|ONCE UPON A TIME|
Siouxsie Sioux (Susan Ballion) and Steven Severin (Bailey) first sprung to prominence when as fanatical Sex Pistols followers they were dubbed ‘The Bromley Contingent’. It was perhaps inevitable that they too would one day take to the stage and on the 20/09/76, along with fellow cohorts Marco Pirroni (Adam & The Ants) and Simon Ritchie (Sid Vicious), they made their infamous debut at the 100 Club Punk Festival. Billed as Suzy & The Banshees, the make-shift group performed a 20 minute rendition of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’.
SIOUXSIE: "The point of that performance was simply that all the other bands were talking about not being able to really play, and being unrehearsed and into chaos, man, and we were simply doing what they were stating. Only they were really talking shit because they did rehearse and had worked up sets. We just wanted to take the whole thing to it’s logical extreme." NME 26/08/78
Following their live debut and an off the cuff comment that they had disbanded, there followed a six month period of auditions and rehearsals during which Siouxsie and Severin put together the second incarnation of what now had become Siouxsie & The Banshees. It was during this hiatus that Siouxsie and Severin made their notorious appearance alongside the Sex Pistols on the Today Show (02/12/76).
SIOUXSIE: “Bill Grundy thought he would take the piss out of the group... and it seriously backfired. If you look back, Johnny Rotten was being a little bit coy. There was a point where he muttered the word shit under his breath and Grundy said: 'What did you say?' When I said to him: 'I've always wanted to meet you' he actually took me seriously.” THE SUNDAY MAIL 18/07/05
During the two year period spent in the wilderness holding out for a recording contract that met their needs, the band continued to learn their craft whilst touring up and down the country. Following a 'Sign The Banshees, Do It Now' graffiti campaign the band finally signed to Polydor Records on 09/06/78 just as the last vestiges of the Punk movement fizzled out.
SIOUXSIE: “We were in a ridiculous situation at the time. Our faces were all over the papers, we were selling out gigs, but we had no record contract or money.” THE FACE 08/80
The band’s glorious debut single ‘Hong Kong Garden’ (released 18/08/78) silenced the many critics, whose mentality was based on a ‘build ‘em up, knock ‘em down’ philosophy, and shot to No.7 in the UK singles chart. There followed the critically acclaimed debut album ‘The Scream’ (No.12 November 1978), in some quarters second only to Patti Smith’s ‘Horses’ as the greatest debut album of the late Seventies. The band continued to build a fierce and loyal fan base but this was soon thrown in to jeopardy when following an argument, during a record signing in Aberdeen’s The Other Record Shop (08/09/79) to promote the follow-up album ‘Join Hands’ (No.13 September 1979), John McKay and Kenny Morris deserted founder members Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin mid-tour.
SIOUXSIE: "When it happened it was the last thing we expected, especially in the sly way that they left. We had actually asked the two of them before we went on tour if they wanted to tour. We realised that they were unhappy to a degree, but when they said everything was fine we believed them." SMASH HITS 01/05/80
The tour continued with Budgie (formerly of The Slits) taking over the drumming duties and Robert Smith from support band The Cure offering his services on guitar. Sioux and Severin picked themselves up, dusted themselves down, and forged ahead. The band came back stronger than ever. With new recruits Budgie (drums) and John McGeoch (guitar), the Banshees scored their biggest hit single since their debut with ‘Happy House’ (No.17, March 1980), and their highest charting album ‘Kaleidoscope’ (No.5 August 1980). By the release of 1981’s ‘Juju’ album (No.7 June 1981) the band had made the transition from competent non-musicians to accomplished virtuosos and in doing so had released the archetypal Banshees album, while unwittingly becoming unwilling forbears of the Goth movement.
SIOUXSIE: “The whole goth thing appalls me. It was, and still is, a terrible pantomime. The idea that I'm the queen of goth...please! One of the most distressing things I've ever experienced is seeing girls coming to our shows dressed as me. Hopefully, they've grown out of that now.” UNCUT 12/05
During the recording of Siouxsie & The Banshees’ fourth studio album 'Juju' (March 1981), guitarist John McGeoch and bassist Steven Severin leave the confines of the recording studio for a much needed break, leaving Siouxsie and drummer Budgie to their own devices. In their absence Siouxsie and Budgie continue work on a song that although initially intended for inclusion on the forthcoming album, instead becomes the impetus for a whole new project. Hearing the song on their return, McGeoch and Severin feel the song sounds complete as it is. The song in question is 'But Not Them'. Not convinced that 'But Not Them' should be included on the forthcoming Banshees' album 'Juju', but pleased with the results, Siouxsie and Budgie decide to continue in the same vein with the idea of releasing a one-off EP. Booking further studio time at Playground Studios during the weekend commencing 25th May, in the space of two days they have worked out and recorded a further four songs including a radical reworking of The Troggs' 'Wild Thing'. Inspired by this unexpected cover version Severin suggests releasing the EP of songs under the name 'Wild Things By The Creatures' and a new band is born.
SIOUXSIE: "There was never really a decision taken, it was something that happened by accident. We were rehearsing 'Juju' and John and Steve happened to go out for a tea - although it could have been any of us. Anyway, Budgie and I just started doing this thing around some lyrics. It worked so we recorded 'The Wild Things' EP around the same time as 'Juju'." RECORD MIRROR 1983
On the heels of the Banshees' biggest selling album, the singles collection ‘Once Upon A Time’ (No.21 December 1981), the band returned to the studio and recorded the critically acclaimed ‘A Kiss In The Dreamhouse’ album (No.11 November 1982). Although containing no hit singles (both ‘Slowdive’ and ‘Melt!’ both narrowly missed a place in the Top Forty) the ‘A Kiss In The Dreamhouse’ album was perhaps the band’s first creative peak. Guitarists came and went, but at the core, Sioux, Severin and Budgie remained faithful to that all important spirit that first made the band take to the stage.
SIOUXSIE: “Guitarists are very insensitive on the whole, and they are physically and emotionally clumsy, but we've only ever sacked one guitarist. All the rest have broken up under pressure.” Q 11/88
In late 1982, having fulfilled all their Banshees' commitments for the year, Siouxsie and Budgie make the decision to revive their side project, The Creatures. Having decided to escape London and record abroad, all that is left to decide is where. Discovering that their first choice of Bali is too costly the intrepid pair let fate take it's course by closing their eyes and sticking a pin in a map. Subsequently, on New Year's Eve the revitalised Creatures, along with trusted sound engineer Mike Hedges find themselves booked on a flight to Hawaii. The original idea is to record as many tracks as possible in Hawaii, bring them back to the UK, tinker with the tracks from the Wild Things EP and couple the old with the new for an album. However, during their two week sojourn the couple are so inspired by their surroundings that they have recorded enough material for a complete new album. Abandoning the idea of releasing the playful 'Gecko' as lead single, The Creatures make a welcome return to Top Of The Pops after a two year absence on 15/04/83 with the sparse and exotic 'Miss The Girl' reaching No.21 in the UK singles chart.
SIOUXSIE: "I suppose that doing something like the Creatures' 'Miss The Girl' - there's no production! Damn right there isn't! That's why I wanted to release it, because I'm sick of all this wall of production coming out at you, it's really boring and predictable. People aren't taking risks anymore, aren't pulling things out." MELODY MAKER14/05/83
The Creatures' debut album, 'Feast' follows on 20/05/83 and climbs to No.17 in the UK album charts. Delighted with the success of both 'Miss The Girl' and 'Feast' Siouxsie and Budgie decide to release a second single. The original plan is to finally release the song 'Gecko' but instead, whilst recording a cover version of Mel Torme's 'Right Now' as an accompanying b-side, so enamoured are the couple with it that the decision is made to give it a-side status instead. Released on 08/07/83, accompanied by a promotional video by director Tim Pope that finds both Siouxsie and Budgie covered in gold body paint , 'Right Now' climbs to No.14 in the UK singles chart making it The Creatures' highest charting single and their last recording for another six years.
With Robert Smith once again deputising on guitar, 1983 saw the band score their biggest hit single with a cover of The Beatles’ ‘Dear Prudence’ (No.3 September 1983). The band ended the year with two sell out concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and the release of their first live album and video ‘Nocturne’ (No.29 November 1983). At the height of their powers the band turned their backs on the increasing popularity of guitar based music and released a (largely) keyboard-driven album ‘Hyaena’ (No.15 June 1984).
SEVERIN: “By the time we got ‘A Kiss In The Dreamhouse’, and released that, there was this resurgence in guitar bands, and people like U2 and Big Country were coming up with hits, and our record company was going ’oh, this is such a great movement that people are getting into, with guitar bands, and they’ll all latch onto you in a big way as you’re such a guitar band’ and we went WHAT? So we went, right, the next album ‘Hyaena’ we’ll put keyboards all over it and just fuck everybody up.” BSIDE 02/89
The recording of the album presented the band with their first creative block and was, due to Smith’s increased success with his own band The Cure, recorded sporadically and released to unenthusiastic reviews.
SEVERIN: "Well, we were aiming for something that was almost impossible, to try and get an LP out of a band that didn’t really exist, and Robert’s desire to be a pop star ground everybody down to one of the lowest points the band’s ever had. But knowing how frustrated we were and how awful it was to make the album over such a length of time, I was really pleased with the way it came out... it could have been much worse. It fails in a few ways for me.” NME 15/12/84
1985, a new year, and another new guitarist. No longer able to meet his commitments with both the Banshees and his own group The Cure, Robert Smith admitted defeat and the Banshees were once again left without a guitarist.
SIOUXSIE: “We’re like ‘The Picture Of Dorian Gray’. We continue unblemished while the guitarists we discard bear all the scars." RECORD COLLECTOR 08/88
The band continued to tour throughout 1985 but on the recording front they were relatively quiet surfacing only to promote a new single ‘Cities In Dust’ (No.21 October 1985). Privately they were breaking in new guitarist John ‘Valentine’ Carruthers (formerly of Clock DVA) and struggling with producers for the forthcoming album ‘Tinderbox’. Then on 24/10/85 disaster struck. Midway through performing ‘Christine’ at the Hammersmith Odeon, Siouxsie misjudged her footing and dislocated her knee. The following night, adhering to the old adage ‘the show must goon’, Siouxsie, with her leg in plaster and restricted in movement due to being confined to sitting on a stool, continued with the tour.
SIOUXSIE: "It dislocated completely and came out the other side. It was painful, but it looked much worse - this kneecap hanging out where it shouldn't be. Complications set in, because I carried on with the tour - the leg was in plaster five weeks when it should only have been two. The plaster came off and it wouldn't bend, it was real horror story stuff.” RECORD MIRROR 15/05/86
The following month (11/11/85) Siouxsie was immortalised in wax when a life size effigy was unveiled alongside those of Hendrix, Jagger and Lennon at London’s Virgin Megastore.
SIOUXSIE: "I suppose, to be honest, it was quite an honour that somebody wanted, without killing me, to preserve me. That's not the sort of trophy that I'm striving for but I'm not offended by it. I suppose they've melted it down by now and made two Kylie Minogues out of me.” Q 11/88
1986 began with the band making their first feature film appearance performing ‘Cities In Dust’ in Richard Tuggle’s ‘Out Of Bounds’. A fine performance by the band in a largely forgettable tale about a drugs cache and mistaken identity.
SIOUXSIE: “We saw the script and it came across, I suppose, as a sort of ‘Repo Man’. It’s quite an exciting chase story by the same director that did ‘Tightrope’ which impressed us because we saw that on the British tour. We were impressed with the camera work and the tension in the film.” MTV NEWS 05/86
Another single ‘Candyman’ (No.34 February 1986) preceded the release of the band’s seventh studio album ‘Tinderbox’ (No.13 April 1986). Coincidently, with Robert Smith having played guitar with the band twice, firstly during the ‘Join Hands’ tour and then again during late 82-84, ‘Tinderbox’ also had the distinction of featuring the services of the band’s seventh guitarist John Carruthers. April also marked the beginning of an extensive tour to support and promote the album that would take them through to the close of the year including dates in Argentina, the first band to play there since the Falklands War.
SEVERIN: “Brazil and Argentina. Well, we were the first band to go there since the war. We were a bit nervous about going but we were treated like royalty, most of the time. We were only there for a couple of days. Everybody was very cordial.” MUSIC BOX 05/87
1987 saw the band returning to their roots and wearing their influences on their sleeves. Throughout the band’s career they had on occasion included cover versions in their live sets (‘Captain Scarlet’) and recorded them for posterity on vinyl and CD, (‘20th Century Boy’, ‘Helter Skelter’, ‘Supernatural Thing’), and, of course, their biggest hit to date ‘Dear Prudence’. Embarking on an exercise that would encourage more criticism than praise, the band recorded an album of cover versions.
SIOUXSIE: “It wasn't done as a career move at all. But we knew we'd be accused of it. We weren't going to not do it because of that. That, actually, was a project that had been put off since 1983, when we did 'Dear Prudence'. We were going to, at that point, make 'Dear Prudence' and some other cover versions as an EP.” OPTION 03/89
Preceding the album was a single. The response and subsequent success of ‘This Wheel’s On Fire’ (No.14 January 1987), a song written by Bob Dylan but probably best known by Julie Driscoll & The Brian Auger Trinity, augured well for the full-length album ‘Through The Looking Glass’ (No.15 March 1987). However, by the time the band were set to shoot a promotional video for the follow-up single, ‘The Passenger’ (No.41 March 1987) the band were facing another crisis. With the departure of John Carruthers the band found themselves once again without a guitarist. Temporarily reduced once more to a three-piece, any concerns about the departure of Carruthers is not evident in the promotional video for the band’s cover of ‘The Passenger’. Siouxsie sports a radical new Vidal Sassoon hairstyle and the threesome camp it up in untypical style. Having failed to set the charts alight with ‘The Passenger’ the depleted Banshees retreat. In an unusual step the core members, Siouxsie, Severin and Budgie, decide to expand both the sound and the size of the band. The 18th of July sees them headline the W.O.M.A.D festival replete with two new band members. The latest in an ever-increasing line of guitarists is Jon Klein (formerly of Specimen). Joining him is someone who has worked with the band on several occasions on an ‘as and when’ basis dating as far back as 1984 and the album ‘Hyaena', multi-instrumentalist Martin McCarrick. The first fruits of the expanded line up comes in the form of the new single ‘Song From The Edge Of The World’ (released 19/07/87). Disappointingly, it only reaches No.59 in the UK singles chart making it the Banshees lowest chart placing to date.1988.
A rethink, a new look and a new haircut. Making a welcome return to the upper echelons of the UK singles chart ‘Peek A Boo’ (No.16 July 1988) bears no resemblance to any other song in the Banshees’ vast canon of work or indeed to anything else in the UK charts. Accompanied by an award winning promotional video ‘Peek A Boo’ (an original composition) became the bands highest charting single (cover versions not withstanding) since they first made an impression on the charts a whole decade earlier.
SIOUXSIE: "I really like the violence of the sound and I was really surprised that it got played on the radio. I just thought that the subject matter and the sound of it would scare too many people away." MELODY MAKER 17/10/92
On the 3rd of September the band embarked on the most lavish tour in the band’s career.
SIOUXSIE: “It's a proper show. I felt it was time to lose some money ha, ha, ha. We've been muddling along, not making or losing money, perhaps that was wrong. So this is a 'Spend Spend Spend' tour. Go bankrupt, for fuck's sake!" NME 1988
15/09/88 saw the release of the bands’ 9th studio album, and the first with new recruits Klein and McCarrick, ‘Peepshow’ (No.20 September 88). It is well received by critics and fans alike and is soon to become a favourite with the band; both Siouxsie and Budgie later reveal that they believe it to be the Banshees’ creative peak. Hot on the heals of the success of ‘Peepshow’ the band remix album track ‘The Killing Jar’ for single release (19/09/88). It narrowly misses a place in the Top 40 stalling at No.41, making it the fourth single in the Banshees discography to meet the same fate.
21/11/88. In an unprecedented move the band release a third single from the 'Peepshow' album in time for the Christmas market. 'The Last Beat Of My Heart', accompanied by a promotional video in which the band are filmed using one continuous camera shot, stalls at No.44 on the UK singles chart. It would be further three years before the Banshees release any new material, the longest break in the band's recording history.
During May 1989 Siouxsie and Budgie fly out to La Penuela, Jerez De La Frontera, Cadiz, Spain and begin work on what will be the second Creatures' studio album, 'Boomerang'. Lead single 'Standing There' is released on 02/10/89 accompanied by a striking flamenco inspired video. The single garners excellent reviews but receives little airplay and subsequently it fails to set the charts alight, stalling at No.53.
SIOUXSIE: "It's a shame because it should be heard by the people who tune into those moronic stations - that's what it's aimed at. It's very frustrating having your ammunition rendered useless." RECORD MIRROR 11/11/89
'Boomerang' The Creatures' second full length album is released on 06/11/89 to excellent reviews but somewhat surprisingly fails to climb any higher than No.197 in the UK album charts. Feeling that the time is now right and confident that they have enough material to play, The Creatures embark on their debut tour. To coincide with the first concert that is to take place at Exeter University, Siouxsie and Budgie release a second single from current album 'Boomerang', a remixed version of album track 'Fury Eyes'. It meets the same fate as it's parent album and stalls at No.81 in the UK singles chart. Touring keeps The Creatures busy until September, when after a final gig in Rimini, Italy, they pack up their bags once more and head back to Banshees' headquarters not surfacing again for another 8 years.
Taking the unusual subject matter of the life and (untimely) death of Hollywood starlet Jayne Mansfield as it's inspiration, 'Kiss Them For Me' (also the title of a 1957Jayne Mansfield film) is the band's 25th single and is released on 13/05/91 to excellent reviews.
SIOUXSIE: “This song was sparked off by Jayne Mansfield’s story. She typified the dream that Hollywood holds for young women – a fairytale thing. She was quite a fun character with her pink and yellow poodles and Chihuahuas. It’s not a feminist song. I don’t despise her, she was too much of a victim.” RECORD HUNTER 12/92
To everyone's surprise Siouxsie & Budgie announce their engagement and are wed at St. John's Church, Notting Hill on the 25th May 1991. Cutting their honeymoon short in order to make a welcome return to the Top Of The Pops studio to promote the single's release, 'Kiss Them For Me' still only manages to reach a disappointing No.32 in the UK charts. On the other side of the Atlantic it is a different story. Having made some headway with 1988's 'Peek A Boo' and parent album, 'Peepshow', the Banshees participation in the first ever Lollapalooza, a unique and innovative touring music festival, ensures a placing in the billboard chart and 'Kiss Them For Me' becomes the band's biggest success State-side, reaching a respectable No.23.' Superstition', the band's tenth studio album is released to good reviews on 10/06/91. The album marks a departure for the band. Recorded with renowned producer Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys. New Order) the overall production is a tighter, slicker affair and will, in time, be the subject of much criticism from both the band and fans alike.
SIOUXSIE: "I suppose Stephen Hague brought in a bit of discipline, maybe. He's very deliberate and very methodical, whereas we tend to throw things at the wall and if anything sticks, it'll stay. So we sort of approached this project quite differently." ISLAND EAR 20/01/92
Following 'Superstition' with the release of 'Shadowtime' (No.57, July '91) in the UK and 'Fear (Of The Unknown) as a States only release, the band bring the year to a close with an acoustic set for KROQ (21/12/91).
1992. Siouxsie and Budgie up sticks and move to France. 'Batman' director Tim Burton approaches the Banshees with a view to the band providing the theme song for the film's sequel, 'Batman Returns'. Initially reluctant, Siouxsie has a change of heart when she discovers that Catwoman (a personal favourite) will feature. The resulting song, 'Face To Face', is released on 13/07/92. Distribution problems mean that the single does not perform as well as expected and peaks at No.21. Prior to the single's release Siouxsie makes a one off guest appearance with Suede at an AIDS benefit in London with a cover of Lou Reed's 'Caroline Says'.
SIOUXSIE: "I played a song with them (Suede) in London at the Clapham Grand and I did a song called ‘Caroline Says’ with them, live, just a one off and it was an AIDS benefit with Derek Jarman hosting, showing some very lovely old footage that he had, his old Super 8 and 16 mm film of stuff like Jordan dancing around a bonfire doing her ballet bit and, umm, it was all a wonderful occasion.” RAGE 09/10/93
With the exception of the band's involvement with the 'Batman Returns' soundtrack, all is quiet on the recording front for the remainder of 1992. October 5th sees the release of a second singles collection, 'Twice Upon A Time' accompanied by a video collection of the same name. Both garner positive reviews, the LP/CD collection reaching No.26 in the UK album chart.
SIOUXSIE: "We're single-minded. It's not worth doing unless you've got certain values and certain standards, and you stick with them. It doesn't make you the most popular person always - but that's never bothered me." MELODY MAKER 17/10/92
By October 1993 the band have recorded enough songs for a new album but are not fully satisfied with the results. Wanting to bring a new perspective to the proceedings, the band employ the producer services of John Cale (formerly of the Velvet Underground) and complete a further five songs including what will be the lead single. Prior to the new single's release Siouxsie agrees to a request from Morrissey to join him for a duet. The song in question is a cover of an old Timi Yuro song, 'Interlude'. Recording goes smoothly but the relationship between Morrissey and Siouxsie deteriorates when talk of an accompanying video commences.
SIOUXSIE: "The original video idea was to show Ruth Ellis being led to the gallows, which I loved, but which didn't happen. Instead he wanted a bulldog, which I didn't understand. Why a bulldog? So I questioned him about his pro-British thing and told him I couldn't have that. I said, 'Pick another dog, like a Chihuahua or something. A monkey. Anything!' That's all it was about, really. But the principle was that he wanted to go along with that imagery. I don't know why he wanted to stick to his guns so much. And, no, we've not spoken since." UNCUT 01/05
Siouxsie & Morrissey's ill-fated collaboration reaches No.25 (August '94), making it the first new recording to feature Siouxsie's velvety tones in over two years. Before the year is out, Siouxsie, along with the rest of the Banshees, will make an appearance in the charts in their own right with a taster from their forthcoming album, 'The Rapture'. 'O Baby' is released on 28/12/94 and peaks at No.34, making it the band's lowest chart placing for a lead-off single. Follow-up single, 'Stargazer' (released 06/02/95) fares no better, coming to a grinding halt at No.64, making it the Banshees lowest charting single. The band release, what will be, their final studio album, 'The Rapture' on 14/02/95. It receives generally good reviews but due to lack of promotion fails to climb higher than No.33 in the UK album charts. Thirteen days later the band are dropped by their record label, Polydor. The band make a final appearance when they contribute a new song, 'New Skin' to the soundtrack of the film 'Showgirls', before issuing a press release on 13/04/96 announcing their decision to split.
SIOUXSIE: “If you’ve been going for so long and you become established people have their own perception and their own beliefs in what you represent for them and as time goes by that can be very limiting and you have to really try not to feel bad about disappointing them, maybe, or living up to their expectations because it’s more important that you don’t disappoint yourself.” FAST FORWARD 04/99
Following the Banshees' official split in 1996, the consequences of which have left them without a recording contract for the first time in 18 years, Siouxsie and Budgie turn their attentions once again to side project The Creatures, recording new material at their house in the South of France.
SIOUXSIE: "We had a rude awakening. I stopped The Banshees in 1996 and presumed when we began something else somebody would want it." Q 08/98
The first fruits of Siouxsie and Budgie's return to recording to be given a full release are via the 'Eraser Cut' EP (released 03/08/98). The EP is well received by both the critics and fans but unfortunately the EP's format makes it ineligible for a placing in the UK singles chart. A busy 1998 ends with two sell out shows at the University of London Union (the second night of which is recorded for posterity) and the release of a new single, '2nd Floor', a taster from the forthcoming studio album 'Anima Animus'. '2nd Floor' is one of the last songs to be recorded for the album and is somewhat of a departure from what has traditionally been considered Creatures' fare, leaning more towards the current dance music trend. The single is released on 05/10/98 and climbs to No.119 in the UK singles chart. The third Creatures' studio album, 'Anima Animus' is released the following year on 15/02/99. Recorded over a two year period between 1996-98, 'Anima Animus' has an unusual trajectory compared to previous Creatures' recordings, in that it features an array of different producers, and although the initial stages of recording take place at home in France, further work on the album also takes place in London and New York.
BUDGIE: "We did the initial recording at our house in France. We basically brought in equipment and made a space to work that was kind of away from the restrictions or the influence of time constrictions or anything that was going on in the outside world really. It's a strange album in some ways because some of the first ideas came in the last Banshees' soundcheck and some of the last ideas were over a year later." ROCK LEGEND 03/99
'Anima Animus' is the first Creatures' album following the demise of the Banshees and the first to be released on the band's newly formed independent record label, Sioux Records. 'Anima Animus' was heavily promoted via the press and intensive touring, reaching No. 79 in the UK albums' chart. The second single to be taken from the current album is 'Say'. Released on 15/03/99, 'Say' carries a dedication to the late, great Billy MacKenzie, former singer with the band The Associates who sadly took his own life on 22nd January 1997. 'Say' climbs to No.72 in the UK singles chart.
The 6th of September sees the release of a new mix of album track 'Prettiest Thing' as a precursor for a full album of dance remixes. The promotional video for the release produced by DED Associates is unique in that it does not feature Siouxsie or Budgie and instead utilises various graphic elements from recent artwork. 'Prettiest Thing' garners positive reviews and reaches No.91 in the UK singles chart.
2001 sees The Creatures' play the Olympic Arts Festival in Sydney (10/09/00), the release of two 'Gifthorse Exclusive' singles, 'Rocket Ship' and 'Red Wrapping Paper' and the start on a Moroder/Cann inspired new album that is alluded to as having a possible 'space' theme. However, all future plans are put on hold when Steven Severin receives a phone call from the Banshees' old States-side promoter asking if the band would consider reforming to play America's prestigious Coachella Festival. The Banshees decide that the seven years since they all agreed to go their separate ways is now an itch that needs scratching. Putting individual projects on hold, Siouxsie, Budgie and Severin reconvene for what is dubbed the 'Seven Year Itch' tour.
SEVERIN: "It was a fluke that the promoter from the Coachella music festival called me up, which is what spearheaded the whole thing. There had been some nebulous talk of a reunion, but nothing you could hang you hat on. I'm still not sure it really happened." PREMONITION 2005
A limited edition tour CD is released featuring a new song, 'Dizzy' and the tour is documented with the release of alive DVD and album, 'The Seven Year Itch Live'.
SIOUXSIE: "Since we decided to stop the band seven years ago we've all been doing our own careers, but we were all really aware that our legacy needed looking after. We hadn't, we probably hadn't listened to our old stuff in like twenty years or so." WOMAN'S HOUR 2003
Renewed interest in the band has since resulted in 2002's remastered 'Best Of' collection, 2004's highly acclaimed four CD box set of B sides and rarities 'Downside Up' and an ongoing programme to remaster and re-release the band's entire back catalogue.
SIOUXSIE: "We thought we would last twenty minutes and it lasted over twenty years. It is ironic, of course, as all the best things are." WOMAN'S HOUR 2003
Siouxsie & The Banshees play a series of gigs on the East Coast of America working their way across to Los Angeles for the festival followed by gigs in the UK, before two more in the States, finally ending up in Japan to play the Sonic Festival in Osaka on the 17th and 18th August 2002. It is whilst in Japan that Budgie finally manages to fulfill a personal lifetime ambition of playing with Kodo drumming legend Leonard Eto.
Subsequently the drumming sessions with Eto at Gok Sound Studio in Tokyo on 19/08/02 form the basis of The Creatures' fourth studio album that Siouxsie and Budgie continue to work on at Maison Néko Studio, France during the remainder of 2002. As a taster for the new album a single is released on 13/10/03. Titled 'Godzilla!' The Creatures' 10th studio single is a homage to one of Japan's greatest exports. The single receives excellent reviews and generates a fair amount of airplay on national radio reaching No.53 in the UK singles' chart.
Hot on the heels of the current single is it's parent album, 'Hai!'. Released on 20/10/03 the album is released as a double CD, CD 2 comprising of an instrumental version of the full album (minus 'Godzilla!') and/or as a CD/DVD combination, the DVD documenting the drumming session with Eto in Tokyo that was the inspiration for the album. After the more experimental electronic landscape of 'Anima Animus', 'Hai!' is a return to a more traditional drum and voice sound.
SIOUXSIE: "This album is the result of a combination between the fact we wanted to come back to what we did on 'Wild Things' and 'Feast', and the fact we wanted to have another percussionist with us, we wanted him to play other instruments like the huge daiko (a big Japanese drum used by Kodo)." PREMONITION 10/03
The album garners positive reviews but fails to climb any higher than No.153 in the UK album charts. The following year a decision is made to tour the album under the somewhat surprising banner of 'An Evening With Siouxsie'. The reasons for this change only become apparent in 2007 when it is announced that both Siouxsie and Budgie's creative and personal relationships have dissolved. The tour kicks off in the States before moving to the UK where Siouxsie performs three shows at the infamous 100 Club before a two night residency at the Royal Festival Hall with the Millennia Ensemble that is billed as the 'Dreamshow'. The second night at the Royal Festival Hall is released on DVD on 20/07/05 to excellent reviews reaching No.1 in the UK music DVD charts.
2007 sees the release of Siouxsie's much anticipated debut solo album 'Mantaray'.