True to their original ideology, the idea of reforming the original Bananarama line up for a string of live shows in 2017 began at a kitchen disco in Siobhan Fahey’s home two summers ago. Where else? ‘It was such a funny night,’ says Keren. ‘The girls came over for dinner,’ says Siobhan. ‘We had a barbecue, drank some wine and ended up, as usual, dancing around the kitchen. I felt like I’d come home’.
‘We were singing and dancing into the small hours’ recalls Siobhan, of that fateful night. ‘ arms around each other’s necks...it was quite emotional . Sara said to me, ‘you have no idea how great it is performing on stage and how much people love our songs.’ Siobhan left the night pondering a new possibility of tying up loose ends; of the unfinished business she left behind in the first few years of Bananarama’s brilliant thirty something year career. Unforgettable pop genius that has reverberated back and forth through the cultural landscape ever since, as a high watermark of DIY pop music, fashion and women refusing the compliance option and doing business their own way.
Sara Dallin and Siobhan Fahey met in the registration hall at the London College of Fashion in September ’80, Punk has peaked and they were signing up for a diploma in Fashion Journalism. ‘I was the youngest there,’ I’d just left school,’ says Sara.’I saw Siobhan - we looked very similar, same hair, same clothes, same monkey boots and discovered we both loved Patti Smith. There was an instant connection.’ For lunch, they would visit the Italian restaurant Ponti’s off Oxford Circus (‘still there,’ notes Sara) or scam their way into the subsidised BBC canteen where Sara’s best friend Keren worked in the pensions department. ‘I went in for an interview for this really tedious job in a dress that my mum made me and from then on dressed like a punk.’
Before long, they were living together. The band formed. There is not yet a commemorative blue plaque on the wall of the council flat in Lamb’s Conduit Street where Bananarama started their amazing pop life, but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be. ‘I don't think any of us wanted to conform to a career path or get trapped in the system,’ says Siobhan, of the earliest days of
Bananarama. ‘There was this post-punk attitude of breaking everything open and defining your own life. Why does it have to be bass, drums, guitar? Lets do it our way ”
Almost thirty years later, the trio are ready to reassemble for a 2017 UK Tour in a pop reunion only dreamt of in the wildest imaginations by many quarters. For women, gay men and, yes, even some straight too, Siobhan stepping back into her natural habitat once again is pop’s very own version of Morrissey and Marr re-uniting. ‘It’s part of me, part of my history,’ says Siobhan, ‘and I love what we did and the crazy life we lead. These were my formative years. I never thought it would happen again. It’s like going back down the road to find a piece of myself that I left back then. The older I get, the more I realise it was pretty magical. Look what we did. Listen to the records. It’s all there.’