Siouxsie and the Banshees
The Seven Year Itch Live
Sanctuary Visual Entertainment
Review by Roddy Alan Fletcher
"Take a walk with me…down by the sea"
I should preface this review by divulging that I've been a Siouxsie and the Banshees fan for over sixteen years, and the band has had a profound impact on my life. When I first got wind of the Seven Year Itch tour, I viewed it as the perfect opportunity for me to tie up some loose ends.
See, until recently, I had led a geographically challenged life. Siouxsie and the Banshees only played my home state of NC twice, and one of those was months before I discovered Israel on UNC college radio. Granted, I did manage to see the Banshees a few times prior to the Itch-a stolen weekend in Boston for Peepshow and a couple of grueling down-and-backs to Atlanta.
I saw the so-called reunion tour as a chance to make up for lost time. It was fitting (at least in my mind) that the initial scratch took place close to my new home base-in Washington, DC.
That first show was something magical. Siouxsie Sioux. Budgie. Steven Severin. Knox Chandler. The latest incarnation of Siouxsie and the Banshees was on. It was exciting. It was chilling. It was surreal.
Next came an odyssey across the US-for the Banshees and for me-before a festival conclusion at Coachella. None quite lived up to the DC show, but concerts aren't about hitting every note with perfection. They're about feeling; they're about emotion; they're about community. Each of the concerts held a special and unique memory for me.
The Banshees left the US behind as April drew to a close. They would return in August but only after capturing one of the London concerts on disc. Does said DVD capture the magic of the 7YI tour? Does it respectfully close another chapter in Banshee history? Yes, I think it does. It's hard to deny the legacy and influence of the Banshees, and this seems like a fitting conclusion. The break-up in 1996 wasn't clean; things were unfinished.
The concert itself wasn't for the critics. It wasn't for the record executives. Perhaps it wasn't even for the fans. It was for Siouxsie and the Banshees, and it was on their terms. Siouxsie and the boys seemed…comfortable.
Die-hards will inevitably be happy with a setlist so heavily weighted towards the first four Banshee albums. And, amazingly, most of those songs never sounded better. Metal Postcard, Icon, Night Shift, and Voodoo Dolly felt revived and fresh.
And what would a Siouxsie show be without a few surprises? The b-sides weren't neglected. The rarely- and never-before played live, Lullaby and I Could Be Again, made an appearance. Blue Jay Way served the role of obligatory cover song. The best surprise, however, was an album track from Tinderbox, Lands End…what a perfect song to showcase the band. "Take a walk with me…down by the sea."
As for the cliched "production values," this DVD doesn't disappoint. The packaging and menus are well done. The editing captures Siouxsie's beauty; the sound engineering captures every drum beat and guitar chord. The DVD extras are a nice addition. We get a glimpse of soundchecks by the Banshees and the adorable and musically impressive eX-Girl. Then, the ever-charming and all-around nice guy, Budgie, treats us to a backstage tour.
Yes, I was sad when the Seven Year Itch tour ended. I also felt relieved. I had been given a second chance. I could strive for the elusive closure.
That said, I'd gladly take another walk with you, Siouxsie…or I can always pop in the DVD when memory starts to fade.