The Dallas Morning News (5.3.99)

Creatures' endeavor collective Sious's own style fills Deep Ellum Live

Teresa Gubbins

Few in the crowd of 600 who attended a dance-oriented concert by the Creatures on Saturday at Deep Ellum Live would call themselves "Goths" - identifying yourself as such is not in character for a Goth.

But this event nonetheless served as a relieved gathering as well as an affirmation for the music subcult that was briefly and inaccurately targeted after the recent murder spree in Littleton, Colo.

Plenty wore the Goth "uniform" - basic black - in all modes of fabric, from spandex to fishnet to velvet to vinyl. And no beauty salon could top the array of stunning hair-color options or creative makeup.

But that's about as extreme as it got - not even a mosh pit to speak of. Name any other genre of music, and you'd probably find more aggression than was evident at this show. The crowd came for two reasons: to pay homage to singer Siouxsie Sioux and to dance.

Siouxsie recently revived the Creatures, a 10-year-old experimental project with her drummer-husband, Budgie, after their more commercially successful band, the Banshees, broke up in '95. The Creatures have a new disc, Anima Animus, and this accompanying tour.

But Siouxsie has such a signature style that it makes no difference whether you call it the Banshees or the Creatures. Anima Animus hardly sounds experimental. It instead has all the Banshees' trademarks: tribal drums, dance beats, sultry music with an almost calypso vibe and the centerpiece, Siouxsie's near-operatic vocals.

The Creatures' performance would have been familiar to anyone who's seen the Banshees (they joined Lollapalooza on its maiden voyage in '91 and most recently were here in '95, shortly before breaking up). Backed by two young musicians on guitar, bass and keyboards, Siouxsie and Budgie did their thing - he hitting drums with precision and ferocity, she singing like a diva and vamping like Garbo.

Her black bob and pronounced makeup made her look like a cross between Louise Brooks and Cleopatra. She wore a black bra beneath a white mesh shirt and a shimmery "hoodie" zipped jacket. Budgie, who came out from behind the kit a number of times to hammer a drum or play acoustic guitar, wore quite tight, quite short black bicycle shorts with a studded belt. Like, wow.

Together for more than 20 years, the two share a clear understanding of how to entertain. Performing cuts from the new disc, including a hypnotic rendition of "2nd Floor," they mixed up action and pacing: a solo from Siouxsie, an acoustic song, a session of communal percussion. Sioux-sie manned a large bass drum, which was suspended in the air so that the audience not only heard the boom, it saw her deliver it with flamboyance.

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

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