MOJO (December 2004)
WHAT GOES ON!
So Sioux, Me
28 YEARS ON, SIOUXSIE RETURNS TO THE 100 CLUB. BY MARK PAYTRESS.
WHEN SIOUXSIE Sioux kick-started her career at the 100 Club in 1976, she did so in belligerent fashion. Fast forward to October 2004, and she's still narked, and proved it with three magnificent nights at the club. "More than anything the shows were a reminder about how revolted I feel by the industry," she says. "So much seems to have changed for the worse. Where's the spontaneity, the attitude, the adventure, the imagination? People still ask me, 'What do you think about Kylie and Madonna?' For fuck's sake, don't ask me about these fucking frauds. Why don't you ask me about Peaches or P.J. Harvey, Diamanda Galas? Send Robbie Williams to Butlins - now!"
As the opening act on the first night of the Punk Rock Festival, on September 20, 1976, 19-year-old Siouxsie and her untrained Banshees -including Sid Vicious on drums < were there primarily to make up the numbers. Their improvised set < a 20-minute 'punk sermon' based around The Lord's Prayer has long belied its accidental beginnings.
Now 47, Siouxsie remembers that night "pretty much like a dare, a baptism by fire". Today, with a vast catalogue to choose from and a baying audience open-mouthed at seeing her at close quarters, all that had changed. But her set < mainly Creatures songs, interspersed by the occasional Banshee hit < remains an exercise in tightrope walking. At the 100 Club, she and husband/drummer Budgie were joined by Japanese kodo drum master Leonard Eto, guitarist Knox, a keyboard player and two backing singers. Within a week, a newly configured Dreamshow, featuring expanded string and percussion sections, performed two rapturously received shows at the Royal Festival Hall. A solo album is planned for next year. Siouxsie's creative energies seem in full operation.
"Another 20 years?" she ponders. "Why the fucking hell not!?"
Contributed by Bonnie Bryant.