Bananarama at the Danforth Music Hall

Canadian band Autumn Stones performed sold out show at Rancho Ralaxo in Toronto. In picture: STEVEN TYLER, JOE PERRY, TOM HAMILTON, JOEY KRAMER, BRAD WHITFORD

Photos by Angelo Marchini

I was 11 when I heard British trio Bananarama’s 1983 hit “Shy Boy”. For the previous couple of years I feasted on an endless diet of Joan Jett but this infectious slice of bubbly pop lured me into pop music.

Bananarama would grow to be huge by the end of the 80s, topping the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. The trio of Sara Dallin, Keren Woodward and Siobhan Fahey would never tour although the band did tour after the departure of Siobhan Fahey who went on to form Shakespear’s Sister.

35 years after hearing “Shy Boy” a reunited trio brought a floodgate of 80s memories to me and the elder others that packed the Danforth Music Hall on their first tour together.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but as soon as the three hit the stage flanked by a band and armed with a dazzling light show, I was not only relieved, I was damn well impressed and based on the reaction, so was the crowd and rightfully so.

First off, the women looked fantastic and clearly in their element in front of an adoring throng that danced and sang along to every word. Sure there was choreography but the vibe was definitely loose and the show was all the more impressive for it.

The sound was great and the band added a rocky weight to the songs giving them a vital update that made the songs sound current and not dated. It was really impressive sounding and thanks to their songs, they really underlined what good songs they have in their arsenal.

They opened with a cover of the Supremes’ “Nathan Jones” and then delivered almost two hours of boundless energy and endless hits. “Cruel Summer”, “I Heard a Rumour”, “More Than Physical”, a smashing “Venus” along with a brilliant run through Siobhan’s Shakespear’s Sister hit, “Stay” were among many highlights. My only complaint was not playing the full “Shy Boy” not only because it’s my favourite track but the live 2018 update was just too good to cut into another song.

With “Love In The First Degree” the band bid adieu to a sweaty and very satisfied crowd, probably not wanting the night to end. I’m not sure what the future holds for the trio but here’s hoping this tour bears more fruit.