NME (9.17.77)

Live Review

Siouxsie & the Banshees - Nashville, London. By Julie Burchill

You wish they all could be SS girls?

Okay, but Ilse the She-Wolf never was my cup of barbed wire - and besides, Siouxsie Q don’t swoon for swastika armbands anymore. Now maybe someone will throw up a contract...

Etched in red and black (good marching colours) the Bromley madchen hits the Nashville... such a lousy locale for one you’d expect to trade seig heils with down in the last bunker. In fact, the biggest shickhorror from the mire of Siouxsie’s allegedly Nietzchean nature was the frail, coy passes she made at the air with a raised hand in search of a Nazi nuance.

Songs such as "Helter Skelter" and "Love In A Void" resound with automation rather than National Socialist partialities, neat beat songs of sick, slick love structured around machine-man scenarios or callously culled from dehumanised headlines.

The normal Chinaman-in-a bull-shop barnstorming tedium of all the legions of honorary bored teenagers is liquidated in deference to the Banshees’ hollow Lou Reed-as-Sally Bowles chords, chords connect into bars around which Siouxsie swings her siren-whine - the whine to open your head...

Her voice is sharp and stark, her eyes are dead and dark as she paces out her ascribed lebensraum hand-in-stand with the microphone, her human-failings dance routine snappily executed - if a little repetitive. Her movements seem to be a muted erosion of Debbie Blondie’s chrome-blooded clockwork dollbaby patent.

While lacking the mass appeal of Gaye Advert or the real glee of Arianna Slit, Siouxsie has half a soft-core following and a band that doesn’t clutter the bare bones with the frills, as well as being handsome in a stretcher-case kind of way and a much neater conversation piece than all those fledgling punk pains festering down the Roxy and Vortex.

If goosesteps give you a buzz you’ll have a ball, though I fear that whatever heights of minimalist muses she comes to capture, Siouxsie will never top her Sun centrespread.

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