The Morning Call (8.8.98)
CALE AND SIOUX PROVE INTERESTING CREATURES
MICHAEL KNIES; (A free-lance story for The Morning Call)
John Cale and Siouxsie Sioux proved an entertaining, if unusual, tag-team last Saturday night at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia. Best known for co-founding the Velvet Underground, Cale may have gained a few younger fans in the process, and Sioux's small but devoted following showed that Goth is still alive.
Cale began the show, sans Sioux, with a keyboard rendition of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas' "Lament," sparsely accompanied by Sioux's band, the Creatures.
Although one twentysomething concertgoer commented, "John What's-His-Name -- the guy that's opening for Siouxsie," the gathering of predominantly Sioux fans politely received Cale, who sported faded denims and a plain T-shirt. Cale fans were easy to spot, being older and lacking such Goth staples as black leather and velvet, heavy makeup and Day-Glo braids.
Cale and the band offered an atmospheric version of "Hedda Gabbler" with Sioux joining the final chorus. Cale exited as Sioux and the band launched into their recent cut "Disconnected" amid white strobes and fog.
Sioux's voice remains strong. Wearing black vinyl pants and black mesh bodysuit over a black bra, she throbbed and twitched her way through "Take Mine," "Tattoo," "Venus Sands" and the crowd favorite "Pluto Drive."
Cale's rendition of the amusing "Pablo Picasso," penned by Jonathan Richman (whose first "Modern Lovers" LP was Cale-produced), was well-received. Cale told the audience, "That's enough art history. Now for some real estate" as he settled at the piano for a marvelously macabre solo version of Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel."
Attired in black mesh shirt, glow-in-the-dark green Nikes and black skirt atop black leggings, Sioux's husband, Budgie, emerged from behind the drum kit to play percussion front-stage on "Prettiest Thing."
For an encore, the band covered Velvet Underground's classic "Venus in Furs" with Cale on viola. Sioux introduced the song by asking the crowd if they were ready for a whipping. At least one person was. As Sioux sang the line "Now bleed for me," a young man jumped onstage and assumed the position for faux flagellation. Sioux obliged by whipping him with the microphone cord and sitting on him until nervous security guards dragged him away.
Contributed by Jerry Burch.