Shakespears Sister: ‘I’ve been trying to mop up grudges, but this was a major one’

Breaking up is never easy, but letting your bandmate know that it’s over via a note read out by your publicist onstage at the Ivor Novello awards has to be one of the harshest methods in pop history. In 1993, Siobhan Fahey called time on Shakespears Sisteras a duo. She and Marcella Detroit were supposed to be collecting the prize for best contemporary collection of songs for Hormonally Yours (double platinum in the UK, 55 weeks in the chart, three Top 20 singles including Stay), but the acceptance speech instead became a farewell to her musical partner, with Siobhan wishing her a ruthlessly serene “all the best for the future”.

Marcella has since compared this experience of getting dumped as a “bomb” dropping. “I knew it was coming but I had no idea it was going to happen publicly,” she wrote on her website. “I couldn’t wait to get back to my seat. I just hung my head and sobbed silently for about five minutes.”

The messy split was seemingly alluded to on Siobhan’s solo Shakespears Sister song Suddenly (“We were doomed from the start / I gave you a starring role, but you tried to take my part”), while Marcella’s I Hate You Now is thought to be about her former bandmate. All of which makes it even more remarkable that the pair are reuniting for a tour and two new songs as part of a greatest hits compilation, 26 years after the incident at the Ivors.

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