Bananarama’s Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward celebrate the group’s 36th anniversary and their achievements speak for themselves. Two Band Aid appearances, an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most successful female band worldwide with the most charting singles, many of which were international hits, four hitting the US Billboard Top 10 including a No.1 with Venus. To date the duo have had 32 Top 40 UK hits. They have released 10 albums and sold 30 million records.
Bananarama formed in London in the early 80s, Dallin and Woodward had been living in the YWCA which was about to close so were looking for somewhere cheap to live on a students wage. After a chance meeting with Paul Cook (ex Sex Pistols) at the club Studio 21 their problem was solved, he offered the pair a room above the Sex Pistols old rehearsal space in the legendary Denmark St. Charing Cross. The walls were covered with Johnny Rotten’s drawings of Sid and Nancy and Dallin and Woodward added their own names to the mural . The 17th century townhouse is now a Grade II listed building.
The teenagers used to come in after clubbing and plug the guitars in and party. Dallin and Woodward had their first taste of the music business recording demos with bands in the studios of Denmark St ( previously used by the Rolling Stones, Bowie, Small Faces, Elton John). They also learnt to play bass and did bvs for fun for Paul Cook and Steve Jones new band ‘The Professionals’ and visited Richard Branson’s Manor Studios in Oxford for the recording of the album where they had dinner with the man himself and Lemmy from Motorhead. A whole new world was opening up!