(Loaded March '95)

"C'Mon, Spirit Out"
by The Stud Brothers

It's been almost 20 years since Siouxsie Sioux stomped on stage at the 100 Club, bare breasted, strapped into stilettos and wearing a Nazi arm band. To the disgust of many and the delight of a few she and the Banshees -- their line up at the time included the famous and now dead junkie, Sid Vicious -- tore into a cacophonous and wholly blasphemous version of "The Lord's Prayer." The Banshees were instantly dubbed "Britain's nastiest band." And in '76 there was a lot of competition.

Since then they've had 20-odd hits and more guitarists than the Musicians Union has members ("We just chew 'em up and spit 'em out," says Siouxsie with a commendable lack of compassion), played Lollapalooza (the Yanks' mobile Reading) and written the theme to Tim Burton's "Batman Returns."

Remarkably, throughout all this they've retained their cool and an admirable reputation for debauchery. Steve Severin, the band's bassist and sometime lyricist, was recently banned from London media hangout the Atlantic Bar for over-indulgence. That's like being banned from Chelsea's Shed for being too much of a Chelsea supporter. Steve also subscribes to "Loaded." Geezer.

And Siouxsie, apparently, can out-drink the most exuberantly beery scrum half. It's Budgie, Banshees drummer and husband to Siouxsie, who's most composed of the three.

It's their ability to take themselves slightly less seriously than their legions of black clad fans do, that Severin reckons has kept the band going. "We've never had much respect for the music industry. We aren't particularly interested in making friends, and nowadays we're a fuck of a lot more relaxed about what we do than we ever were. We get on with enjoying ourselves."

The Banshees new album "The Rapture" is a sometimes excellent, always good collection of juju beats, insidious, eccentric melodies, plaintive wishes and sour sentiments. Siouxsie's an expert at sour sentiments. At its best, as with the slick, slinky, S&M meisterwork "Not Forgotten," "The Rapture" pulsates with a grisly, sequined glitz the Banshees have made their own.

"I love the record," says Steve, who's soon to publish a volume of his own erotic prose poetry (a mucky book to you lot). "It was recorded in very much the same way as the early stuff; the four of us in a room banging the stuff out. In fact, a lot of people have said it reminds them of the stuff we were doing in the '80's."

And what about us?

"Loaded's one of the first men's magazines around to acknowledge that men are actually having a good time. If you read the other titles you always get the impression they're faintly embarrassed about men enjoying themselves." GWF!

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