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Encyclopedia > Siouxsie and the Banshees

Siouxsie and the Banshees are a British gothic rock band. Their musical career includes elements of early punk, and new wave.

Contents

Formation

The band was originally formed to fill an empty space on a bill at the first 'international punk rock festival'. This show was organised by Malcolm McLaren at the 100 Club in London's Oxford Street on September 20th, 1976.


The initial line up consisted of 'Bromley Contingent' members Siouxsie Sioux (real name Susan Janet Ballion), Steve Severin (aka Steve Spunker/Havoc), Marco Pirroni (later of Adam and the Ants and Rema Rema) and Sid Vicious (real name John Simon Ritchie), later of the Sex Pistols, on drums. On this occasion their set consisted of a lengthy and chaotic unrehearsed improvisation of "The Lord's Prayer", which also included lines from songs like "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", "Smoke On The Water" and "Twist and Shout".


"God it was awful" and "excruciating!" were two eye-witness accounts of their performance. This was not a unanimous view, however. A recording of the piece which circulates, though of relatively poor quality, demonstrates that the group gave a performance which commanded and repaid attention.


Style and Notoriety

Siouxsie courted much controversy in the early days due to her dress, often wearing 'bondage' clothes and fetish wear. She was also heavily critisised for wearing swastika armbands, although always maintained that this was intended to be for 'shock value' rather than any form of display of political sympathies.


The infamous Bill Grundy interview with the Sex Pistols, which led to notoriety for the Sex Pistols in December 1976, was sparked when TV presenter Grundy attempted to 'chat up' Siouxsie on prime time TV.


History

By February 1977 the Banshees were taking themselves seriously as a musical unit. They recruited Kenny Morris and Pete Fenton to their line up, which was by now gigging regularly and had attracted a solid fan base. Fenton was subsequently sacked and replaced in July 1977 by John McKay. It was not until 1978 that they finally obtained a record contract with Polydor Records, where upon they released their first single "Hong Kong Garden" (which reached the top 10 in the UK), followed soon after by the album The Scream.


Their second album, Join Hands, was released in 1979, and included a lengthy version of the aforementioned "Lord's Prayer" track. However, two days into a tour promoting this album, Morris and McKay unexpectedly quit the band. They were hastily replaced by Robert Smith (whose band The Cure were the Banshees' support for the tour) on guitar and Budgie (real name Peter Clarke, formerly of The Slits and Big In Japan) on drums. After the completion of the tour, Budgie stayed on as the Banshees' permanent drummer, whilst John McGeoch, formerly of Magazine joined as guitarist.


McGeoch recorded Kaleidoscope, Ju-Ju, and A Kiss in the Dreamhouse. During the tour for A Kiss in the Dreamhouse, McGeoch collasped and was taken to Hospital. He was replaced on tour by Robert Smith, who later became a full time member. Smith contributed to the excellent live Double Album Nocturne and Hyaena, but finding that being the frontman for The Cure and guitarist for the Banshees was too much, he quit after Haeyna.


Ex-Clock DVA guitarist John Valentine Carruthers was added. The Banshees re-recorded The Thorn EP with Carruthers and future member Martin McCarrick.


1986 saw th release of Tinderbox and the single Cities in Dust followed in '87 by the cover album Through the Looking Glass. Absent from one of the videos was Carruthers.


Following a long break, the rest of the band recruited the cellist/keyboardist Martin McCarrick and the ex-Specimen guitarist Jon Klein and recorded Peepshow, Superstition and The Rapture. Klien left after the completion of their last album and was replaced on tour by ex-Psychedlic Furs guitarist Knox Chandler.


(the story from hereon in still to be written, something more substantial than the following would be nice...)



While probably best known by the mainstream for songs like "Kiss them For Me", Siouxsie and the Banshees has done everything from punk (in the 1970s) to goth to new wave. How to classify this band depends on what era/song/album one is talking about.


Siouxsie and her husband Budgie also started a 'side project' band called The Creatures.


LP Discography

The Scream Polydor, 1978

  1. Pure
  2. Jigsaw Feeling
  3. Overground
  4. Carcass
  5. Helter Skelter
  6. Mirage
  7. Metal Postcard
  8. Nicotine Stain
  9. Suburban Relapse
  10. Switch

Join Hands Polydor, 1979

  1. Poppy Day
  2. Regal Zone
  3. Placebo Effect
  4. Icon
  5. Premature Burial
  6. Playground Twist
  7. Mother-Oh Mein Papa
  8. The Lord's Prayer

Kaleidoscope 1980

  1. Happy House
  2. Tenant
  3. Trophy
  4. Hybrid
  5. Clockface
  6. Lunar Camel
  7. Christine
  8. Desert Kisses
  9. Red Light
  10. Paradise Place
  11. Skin

Juju Polydor, 1981

  1. Spellbound
  2. Into the Light
  3. Arabian Knights
  4. Halloween
  5. Monitor
  6. Night Shift
  7. Sin in My Heart
  8. Head Cut
  9. Voodoo Dolly

Once Upon A Time: The Singles Polydor, 1981

  1. Hong Kong Garden
  2. Mirage
  3. The Staircase (Mystery)
  4. Playground Twist
  5. Love In A Void
  6. Happy House
  7. Christine
  8. Israel
  9. Spellbound
  10. Arabian Knights

A Kiss In The Dreamhouse Polydor, 1982

  1. Cascade
  2. Green Fingers
  3. Obsession
  4. She's a Carnival
  5. Circle
  6. Melt!
  7. Painted Bird
  8. Cocoon
  9. Slowdive

Nocturne (live) 1983

  1. Israel
  2. Dear Prudence
  3. Paradise Place
  4. Melt!
  5. Cascade
  6. Pulled to Bits
  7. Night Shift
  8. Sin in My Heart
  9. Slowdive
  10. Painted Bird
  11. Happy House
  12. Switch
  13. Spellbound
  14. Helter Skelter
  15. Eve White, Eve Black
  16. Voodoo Dolly

Hyaena 1984

  1. Dazzle
  2. We Hunger
  3. Take Me Back
  4. Belladonna
  5. Swimming Horses
  6. Dear Prudence
  7. Bring Me the Head of the Preacher Man
  8. Running Town
  9. Pointing Bone
  10. Blow the House Down

Tinderbox 1986

  1. Candyman
  2. The Sweetest Chill
  3. This Unrest
  4. Cities in Dust
  5. Cannons
  6. Party's Fall
  7. 92 Degrees
  8. Lands End

Through The Looking Glass Geffen, 1987

  1. This Town Ain't Big Enough
  2. Hall of Mirrors
  3. Trust in Me
  4. This Wheel's on Fire
  5. Strange Fruit
  6. You're Lost Little Girl
  7. The Passenger
  8. Gun
  9. Sea Breezes
  10. Little Johnny Jewel

Peepshow Geffen, 1988

  1. Peek-a-Boo
  2. The Killing Jar
  3. Scarecrow
  4. Carousel
  5. Burn-Up
  6. Ornaments of Gold
  7. Turn to Stone
  8. Rawhead and Bloodybones
  9. The Last Beat of My Heart
  10. Rhapsody

The Peel Sessions 1991

  1. Love in a Void
  2. Mirage
  3. Metal Postcard
  4. Suburban Relapse
  5. Hong Kong Garden
  6. Overground
  7. Carcass
  8. Helter Skelter

Superstition Geffen, 1991

  1. Kiss Them for Me
  2. Fear (of the Unknown)
  3. Cry
  4. Drifter
  5. Little Sister
  6. Shadowtime
  7. Silly Thing
  8. Got to Get Up
  9. Silver Waterfalls
  10. Softly
  11. The Ghost in You

Twice Upon A Time: The Singles 1992

  1. Fireworks
  2. Slowdive
  3. Melt!
  4. Dear Prudence
  5. Swimming Horses
  6. Dazzle
  7. Overground
  8. Cities in Dust
  9. Candyman
  10. This Wheel's on Fire
  1. The Passenger
  2. Peek-a-Boo
  3. The Killing Jar
  4. The Last Beat of My Heart (Live)
  5. Kiss Them for Me
  6. Shadowtime
  7. Fear (of the Unknown Remix)
  8. Face to Face

The Rapture 1995

  1. O Baby
  2. Tearing Apart
  3. Stargazer
  4. Fall From Grace
  5. Not Forgotten
  6. Sick Child
  7. Lonely One
  8. Falling Down
  9. Forever
  10. The Rapture
  11. The Double Life
  12. Love Out Me

See Also:

Gothic rock


References:

Bill Grundy Interview (http://www.televisionpersonalities.co.uk/pistols.htm)


External Links

  • UntiedUndone (http://www.untiedundone.com/) is a fan site with lots of information and images of Siouxsie and the Banshees
  • The Creatures (http://www.thecreatures.com/) is the official site of Siouxsie and the Budgie
  • Fantazee (http://www.fantazee.themoon.co.uk/) is Vernette Butler's excellent Siouxsie site, containing a complete history, official and bootleg discographies and much more.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Siouxsie And The Banshees letras - Letras de Músicas ♫ (519 words)
Siouxsie And The Banshees - Helter Skelter [The Beatles]
Siouxsie And The Banshees - The Ghost In You
Siouxsie And The Banshees - The Lonely One
Siouxsie & The Banshees (4086 words)
Siouxsie is still reveling in her Goth intonations, and McKay is still reveling in his punkish guitar lines.
Siouxsie and the Banshees probably couldn't either, because this is the only thing that explains why they kept switching between harder-rocking, more hook-oriented Goth-pop like The Scream and Juju, and mellower, moodier, more vague atmospheric albums like Kaleidoscope and this one.
It has all the trademark ingredients of a Siouxsie classic - a slow, hypnotic riff, a sad 18th century violin arrangement, mournfully chiming bells, a strange 'hissing' percussion sound, an ear-destructive distorted guitar chord for the rhythm, a doom-laden vocal delivery, and lyrics that deal with madness induced by deprivation of the beloved one.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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