Scene (March 1999)
SIOUX'S YOU, MADAM THE CREATURES ARE LOOKING BETTER THAN EVER
The Sex Pistols, Human League, Culture Club... if only we could persuade Arnie to transport himself back in time and terminate every single godawful band from 1977 to 1983, just to stop any more embarrassing comeback tours attended by sad thirtysomethings waving their lighters in the air.
But there is one glorious exception. With an album by the name of Anima Animus, Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie have recorded some exceptional new music instead of taking the nostalgia route. Siouxsie's vocals remain remarkable, majestic and distinctive as ever, whether hissing through 'Exterminating Angel', showing disco divas how to holler on '2nd Floor', or crooning away on the ballad 'Another Planet'. Backed with smart dance beats and Budgie's primal drumming, Anima Animus is wonderfully dark music. Fans at Creatures gigs are more likely to come armed with flame throwers than lighters.
Yet three years ago, Siouxsie and Budgie were on the verge of quitting the business after 20 years of international success. They decided to disband the Banshees and split from record label Polydor.
"I was tempted to open a flower shop - really," says Siouxsie. "It's amazing, but if you are surrounded by people with a cynical attitude it really rubs off on you. Every time you try to have fun with music, you're told 'No, you can't do that.' I remember one guy, who shall remain nameless, said to us, 'Well, you know imagination costs money.' I just thought, 'You've really, really sacked yourself now.'"
A chance encounter a year ago in Soho with Doug Hart, head of underground dance label Hydrogen Dukebox, changed everything. Inspired by dance music's DIY culture - which reminded them of the early days of punk - Siouxsie and Budgie decided to ressurect The Creatures (until then only a side project of the Banshees), manage themselves and start their own Sioux label. They also began collaborating with DJs such as A1 People and Icarus.
Anima Animus was recorded in the couple's Parisian home, and perhaps it's because of this that there's a winning, relaxed confidence to the Creatures' new work.
"It's a great way to write," says Budgie. "I'd start playing bongos in one room, Siouxsie would be at the other end of the house listening to it wafting down the hallway, and then she'd start singing."
Given that the album lyrics include Siouxsie wailing, "Enough is enough/ I want to fuck it up", as well as "I want to piss on it", recording must have been quite a laugh.
ANIMA ANIMUS, out now on Sioux Records. For more info, check the website: www.sioux.com.