The Guardian (September 27, 2003)

Saturday review: Paperbacks: Non-fiction

Siouxsie and the Banshees: The Authorised Biography, by Mark Paytress
(Sanctuary, 9.99)

This story of the turbulent times of the seminal goth-punkers comes straight from the horses' mouths: Paytress has interviewed all the band members to provide a smoke'n'drugs-filled Rashomon -style reminiscence of a band's life, which is probably the best way to do it. Early stories include a bass player who didn't know which was his E string (they shouted "The thick string! Just hit the thick string!"); thence it is a tale of occasional success and increasing oddness, with the usual (but still disgusting) record-company treacheries, the inev-itable split, and a triumphant comeback tour of Japan. Occasional interjections come from other luminaries such as Robert Smith, Marc Almond, John Cale and even fringemeister Phil Oakey, while Shirley Manson contributes a devotional foreword about how "She shaped my life. I wouldn't be singing if it weren't for Siouxsie" - perhaps not the legacy Sioux dreamed of, but nice none the less. SP

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

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