The Scotsman (7.8.02)


Fiona Shepherd

Barrowland, Glasgow

THERE are not many occasions outside of fancy dress parties and truth or dare games which merit the crimping of hair and consumption of cider and blackcurrant, but the live return of the imperious Siouxsie & The Banshees provided a safe environment for old goths to wear their New Model Army T -shirts without fear of reprisals.

It could have been a trick of the crepuscular light show but the original gothic punks did not look any older than they did 15 years ago.

Not many 45 -year-olds could carry off a bogbrush hairdo, but Siouxsie remains an iconic presence even in middle age.

The sound was dense and unyielding with the band's trademark urgent, ominous guitars, Siouxsie's blaring foghorn, not much in the way of tunes and a set list heavily skewed towards those uncompromising pitch-dark dirges from the early 1980s that made Joy Division sound cheery. There was to be no sniff of Hong Kong Garden or Israel.

The message from the Banshees was mixed. They have reformed ostensibly to promote a forthcoming compilation album, yet they refused to push the easy nostalgia buttons. At GBP 20 a ticket, can they afford to be so single-minded?

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

Back to Articles