My earliest memory of Siouxsie Sioux was when I discovered the Punk subculture in my early teens. Of course my Father had already introduced me to Bowie and Kate Bush, so when I found Punk, I was obsessed and would search the internet for everything I could find on it; interviews, documentaries, live performances, you name it – I consumed it all.
One day I came across that infamous 1976 Bill Grundy interview with the Sex Pistols where the the host provoked the anarchic musicians to use profanity on live television.
Who of all people was present during this disastrous interview as part of the entourage? None other than the Godmother of Goth herself – Siouxsie Sioux. She would follow her mates, the Pistols around, going to gigs and hanging out. She paid the host some lip service but was visibly put off by his dirty old man inference that they would meet up backstage after the show.
Now this was a year before she would go on to tour the country with a band of her own: Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees.
See a blonde pixie cut styled Siouxsie on the far right with a cigarette.
Siouxsie’s music became the soundtrack to my mid-teens. As I braved the British cold for my first job as a door to door magazine deliverer in a posh area of my hometown, I’d listen to Siouxsie. As I approached the big iron gates of this bougie house and struggled to find the cast iron lion’s head opening mechanism, I entered the front garden, passed the Ferrari’s to find the mail box in the door, popped the magazine, in all while the clanging guitars thrashed about to Siouxsie’s iconic vocals. I felt on top of the world while earning minimum wage in the freezing cold.
Siouxsie’s punk roots would help her navigate the music industry as she propelled into the role of the Godmother of Goth. The essence of Punk was really the attitude, the f**k off sensibility to anyone who tried telling you what to do. To keep your wits about you in such a cutthroat industry was essential. Especially an industry that reluctantly dealt with the Punk genre for monetary exploitation but really had no interest in it having any sort of future. This is where the Banshees were clever, instead of trying to elongate a dying style, they moved with the times into the 1980’s post punk new wave and the burgeoning goth era.
Signing to Polydor records was a great move as they agreed to let the band have complete creative control.
Siouxsie’s music offers me a perfect blend of everything I need; intelligent lyrics, experimental instrumentation, a mix of genre’s with an underlying darkness. I love it!
I particularly love Budgie’s drumming, it’s so aware of the melody of the guitars and Siouxsie’s vocal slopes and slides, it compliments it all so perfectly.
My favourite example is in this performance of Spellbound.
The band often covered their predecessors songs like The Beatles ‘Helter Skelter’ and ‘Dear Prudence’ off the white album and ‘The Passenger’ by Iggy Pop off the Lust for Life album. All of which a huge songs for the band they took good songs, gave them the Banshees treatment and turned them into absolute bangers.
Siouxsie makes me feel fierce when I’m feeling weak and whenever I feel boring, I dress up like Siouxsie and I feel OK again.