Daily Variety (September 09, 2004)
An Evening With Siouxsie
(B.B. King's; 1,000 capacity; $ 35)
Presented inhouse. Band: Siouxsie Sioux, Budgie, Knox Chandler, Leonard Eto. Opened and reviewed September 6th, 2004. Closed September 7th, 2004.
Often, when a performer announces his or her intention to play an "intimate" show, the smaller-than-expected performance space is being used out of fan attrition rather than by choice. This perf by one of punk's godmothers, however, proved the exception to that rule, and not just because the house was packed.
No, Siouxsie's notions of intimacy extended beyond the gig's mere setting. With a bare-bones band and a surprisingly engaging stage demeanor, she was clearly intent on playing a game of "getting to know you" --- a sharp contrast to her longstanding ice queen image.
In terms of both attitude and sonics, the shift worked well. The 90-minute set, billed as a balance of material from the defunct Banshees and the Creatures (the band she and husband Budgie have led in recent years), actually titled heavily towards the latter, with special emphasis on songs from the recently released "Hai!!" album.
Those selections were the evening's most fully realized, in large part because they were recorded with taiko drummer Leonard Eto, whose evocative playing imparted a sort of tropical haze to songs like "Say Yes" and "Around the World." A cover of the Beatles' "Dear Prudence" replaced the billowing riffs of the Banshees' recorded version with a feathery caress, courtesy of guitarist Knox Chandler.
Sioux herself seemed less comfortable navigating the more unruly reaches of older material, particularly on "Happy House," which proved less menacing than eye-rollingly dotty. Songs of more recent vintage --- "Shooting Sun" for instance --- brought out the metallic tang that her voice has taken on of late and allowed her to wade in with an ease that facilitated aud interaction.
There was plenty of that throughout the evening, with aud members mobbing and occasionally invading the stage with enough abandon to keep security in perpetual motion. An odd reaction, given the relative calm of the perf, but a sure sign that --- lack of record contract be damned --- Siouxsie still holds sway over her disciples.
An Evening With Siouxsie moves to West Hollywood's House of Blues on Sept. 22 and 23.
Contributed by Jerry Burch.