The Times (London) (6.12.99)

Alan Jackson calls Siouxsie Sioux

Former Banshee Siouxsie Sioux, 42, now fronts the Creatures, who appear at the Glastonbury Festival on June 26. She and her husband and musical partner, Budgie, live in France's Lot region with their three cats.

Alan Jackson: It's summer festival time and, after hardly ever appearing at any, you're suddenly this year's Queen of the Circuit, Glastonbury included. How are you coping with the mud, the veggie burgers and the poor sanitation?

Siouxsie Sioux: I haven't really encountered any of the negatives yet. That said, we did find ourselves on a Special Metal bill in Leipzig the other weekend. We were on stage at 12.45 in the afternoon, just after some Kiss throwback band in full make-up that was melting in the heat. The audience was full of teenage boys pretending not to listen. It was a beautiful afternoon but I did think to myself, "What are we doing here?" AJ: Right now, though, you're at home in southern France. You've lived there for seven years. How did the move come about?

SS: It was very spontaneous, without much pre-thought or research. We wanted to escape a constricted existence - get out of the rat-race, I suppose. Space and privacy were a priority, too. And it's worked out beautifully. We guard this life very jealously, sharing it with only a very few close friends. It's wonderful, seeing their faces when they arrive here. The peace, the quality of light... They can't believe it.

AJ: But any thoughts that this blissed-out lifestyle might have turned you Enya-esque are shattered by the new album, Anima and Animus. It's just as uncompromising as ever, isn't it?

SS: (laughing) Enya-esque? Ha! I think not. Out here, I've got all the more time and space to sharpen my wits and my teeth.

AJ: Other British female stars who've settled in France and have been embraced by the locals... Let me see, I can think of Petula Clark, Jane Birkin and Kristin Scott Thomas. Which of them do you have most in common with?

SS: Wow! I'm not sure. I can't even think who Kristin Scott Whatsit is. Oh yeah! I know who you mean. None of them, particularly. Had you said Jacques Brel, I'd have put my hand up straight away. Not English or a woman, though.

AJ: It was your birthday the other day. How did you celebrate?

SS: A friend came over to stay. I met her at the airport and we went into Toulouse to eat. I asked the waitress what the catch of the day was, as I didn't recognise the name of this particular fish. I thought she said it was a kind of trout, so I ordered it. But it turned out to be eel-like - dark-fleshed, and served in this black, inky sauce. I lost my appetite immediately. We did have champagne though, which was lovely. And my friend was able to go back to England three days later with a new story about mad old Siouxsie.

AJ: Life sounds good. Any clouds on the domestic horizon?

SS: Just that one of our cats, a neutered male, has kept spraying our backs since we returned from the European leg of the tour. The vet says it's psychological - insecurity from being fed by someone else. And we did notice that the cat flap was broken. I think some of the local toms might have been coming in and eating his grub.

AJ: You need to get one of those electronic ones. Then no other moggie can get through.

SS: I've been trying to find one, both here and in America. No luck.

AJ: I could bring one to Glastonbury, and toss it on to the stage for you.

SS: That'd be great.

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

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