The Washington Post (4.26.99)


The Creatures

At the 9:30 Club

When the Creatures took the 9:30 club stage Saturday night, two differences were immediately apparent between the band and its predecessor, Siouxsie & the Banshees: There was no guitarist and singer Siouxsie was wearing predominantly silver instead of basic black.

Despite these differences, the two bands -- whose lineups share Siouxsie and drummer Budgie -- had one overwhelming similarity: the vocal melodies, which remain soaringly dramatic and exotic, tempered by Middle Eastern influences. Still, the stark sound was a significant and intriguing departure. Most songs featured only vocals, percussion and two basses, although Siouxsie occasionally played one-handed keyboards and one bassist added a little violin and the other a bit of guitar. Budgie augmented his kit with marimba-like synth-drums that were sometimes the most tuneful element, and supplemented his hard-rock cadence with syncopated rhythms delivered with a force that suggested heavy-metal salsa.

When the Banshees performed at 9:30 last year, they brought along John Cale and a crop of songs they didn't write. This time the band stayed closer to its own three-album repertoire, which was limiting. For every song as compelling as "2nd Floor" or "Prettiest Thing," there were two or three of marginal interest. It came as a relief when Siouxsie, during the final encore, segued into Iggy Pop's "Nightclubbing," a tune worthy of Budgie's mighty thump.

--Mark Jenkins

Contributed by Jerry Burch.

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