The Guardian (London) (October 7, 2004)
Siouxsie Sioux: 100 Club, London + + + - -
At the first of Siouxsie Sioux's three shows in this basement cupboard (which sold out in hours), status was determined by who had seen Sioux the last time she played here. That was in 1976, as punk was tentatively flexing its muscles and the swastika-spangled Susan Ballion of south London was on her way to becoming the genre's presiding female star. Going by snatches of overheard conversation, nearly everyone in the room had supposedly been there, rocking adolescent mohicans to the unmelodic strains of the 19-year-old yelper.
The intervening decades have wrought changes to the audience's hair, but Ms Sioux seemed to have been preserved in some sort of own-brand aspic. Her haunting looks were set off by the classic gothic makeup and a feather headdress.
Leaving the stage after a breathless hour, she snapped: "It's about attitude. There's no fucking encore." In fact, a whopping eight encores had been pencilled in, but Siouxsie was obviously feeling punk rock.
The show was more than effective as it was, though. Sioux, husband/drummer Budgie and Leonard Eto (the Japanese percussionist who featured on last year's Creatures comeback album, Hai!), created a swirling, tempestuous aura. The men rattled things, Siouxsie mucked in with staccato cries and the result was closer to performance art than to pop music. Rather too long was devoted to Hai! - just one of its rambling bouts of tunelessness would have been enough - but Sioux didn't deprive the crowd of what they really wanted. A rumbling take on the Creatures' Godzilla was followed by three Banshees classics. Siouxsie and Budgie may be polished veterans now, but Happy House, Christine and Dear Prudence still pulsed with menace and primal percussion. Locked in a reverie, Siouxsie sang with head tilted back, savouring the moment. A roomful of men, face-to-face with their teenage crush, were swept away.
At the 100 Club tonight (020-7734 8932) and the Royal Festival Hall, London (0870 401 8181), on October 15 and 16.
Contributed by Jerry Burch.