The Washington Post (8.10.98)


The Creatures At the 9:30 Club

When the Creatures first recorded in 1981, the band was a side project for the singer and drummer of Siouxsie and the Banshees. The version of the group that appeared Saturday night at the 9:30 club, however, was more of a goth-rock revue, with Velvet Underground co-founder John Cale as a prominent member of the lineup.

The first Creatures recordings had a stark, voice-and-drums emphasis that the 9:30 show revisited, but with or without the Banshees, Siouxsie remains unmistakably Siouxsie. Dressed in her customary form-fitting black, she wailed in a crypto-Eastern style that dates to the Banshees' first British hit, "Hong Kong Garden."

Although Siouxsie was the principal vocalist, Cale sang several songs, both solo and as duets with Siouxsie. The latter even left the stage while Cale performed such staples of his live set as the Modern Lovers' "Pablo Picasso" and his Grand Guignol rendition of Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel." Later he turned to viola, notably for a version of the Velvets' "Venus in Furs."

None of this was surprising, but the switches of instruments and singers did keep things interesting. The Creatures' performance was not the most various of variety shows, but by the standards of many dull recent rock shows it was engagingly diverse.

--Mark Jenkins

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

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