MOJO (August '05)


Siouxsie Sioux

presented by The Edge


AS A stellar cast of '60s and '70s rock luminaries rose to its feet to recognise their one-time punk nemesis, the delicate equilibrium of rock history wobbled. For in taking punk rock's just-do-it dictum at face value, the gloriously untrained and unabashed Siouxsie Sioux debuted at the 100 Club's Punk Rock Festival on September 20,1976 with every intention of destroying it.

Now, almost 30 years later, the era's femme firebrand has achieved greater longevity and status than most of the "old farts" she once railed against. From cantankerous cult legend to overground pop anti-hero, with a string of important albums and a dozen Top 30 hits to her credit, Siouxsie utilised her lack of musical training as a weapon. Innovation was all, and the Banshees blueprinted a dark, subterranean, instantly recognisable sound that was aped by many '80s inferiors and lives on in the brooding atmospheres of 2005's highest-profile post-punk revivalists. More remarkable still, "the Siouxsie look" - electrified, jet black hair, chalk-white face, blood-red lips and horror-show eyes - spawned an entire subculture, quickly canonised as "goth".

As with her own heroes and heroines - Marc Bolan, the '70s Bowie, silent screen goddess Theda Bara - there remains something otherworldly and untouchable about Siouxsie Sioux. A magnificent, head-turning presence at the MOJO awards, she demonstrated that time has done little to diminish her iconic status - or the sharpness of her tongue. 'The visual aspect is paramount, but without content it's pretty pointless," she warned, stroking her "cat-like" award. And those old farts? "Page, Robert Wyatt, they were great! But Bill Wyman told me to be patient at the photo-shoot. I said. Patience is not my virtue. I've tried it and I don't fucking like it!"

Mark Paytress

Contributed by Bonnie Bryant.

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