Siobhan Maher Kennedy

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Siobhan Maher (born 11 January 1964)[1] is an English singer and songwriter. She was the lead vocalist of the Liverpool-based band River City People during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The band released two albums, Say Something Good and This Is the World.

She is the daughter of Liverpool entertainer and BBC Radio Merseyside presenter Billy Maher.[2]

Musical career[edit]

In the 1980s, prior to joining River City People, Maher had been a vocalist with the local bands Passion Polka, Peep Show (with future RCP bassist Dave Snell, to whom she was briefly married)[3] and The Persuaders (with future RCP drummer and co-founder Paul Speed).[4][5]

After River City People[6] split, Maher teamed up with the rave act Oceanic[7] for the single "Ignorance", after their regular singer Jorinde Williams lost her voice.[8] "Ignorance" charted at number 72 on the Official UK Singles chart in November 1992 and would be Maher Kennedy's only solo credited hit on the Official Charts database.[9]

A couple of years later she formed a duo with Debbi Peterson, drummer and vocalist with The Bangles, called Kindred Spirit, who released a self-titled album in 1995. Although Peterson and Maher never officially split, Kindred Spirit is inactive. Peterson returned to the Bangles, and Maher released a solo album in 2002 called Immigrant Flower.[10]

Living in Nashville, Tennessee having married Ray Kennedy, producer of Steve Earle and Malcolm Holcombe, the country/folk/Americana influence on her music is noticeable. She now styles herself Siobhan Maher Kennedy.[11]

On 29 May 2022, her single "God Bless The World" would be a new entry in the Top 40 of Mike Read's Heritage Chart at number 32.[12]

Other work[edit]

In 1987, Maher played the part of Lettuce in the Brookside spin-off series Damon and Debbie. Maher also made forays into television presenting, on the 1987 series of the BBC1 fashion magazine programme The Clothes Show and the 1987 and 1988 seasons of But First This!, Children's BBC's summer holiday morning programme. For the 1987 season she presented a week solo (others doing the same included Andy Crane, Simon Potter, Tracy Brabin and Anthea Turner) and in 1988 presented throughout the run in rotation with other members of the presenting team for that season (Andy Crane, Colin Heywood and Sue Devaney).

Maher sang background vocals on Willy DeVille's 1996 Loup Garou album and the 1997 Joey Tempest album Azalea Place, and duetted with Steve Earle on the song "Poison Lovers" from his 1997 album El Corazón. Additionally, she has performed backing vocals on several albums by Malcolm Holcombe, including the 2009 release For The Mission Baby.[13]

Maher also sang backing vocals on Manu Katché's album It's About Time, which was recorded at Real World Studios and featured Sting, Peter Gabriel and Pino Palladino amongst others.

The 2002 BBC One comedy-drama Being April featured a theme song performed by Maher—the Richard Thompson-penned "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight." Maher appeared in one episode performing the song, which is also featured on her solo album Immigrant Flower.[citation needed]

Inspired by the community of musicians and songwriters in Nashville, Maher Kennedy began a project in Liverpool in 2019 called The Liver Girls to pursue the creation of a similar collective of women singer-songwriters in her former home city.[14][15]


Solo recordings[edit]

  • 2002: Immigrant Flower (BMG / Gravity)

With Kindred Spirit[edit]

With River City People[edit]



  1. ^ Larkin, Colin, ed. (1992). The Guinness encyclopedia of popular music, Volume 3. Enfield: Guinness Publishing. p. 2,095. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ "Liverpool Echo - Entertainment - ECHO Entertainment News - Why I'm in blues heaven-again". Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Get Ready to ROCK! Feature about River City People, the Liverpool band fronted by vocalist Siobahn Maher". Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  4. ^ "History of The Persuaders". Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 2 April 2009.
  5. ^ "Siobhan Maher-Kennedy". Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  6. ^ "RIVER CITY PEOPLE | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts.
  7. ^ Retropop Magazine issue 4, page 42 (June 2022)
  8. ^ "Siobhan Maher Kennedy". 30 April 2012.
  9. ^ "SIOBHAN MAHER KENNEDY | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts.
  10. ^ "Siobhan Maher-Kennedy". 30 April 2012. Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  11. ^ "Siobhan Maher-Kennedy". Retrieved 28 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Week 97 29 May 2022".
  13. ^ Malcolm Holcomb official website Archived 21 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Liver Girls 'in the round' Songwriters Session Review". 28 July 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2020.
  15. ^ The Liver Girls on Facebook

External links[edit]