop-rock track, showcasing their complementary vocals.

Now, the duo are focused on their UK tour.

Although they confess to not wanting their string of concerts to feel too "retro", Fahey explains: "We're not dismissing our old records, they still sound really fresh. We've got quite an extensive catalogue to choose from, so fans can expect all the old favourites and some new ones.

"It'll feel organic and authentic. We weren't ever really a machine-y type of band anyway."

As they grapple with their future in this new music landscape and put the past firmly behind them, they still can't help but muse over what might have been had they continued working together over the past two and a half decades.

"We could get a time machine or invent one to take us back," jokes Detroit.

Laughing along with her co-star and reacquainted friend, Fahey adds: "Somewhere in a parallel universe we're on our 10th album."

Shakespears Sister will be at Bournemouth’s Pavilion Theatre on November 13.