Rant Of The Day
Rant Of The Day is where I get to mouth off about whatever I feel like for however long I like. Theoretically, I'll update my whinge/opinion piece every weekday; in practice, maybe not so often.

THIS RANT 26/02/2002

Bananarama return in style

Although I'm a devoted -- some would say deranged -- fan of Bananarama, who have popped up many, many times on this site, long-time readers will probably recall that I wasn't too complimentary about their 1997 tour of Australia. Fortunately, the much-publicised 20th anniversary concert which they gave in London last Saturday (well, last Sunday morning if you want to be pedantic) was much better value. (OK, it's a rather expensive concert ticket if you also include the price of the airfare from Australia, but you'll get my drift if I stop inserting diversions like this.)

Partly this was because it was a better crowd; there were around 2,000 people, most of whom seemed very enthusiastic about the prospect of a reunion concert. This was despite the fact that many of them seemed to have only the vaguest idea of the band's history. Queuing up outside, I overheard two girls discussing the current lineup. "It was Sarah who left, wasn't it?" "Yep, and I think there's only one original member left now." (I trust Gusworld readers do not require explanation of why these are stupid remarks).

Partly, it was because the setlist, while similar, was a distinct improvement on the 1997 offering. In particular, we got 'Robert De Niro's Waiting' in all its glory, and the use of a medley in the middle of the show allowed more of the hits to be included.

However, the element that undoubtedly sent the whole thing into the stratosphere was the not-so-surprise re-appearance of Siobahn Fahey for the final two songs of the concert. Siobahn has in fact got back together with the girls on record before, for a cover of 'Waterloo', which was one of the two tracks performed with her in the lineup ('Venus' was, unsurprisingly, the other). However, the odds of her actually appearing on stage with the girls ever again seemed low; in an interview just days before the concert, Keren herself said "If she shows up, great" or words to that effect. So when she did come on stage -- wearing a similar outfit to the other girls, but with a distinctly Shakespears Sister-looking pair of red boots -- I screamed very loudly. So did most everyone else.

Many of the fans from the Bananarama mailing list (who I met up with on Sunday for a most-enjoyable post-show shindig) commented that Siobahn had been pretty much drunk throughout the entire performance, but that can only be a good thing. One of the most memorable things about the Nanas was their continuing willingness to get smashed in public. I wouldn't want to see that element disappear.

The whole event has given the band a veritable slew of publicity, which can only be a good thing. If they can record an album as good as their neglected 1996 classic Ultra Violet and actually get it promoted, we could have a proper Nanas revival on our hands. Works for me!

Incidentally, one or two people have asked me if I took pictures of the concert. The answer is no: I concluded quite some time ago that my photographic skills, which are dodgy at the best of times, would reach new heights of incompetence in a crowded nightclub. So you're just going to have to imagine the boots.

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