SHAKESPEARS SISTER + DELENA – BRIGHTON DOME CONCERT HALL 20.11.19
To be or not to be? That is the question. After over two decades of inactivity, Siobhan Fahey and Marcella Detroit decided that a resounding “Yes” was the answer to that question. It wasn’t the most obvious 80’s reformation after a less than amicable public split, but after 26 years, they’ve reconciled their differences and recorded a brand new EP (‘Ride Again‘) and embarked on this UK tour. Some would say it was ‘Much Ado About Nothing’….Sorry! Enough of the Shakespeare puns. They were actually named after a song by The Smiths, fact fans.
On the day of the big event in Brighton, Shakespears Sister posted on Facebook saying “And just like that, we’re on our last date of the ‘Ride Again’ tour…Brighton, you better be partying like no-one’s watching tonight at the Brighton Dome!”. This was a little tricky for me as we soon realised tonight’s gig was a fully seated affair. It is pretty hard to wig out in an armchair after all. Saying that, the Shakespears Sister Barmy Army were in full effect tonight and didn’t let that minor setback get in the way of a good night.
First up, was a new (to me) solo artist by the name of Delena. She was born in Kiev (Ukraine) and is now based in London. She was also handpicked by the headliners for this tour and her music is self described as pop/rock. (More ‘Pop’ than ‘Rock’ to these ageing ears). She performed with a backing track (which sounded a bit low in the mix) and was flanked by a guitarist and keyboard/keytar player. The style of music wasn’t my cup of Rosie Lee, but she got a warm reception from the sparse crowd and I heard some good feedback from people outside afterwards. For the younger reader’s benefit, her music has been streamed more than three million times apparently…
Talking of conversations overheard outside…One person was briefly under the impression that they were going to see ‘Scissor Scissors’ tonight! I’m sure they quickly realised their mistake.
Shakespears Sister took to the stage promptly at 8:45pm to a voice-over saying “We have hated each other for half of a century…” or words to that effect. Talk about breaking the ice. The stage was awash with many guitars waiting patiently on their stands for the strumming ahead. By this time incidentally, the downstairs part of the venue was packed full of fans. The line up tonight included of course, Siobhan Fahey (vocals/guitar), Marcella Detroit (vocals/guitar/harmonica), Clare Kenny (original bassist) and the one and only Marco Pironni on lead guitar. Marco was a long standing member of Adam & The Ants, who were a childhood favourite of mine back in the day, so it was great to see him back onstage again.
The first song was ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ and before you knew it, Siobhan was prowling the stage like a rhinestone panther in her white leather cowgirl outfit. Marcella Detroit was more low key onstage, hitting occasional super human high notes that would’ve shattered our drinking glasses if they were not plastic. I’m not overly familiar with their material, but they played songs from both of their hit albums including fan favourites like ‘The Trouble with Andre’ which went down well with the crowd. They also played songs from their new EP (‘Ride Again‘) which almost had an Americana feel. Probably influenced by the fact that they recorded the EP at Joshua Tree Studios in the Californian desert. They even reminded me of ‘Texas’ at times (the band, not the American state). At one point, Siobhan dedicates a song to the pop goths in the audience which was a fair shout as there were quite a few in attendance.
There was much banter onstage between Siobhan and Marcella about their very public falling out many moons ago which endeared them to the audience. They said they managed to bury the hatchet recently, but luckily not into each other!
Towards the end of the set, they played their hit ‘Stay’ which I imagine everyone was waiting for. I almost wanted them to re-enact the video onstage, but I suppose that’s a tall order. It went down a storm of course and their last song was ‘You’re History’ which whipped the crowd up good and proper. They did a two song encore and thanked their fans for sticking with them through thick and thin. Siobhan and Marcella hugged and then, in a blink of an eye the tour was over….I’m sure we’ll be seeing them again no doubt.
Overall, I had an enjoyable night and as the evening drew to a close, my wife and I untethered our trusty steeds and rode off into the sunset. (or walked to the pub for a nightcap. You decide).
Shakespears Sister setlist:
‘Goodbye Cruel World’
‘My 16th Apology’
‘Heaven Is In Your Arms’
‘The Trouble With Andre’
‘C U Next Tuesday’
‘Time To Say Goodbye’
‘All The Queen’s Horses’
‘When She Finds You’
‘Are We In Love Yet’
‘I Don’t Care’
‘Hello (Turn Your Radio On)’
For more information visit their official website – www.shakespearssisterofficial.com
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