I wondered what Siobhan and Marcella had been up to in the years after “I Can Drive”, so here is the third part of the story of Shakespear’s Sister taking us from 1997 up to the present day. Both ladies are still in the music business and have separately released a lot more albums, although they have had a much lower profile, and it seems that most of Siobhan’s TV appearances in the past 20 years have been contributions to nostalgic documentaries looking back at 1980s pop music, although she has done a lot of other interesting things including songwriting, acting, DJing, even some modelling, and there is plenty more to discover, so let’s find out what happened next.
1997: After bringing the Shakespear’s Sister project to an end for the first time, Siobhan went off to do something a little different, by doing some straight acting in the short low-budget film Pinned, where she looked remarkably plain and subdued compared to her famous goth image from five years earlier. I’ve only seen a trail myself, unfortunately it seems that it didn’t get many positive reviews.
Also in this year Marcella released “Flower”, the final single from the album “Feeler”.
1998: Siobhan reunited with Keren and Sara for the first time since 1988, and it seems that it was also the first time that they had seen one another since the split a decade earlier. They took part in Channel 4’s “A Song For Eurotrash“, a compilation album where various singers performed cover versions of songs made famous by the Eurovision Song Contest, and they contributed their version of Abba’s 1974 winner “Waterloo”. They were also interviewed by Chris Evans on TFI Friday.
Marcella has done some acting too, including appearing in the 1978 Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band film, and in this year she appeared in a film called This Town.
1999: Siobhan was interviewed alongside Keren and Sara for BBC2’s Young Guns Go For It, a series that looked back at 1980s pop music, to tell the story of Bananarama.
2001: Marcella released her fourth solo album “Dancing Madly Sideways”. Bananarama were featured on Channel 4’s Top Ten, looking back at successful girl groups, which didn’t feature a contribution from Siobhan, but did from Marcella, who told the story of why the video to “Stay” was banned in Germany. They were also featured in BBC2’s I Love 1982, the year they had their first hit single. Shakespear’s Sister featured in an edition of BBC2’s TOTP2.
2002: Bananarama were featured in yet another pop nostalgia series, ITV1’s Smash!, where Siobhan spoke again about her 80s days. Siobhan also joined Keren and Sara on stage at a London nightclub to perform “Venus” in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their first hit single. It seems that this is the only time they performed live together in the period between the split in 1988 and the reunion in 2017, and it was intended to be a one-off. Siobhan released the single “Bitter Pill” under her own name which just missed the Top 100, and Marcella was the guest vocalist on Aurora’s “The Day It Rained Forever” which reached no. 29. Shakespear’s Sister were featured in BBC1’s It Takes Two, a documentary looking back at pop duos.
2003: Siobhan appeared as a panellist on BBC2’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks, and also contributed to a documentary about the 25th anniversary of Smash Hits magazine. Shakespear’s Sister were featured on TOTP2 again.
2004: Siobhan obtained the rights to her rejected third album “#3”, meaning it was finally available to buy eight years after it was made. Also in this year a best-of was released featuring a CD containing all the hits and some extras, plus a DVD of all the great videos and the Russian film. Siobhan appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks again, this time on the Christmas special.
Bananarama were featured in a BBC2 documentary looking back at the 20th anniversary of Band Aid. Siobhan also did of a cover version of the Joy Division song “She’s Lost Control”, the video is a little risque to say the least.
2005: A second best-of was released called “Long Live The Queens!”, featuring some B-sides and remixes, along with “The MGA Sessions” album. Siobhan also released the singles “Bad Blood” and “Pulsatron”, which reached no. 95, and the video featured a brief appearance from her old mate Jacquie O’Sullivan.
“Stay” was also included in Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Pop Videos, and Siobhan rerecorded “Venus” which was her chart-topping single in America.
2006: Siobhan rerecorded “Stay” where she performed all the vocals herself. Bananarama were featured in BBC1’s Be My Baby, a documentary about girl groups. By this point Marcella had formed a new band and released the album “The Upside Of Being Down”. Shakespear’s Sister were once again featured on TOTP2.
2009: The Shakespear’s Sister project was revived, with the fourth album “Songs From The Red Room” being released. Siobhan promoted this by being interviewed on ITV1’s Loose Women. She also performed her first gig under the Shakespear’s Sister name for almost 15 years in trendy Hoxton!
2010: Marcella appeared as a contestant on ITV1’s musical contest Popstar To Operastar, where pop singers were challenged to sing in an operatic style. She was knocked out in the penultimate edition, finishing third overall. She also appeared on various shows talking about her career including BBC1’s Breakfast, ITV1’s Loose Women and The Alan Titchmarch Show, and Channel 5’s Live From Studio Five.
Siobhan made a video for the single “It’s A Trip”, again she had a distinctive look and it was great seeing her wear the old makeup again, she’s still got it. This is also my favourite song of hers from this era, I get something of a Goldfrapp/Moloko vibe from it. A limited-edition DVD was released of the videos from this era. Siobhan also went on tour, including a performance at the Isle Of Wight Festival.
In November of this year, “Stay” entered the singles chart again for the first time since 1992 after a new generation was own over by this classic following a memorable performance by Cher Lloyd on ITV1’s The X Factor, it reached no. 12.
2011: The fifth Shakespear’s Sister album “Cosmic Dancer” was released, and a video was made for “Someone Else’s Girl”, which features the lyric “uh-oh, I’m in trouble“, which is a lovely tribute to Shampoo. Siobhan rerecorded “Really Saying Something” to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the release of Bananarama’s first single, and an album of a live concert from 1992 was released, along with “The Red Room Sessions”. She also appeared in the short film What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor.
2012: Two more best-ofs were released called “Rarities” and “Remixes”. Siobhan featured in yet another pop music documentary, BBC2’s I Was In A Girl Band Once. There are a few other videos on YouTube from around this time of Siobhan being interviewed for various websites talking about her career.
2013: Two more best-ofs were released both called “The Other Side”. The Shakespear’s Sister project came to an end for a second time, and all the online presence seemed to be removed, including the official website, along with the social media pages. Marcella’s fifth solo album “The Vehicle” was released which included a solo version of “Stay” and she was interviewed on Loose Women again. Later in the year she released a special Christmas album called “For The Holidays”.
2014: Siobhan performed as a guest vocalist with Dexys Midnight Runners at the Glastonbury Festival (nice piece of trivia: Siobhan’s sister Maire played Eileen in the video for Dexys’ transatlantic chart-topper “Come On Eileen”). Shakespear’s Sister were also featured in BBC4’s Goth At The BBC compilation.
In July of this year, Sara from Bananarama tweeted a picture of herself and Keren having a party with Siobhan, and it seems that this meetup was the first step towards their reunion, and Sara stated that her and Keren were round Siobhan’s house in Bethnal Green. Now this is where I live in London, and to say that I was surprised to discover Siobhan almost literally lived down the road from me is an understatement. This is even more odd considering I had read that Siobhan now lived in Los Angeles. Why she swapped LA for the ever-so-slightly less glamorous Bethnal Green I have no idea.
2015: Marcella released her sixth solo album “Grey Matterz”.
2016: When looking for videos on YouTube, I found one that features an extravagantly dressed Siobhan live on stage during a special Halloween concert at a nightclub in Los Angeles. I don’t know if she is into all of this kind of thing, and maybe she does like to do some moonlighting performing burlesque down the pub whilst wearing a basque and fishnet stockings, but either way it was rather surprising. One YouTube comment said that she looked like “Lady Gaga’s grandmother”.
2017: Siobhan announced that she would rejoin Bananarama for a UK tour, the first that they had ever done with the original lineup. They appeared on lots of TV shows to promote this, including BBC1’s The One Show and Breakfast, ITV’s This Morning, and featured in lots of magazines. They also performed “Venus” and “Cruel Summer” on various shows. We better make the most of it, because in one interview that I read, when Siobhan was asked if she would reunite with Marcella, she simply said “it’s certainly not on my agenda at the moment”. It still seems to be very cold between the two ladies 25 years after the split and it’s hugely unlikely that they’ll ever work together again.
The tour has been very well received, it has got many positive reviews from critics and fans have loved it. And it seems that they did perform a special version of “Stay” which was a very emotional moment for everyone. I’ve also been looking at Siobhan’s Instagram page and she’s been putting pictures of herself on there in places that are within walking distance from where I live and she does seem to be fond of the Cockney culture, unbelievable.
2018: Well this hasn’t happened yet of course but the plan is that Bananarama will perform the next stage of the reunion tour in Canada and America where they had a number one single with “Venus” in 1986, and it is rather remarkable to think that Siobhan will have her 60th birthday in this year. After that, who knows…? Thanks to Siobhan and Marcella for lots of great musical memories over the years.