GIG REVIEW: Shakespears Sister at the Palladium

WORTH A LOOK?: ****1/2

WHERE? London Palladium

WHEN? 5/11, tour runs to 20/11/19

SETLIST: Goodbye Cruel World; Heroine; Dangerous Game; Dirty Mind; My 16th Apology; Heaven Is In Your Arms; The Trouble With Andre; Emotional Thing; C U Next Tuesday; Time To Say Goodbye; All The Queen’s Horses; When She Finds You; Black Sky; Stay; Are We In Love Yet?: I Don’t Care; You’re History; Catwoman; Hello (Turn Your Radio On)

Shakespears Sister are a band of extraordinary peculiarities not least, as lead singer Siobhan Fahey points out, that their final song tonight is titled Hello (while the opener was Goodbye Cruel World).

  • Read on for reasons including a surprise appearance by Richard Hawley

It’s a theme apparent throughout the show and should have perhaps been obvious because first hit You’re History unveiled Fahey and Detroit to the world a full 30 years ago rather than proving the titular swansong.

We’ve only ever seen the band once – in Torquay in 1993 – and it’s amazing that they’ve only now written their first songs together after a 26-year hiatus.

Sophomore album Hormonally Yours contained monster hit Stay (see below)and it’s never really been clear what caused the splinter in the partnership between these two talented songwriters/performers.

It’s a complicated shared history which is played up during song My 16th Apology which Fahey explains with a: ‘Be careful what you write because it often comes true.’ The song is presented humorously by Fahey, perfecting a hunch-shouldered Mrs Overall does Mick Jagger swagger about the stage, and later kneeling at the feet of Detroit as if to offer to make amends.

We’re here for the old songs but also because the new Ride Again EP out now is peppered with examples of some of the duo’s best ever songwriting. Our own particular favourite against some serious competition is the bluesy strut rage of C U Next Tuesday especially for the loud, angry guitar of (Adam And The) Ants’ Marco Pirroni.

Richard Hawley is described as ‘Sheffield’s Scott Walker’, duets on new song When She Finds You and, rather joyously, isn’t for hanging around as he remarks: ‘Shall we crack on? I’ve got a bus to catch.’

It was also the little touches that we really appreciated:  the great use of classic film sound clips and the desert backdrop as it becomes clear the inspiration they’ve drawn from that particular US location to refresh their sound.

Occasionally the pace sags but we would argue it is the lesser known older material which could be lost from this set.

We’re especially excited for more of the new material because those recent songs played tonight are of such high quality – Siobhan’s in outstanding lyrical form and Marcy’s performance skills complement Fahey’s darker charms perfectly.

We don’t see this as the end – the band really deserves another Glastonbury shot and we can see them slaying a new album next year.

  • Picture by Paul W. Dixon via Facebook courtesy Shakespears Sister Tickets
  • Have you seen this show? Let us know what you thought in the comments below
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham, email and check us out on Instagram and Facebook


  1. Ross Bryant · November 6, 2019

    Loved the gig! I saw Nottingham and Oxford, they were stunning, everyone went bonkers. A gig to treasure.


  2. Darren Wakefield · November 9, 2019

    It was amazing, saw them twice back in 92 and so happy to see them now. They perform most of the Hormonally Yours album which makes sense as that had they’re biggest hits on it, from the Sacred Heart album we had Heroine, Dirty mind, Heaven is in your arms, and the marvelous You’re History. Then we had the new tracks from the Ride again ep which are brilliant, can’t decide which is my favourite. I’m going to see them again in Southend and can’t wait


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