Time Off (Sept. 14, 2000)

Creatures Live review

Brisbane, Arena

Years of waiting for the Godmother of Goth to return to Brisbane have translated into a cloud of anticipation that permeates the whole crowd - decked out in their best blacks and points - and even reaches outside to greet the full moon.

All this musing is, of course, dismissed very quickly by Siouxsie Sioux’s presence alone - she has definitely still got the magic. At first, she seems awkward out in front of The Creatures, both vocally and in marking out her space on the stage in ‘Disconnected’, which is drowned in the twin bass thump of Jane Pickup and Rob Holliday. By ‘Turn It On’, however, she’s at full range, her primal yowls and more subtle vocal feats weaving around Budgie’s tribal drumming to lend the song the kind of alluringly detached eroticism for which she’s known.

It’s a very stylised show - a polished marriage of goth, psychedelia, punk and electronica - but it’s still potent. The music’s dark hues are important, but The Creatures’ (as was The Banshees’) flair for melody is too. It’s a counterpoint to some of the bleaker lyrics and extends as far back as Kaleidoscope’s ‘Christine’ in a set that’s at least partly about nostalgia.

Anima Animus and Eraser Cut sound so much more immediate live - it’s mostly Siouxsie’s gutsy singing, but it also seems like The Creatures have taken a few cues from the artists who remixed their songs for Hybrids and focused on the beats aspect of their music. As one of rock’s more inventive drummers, Budgie injects an extraordinary energy into ‘Exterminating Angel’, his urgency also driving ‘Prettiest Thing’ and the brooding ‘2nd Floor’.

Siouxsie steals back the limelight for ‘Another Planet’ and ‘Say’, beautiful psychedelic pop songs which the ice-cool Pickup and Holliday (now on guitar) turn into hooky exotica. She’s a chameleon, blending into the backing when she chooses, then with one twist of her neck and a blink of those shadowed eyes regaining our full attention.

Siouxsie’s sense of humour is never far from the surface. In one of her asides she holds an Olympic kangaroo mascot to the microphone, urging us to sing along as it squawks out ‘Waltzing Matilda’. No one does, but when it finishes with the chant of "Aussie! Aussie! Aussie! Oi! Oi! Oi!" everyone’s shouting the words. Later, this is the call that brings The Creatures back for a second encore.

There are beaming faces all round as they sign off with just over four weeks until The Cure come to town and all kinds of rumours about Big Day Out acts from the dark side, this excitement is only going to intensify.


Contributed by Bonnie Bryant.

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