Friday, October 23, 2009
I had the pleasure of being 10 years old when Shakespears Sister released Stay, which is probably the ideal age to receive the grandiose, sci-fi, campery that was being proposed.
I was from that moment, forever obsessed with the baroque glamor of the two existential space vixens, trapped eternally as they were, on some sort of T.V. moonscape. The girl who sat next to me in school was equally besotted and I taught her all the lyrics. (I've always had a head for rhymes).
I can't say specifically why I've been in love with Shakespears Sister for the best part of twenty-years, but I suppose their mixture of lesbian vampirism, German Expressionism and glam-rockism might have something to do with it. Or perhaps, could it be that since I discovered SS long before (well 3 years before) I discovered my sexuality, Metropolis, or T-Rex, that Shakespears Sister actually set the precedent? Maybe everything I came to love, I found whilst searching the cultural horizon for something to fill the void left by the untimely demise of Siobhan and Marcella.
Of course, if we want to be Jungian about the matter, Shakespears Sister were, I'm sure, channelling the ancient archetypes inherited in my unconscious. Far out.
Since Siobhan had come out of Bananarama there was always a lot of hoopla surrounding the band, but that only grew (to operatic proportions) with the endless reports of cat fights. Personally I think that that pair would have out done Alexis and Krystle given half the chance, they always had the most definite air of pulp fiction about them.
Anyway they were terribly successful (even in America - though Americans deny this) for too short a period, and I miss them awfully. They were the sort of pop act that doesn't come along every decade, in fact they're pretty squarely from that mystikal 70s/90s timewarp that opened the portal for the likes of Cathy Dennis, Annie Lennox's Diva, and Dee-Lite. (I've always thought of SS as being like the shadow animals in the psyche of Dee-lite actually).
And of course, as if 2.5 million albums sold wasn't enough of an achievement, the ladies were immortalized in the most beautiful way, by French and Saunders.
Apparently there's a new album coming in November and I simply can't wait. It's called The Red Room, and you can find all out about it on Siobhan's myspace page.
Addendum, at LFW about five years ago I was stuck outside of a party at the Royal Academy waiting for the friend with the invites (who was of course at an entirely different party). Siobhan was playing at the party, she stepped outside to smoke where we collided, I myself pacing up and down chewing a pipe. She asked did I have a light, and I had to explain that it was really just a look. Fag break over she took pity on me and my situation and said; "It's alright love, you can come in with me."