In the 80s, if you didn’t know who Bananarama (Sara Dallin, Siobhan Fahey and Keren Woodward) was, you definitely had your head in the sand. They had some of the biggest pop hits during that period with “Venus,” “Cruel Summer” and “I Heard a Rumour.” Even though they were extremely popular, Fahey left the band in 1988 to form Shakespear’s Sister. Since they didn’t tour earlier in their career, the original lineup had never toured together, much to the dismay of their fans.
That changed last year when the group decided to get together and schedule a string of shows in the UK. The response was phenomenal so the band has crossed the pond for four shows: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto and finally New York City. Since there were limited shows in North America, there were people traveling from all over the country to see the band back together. Fans started lining up for this sold out show as early as 9:30am and by the time the DJ hit the stage, the crowd was wall to wall and abuzz.
The DJ played a lot of disco and 80s hits and the fans were singing and dancing to the groove. But that’s not what the crowd came to see. Finally after a 45 minute DJ set and a sound and light check, Bananarama was ready to hit the stage.
The lights went down and Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” played to the eager fans. Finally, the band came out and opened with “Nathan Jones.” They mixed the songs with some banter, including jokes about the breakup and their age. The crowd loved it all and was singing to every song, including “Ale A Mwana” which impressed Woodward tremendously. During “Cheers Then,” Fahey left the stage. Dallina and Woodward then began singing the verse to Shakespear’s Sister hit “Stay.” Fahey returned to the stage to sing the solo chorus. Of all the songs performed, this version of “Stay” was my favorite moment of the evening.
The band closed the set with “Venus” to a raucous crowd. They then came back for the encore and ended the evening with “Love in the First Degree,” which happens to be my all-time favorite Bananarama song.
It remains to be seen whether the band will remain together but, if the reception by their fans is any indication, I think we’ll see Bananarama on these shores again for a larger tour soon!
Article: Howard Shiau