The Times (6.3.98)


TWO years ago Siouxsie Sioux announced that she was folding the Banshees "with dignity," a barbed comment on the Sex Pistols reunion tour which was winding its cynical way around Britain. Since then she has concentrated on the Creatures, the side project first launched with her drummer husband Budgie in 1981. These two London shows were a warm-up before a two-month American tour, preceding a single in July and an album in the autumn.

The denizens of the London night turned out in force in their latex and leather and they were not disappointed. Against a shimmering backdrop, a PVC-clad Siouxsie strutted her feline stuff while Budgie manufactured a percussive storm behind her.

Siouxsie, 41 last week, has blossomed from the gaunt, scary waif who set out to shock us with her bondage and swastikas into a strikingly beautiful swan. Over the years she has also learnt to sing properly and at times unveiled an almost cabaret-style croon. Thankfully, however, she has no desire to turn into Celine Dion yet and her edgy, half-screamed, half-spoken poetic rants peppered with those distinctive cat-like moans were as effective as ever.

The opener Disconnected sounded more like New York art rock than Bromley-contingent punk and Siouxsie seemed oddly subdued, but she hit her stride on Take It Off. This is what the Creatures do best--sparse, stripped-down melodies that are little more than a subterranean rumble underpinned by the hell-for-leather rhythmic patterns of Budgie's pounding drums with Siouxsie's deconstructed vocals sashaying over the top. The spooky Miss The Girl was revisited magnificently and Black Holes was broodingly intense with Siouxsie spitting out every word with an icy clarity.

Nigel Williamson

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