Saturday, April 21, 2012

S is for Siouxsie and the Banshees

The late Seventies that saw the arrival of Punk rock must have been an exciting and chaotic time. The sudden appearance of Punk is associated with the Sex Pistols, an anarchic band that was essentially a creation of the Machiavellian marketing and fashion guru and impresario Malcolm McLaren.



The Sex Pistols were all about noise and outrage rather than talent. But they went down in history as one of the most controversial and influential bands of all time.

Siouxsie and the Banshees were formed in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bassist Steven Severin. Siouxsie was initially a Sex Pistols hanger on who took her distinctive appearance from the Punk era. She's later credited with being a pioneer of the Gothic movement and the band gained a deserved reputation for innovative experimentation.

The 1970s were certainly strange and anarchic days in England, although I was too young for them to really register.


John Lydon of the Sex Pistols said of the era: "Early Seventies Britain was a very depressing place. It was completely run-down, there was trash on the streets, total unemployment—just about everybody was on strike. Everybody was brought up with an education system that told you point blank that if you came from the wrong side of the tracks...then you had no hope in hell and no career prospects at all. Out of that came pretentious moi and the Sex Pistols and then a whole bunch of copycat wankers after us."

If Siouxsie and the Banshees were copycats at least they were talented. They were cited as major influences by Morrissey, U2, Radiohead and The Cure.

The Times cited Siouxsie and the Banshees as "one of the most audacious and uncompromising musical adventurers of the post-punk era.



Some of the band's most well known tracks include Spellbound, Happy House, Kiss Them for Me and Dear Prudence, a haunting cover of the Beatles song.

The band later broke up in 2004, crippled by Siouxsie's face powder bill. Siouxsie pursued a solo career. The band made some impact in the US with the hit Peek a Boo.

5 comments:

  1. I love the Sex Pistols. Siouxsie was pretty good, but I didn't listen to her/them that much. I was sooooo into that music back in the day. Still love it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd never heard of Siouxsie and the Banshees before David. Really like the second track you put up...great funky sound and her voice is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've spent plenty of time today catching up on your posts and it has been an absolute pleasure. I can't wait to read the rest of them now, so glad you're doing the A-Z challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cool JoJO - it was quite an era. Glad to introduce you to them Tracy. Yep distinctive voice. Thanks Abi, sure there are better things to do on a Saturday, tho

    ReplyDelete
  5. "Cities in Dust" and "Israel" also very definitive of their sound. And yes, I remember "Peek A Boo" getting a lot of airplay on the (now defunct, alas) local alternative rock station, my college friends and I used to sing it all the time...ah, memories. :-)

    Some Dark Romantic

    ReplyDelete