Bananarama peel back the years

Bananarama peel back the years
Bananarama’s Keren Woodward, 52 (left) with Sara Dallin, 51

British 1980s pop group Bananarama can no longer hit the high notes of some of their past hit songs when they perform at concerts these days - and they gamely embrace that as part of growing older.

Keren Woodward, one-half of the group that is now a duo instead of a trio as in the 1980s, says in a telephone interview from London: "We've had to slightly lower a couple of them. When we put out Love In The First Degree as a single, it was slightly speeded up and it became very, very high pitch.

"As you get older, your voice gets slightly lower so we would sound like we were on helium or something if we were to sing it in the same key."

Woodward, 52, and Sara Dallin, 51, will be here to perform at the Retrolicious Reunion! concert at Fort Canning Park together with fellow 1980s stars Belinda Carlise and Rick Astley. They last performed here at the 2012 Formula One SingTel Singapore Grand Prix concerts at the Padang.

Though they have newer songs - the Now Or Never EP was released in September - they are under no illusion that most fans go to their shows to hear them sing their hits of three decades ago. Their set list includes 1980s tunes such as Venus, Love In The First Degree and I Heard A Rumour.

"Obviously, the Singapore show we're doing is a retro show. Going to a 1980s show, you can't suddenly start showcasing the new album," says Woodward.

Yet it is not just old-time fans who are coming to their shows. She adds that they are seeing a lot of young adults and teenagers at their gigs too.

Explaining why that era appeals to people who were too young to experience it then, she says: "I think it's a 1980s thing. Everyone was very individualistic, they had their own look. It was a really good, fun era. The 1990s in Britain was a bit more doom and gloom and was not really fun, everyone was trying to be cool."

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