|BLUE SUNSHINE - MAGAZINE COVERS|
|BLUE SUNSHINE - INTERVIEWS/ARTICLES|
|DEATH ROCK SUMMER 07|
|MELODY MAKER 03/09/83|
|RECORD MIRROR 27/08/83|
|No. 1 1983|
|UNKNOWN SOURCE 1983|
SCOTT WALKER: Sleepwalker's Woman
I really liked the "Climate Of The Hunter" album as a whole and I always think his lyrics are brilliant but this particular song is really moving. I've chosen about a dozen sad songs - I don't know why. It was actually a toss up between a Walker Brothers/Baccharach song and this one. If I'd chosen a Walker Brothers one it would have been "Another Tears Falls".
THE ASSOCIATES: Kitchen Person
This is from that period when they were doing all those singles one after another so I suppose it's on "Fourth Drawer Down". I only really discovered it quite recently - Mike Hedges played it to me - and it's just a ferocious sound, an unbelievable mixture of noises and you just cannot identify what's doing what. There's lots of other Associates songs that I really like but this one sticks in the mind as being really inventive.
DAVID BOWIE: Wild Is The Wind
It was quite hard to make a choice overall although there's only been a few I've liked recently - "This Is Not America" and things like that - but this is quite odd. It's a cover version of an old Dimitri Tomkins song and I think it's just a totally brilliant vocal performance. It's another really soppy song, probably the peak of that vocal style he started to develop on "Young Americans" before he went all operatic and did "Stage" and things like that.
CAN: Sing Swan Song
I think it's on "Ege Bam Yasi". We nearly did it for the covers album but the lyric was just nonsense because, at that time, they had a Japanese singer who used to sing bits of English, bits of German and bits of Japanese all mixed up. It took us about two months to track down somebody to actually find out the real lyric of the song and then we decided there was no way we could do it. In a way it's similar to The Associates thing; you can tell what they're playing buts it's such a fluid thing that it becomes an atmosphere you can't pin down.
ROXY MUSIC: The Thrill Of It All
When we were choosing songs for "Looking Glass", I was insisting we had to do a Roxy Music track simply because it was such a part of what we were about when we were growing up. It was really odd that we chose "Sea Breezes" in the end because it wasn't a particular favourite. It's just that, when we went through everything, we couldn't do anything with much of it because it was just completely perfect. "The Thrill Of It All" was like that - it was almost as if it was a Banshees song anyway.
It was so hard to choose a Roxy track. Some of them haven't aged too well - songs like "Song For Europe" are more nostalgic but this is so strident. Brilliant.
GLEN BRANCA: The Ascension
It's about a dozen guitars, really uplifting. There's a lot of things in it that really early Banshees songs used to try and aim for - lots of changes that hit you hard and the whole mood changes because of a certain element that's brought into the music. It's all instrumental, just layers and layers of guitars building to more and more climaxes, a really brilliant orchestral sound.
BARTOK: The Miraculous Mandarin
It's a one-act pantomime I went to see recently at the Festival Hall and it's got a really bizarre scenario to it in that it's all set in a brothel and there's a couple of murders and then this mysterious miraculous mandarin walks in... I think it was banned the day after. It's really violent yet not inaccessible at all, it's quite uplifting. They do all these strange things like whacking the wood on the cellos and things like that. It's got an enormous organ sound at the beginning too - very spooky.
MARILYN MONROE: Happy Birthday Mr. President
Simply because it's one of the rudest songs I've ever heard. It's only about a minute long and the background to it all makes it much more than just what it is. It's really crackling recording, probably a bootleg cassette or something. It is on a fairly available album though. You can hear people clinking glasses and stuff so I don't know, but I imagine it was done at some reception or something. Just complete sex. Brilliant.
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis
You've probably heard it a million times - it's one these themes that people use in adverts a lot. It's only about 10 minutes long and, again, it's just a really sad song. Thomas Tallis was a medieval composer - I think he wrote "Greensleeves" though I'm not sure of that - and Vaughan Williams found the manuscript or something and orchestrated it in a different way.
THE CHRISTIANS: Forgotten Town
It's the only new thing I've liked for about a year. It's really well-arranged and produced and the voices are good. I always quite like a lot of songs but the voices always let them down. The Christians haven't tried to be at all modern and gimmicky, they've just written a really classy, classic song which always works.
GAVIN BRIARS: Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet
This is a tape loop of a tramp, about 20/25 minutes long and slowly, bit by bit, instruments come in until, by the end, it's a full orchestra and acoustic guitars and things. It's immensely moving. You can really picture the person who's singing it and it makes that person appear dignified in a way because, somehow, they imbibe it with the sort of dignity that you wouldn't normally expect. It's not a subject that normally gets treated like that. In fact, the only other parallel is that programme, "Edna, The Inebriate Woman" - the character in that is treated with a bit of sympathy too.
This track's on the Obscure label that Eno brought out years ago. The title of the album is "The Sinking Of The Titanic" and, on the other side, he went and found the actual song the band were playing when the Titanic went down, got a band to do it and then, with all effects and slowing the tape down and that, he made it feel like it's all going under water. It's a really brilliant record.
CRISTINA: Things Fall Apart
Mainly for nostalgic reasons. When I was hanging out with Robert (Smith) quite a lot one Christmas, we always used to come back from somewhere, chuck it on and fall over. It's a really strange mixture of a melancholy vocal style and a really heavy metal backing track from the Was Not Was brothers. It's a really good production as well. She always wrote really good lyrics, really ironic.
Banshee Steve Severin, Robert Smith of The Cure and The Beatles may seem an unlikely combination, but they all have something in common - Glove. Paul Burshce gets first hand information...
Steve Severin looks tired. It's only lunchtime yet he seems in a daze. He keeps rubbing his bleary eyes as he looks around the pub we're in.
He sips at his pint delicately, and begins to tell me about the group that got him into this sorry state - Glove.
Glove is named after the "murder mitten" of a corrupt policeman called Blue Meany, who appeared in the Beatles' cartoon Yellow Submarine. It comprises Steve Severin, bass player with the Banshees and Robert Smith of The Cure.
They got together about two years ago while the Banshees were recording their 'Kiss In The Dreamhouse' album. "We just wrote a song together at that time," says Steve. "It's not as if we're some sort of reaction to The Creatures (Siouxsie and Budgie's group)."
The Banshees and The Cure, though, have been so busy for the last couple of years that it wasn't until recently that Steve and Robert actually found time to record.
IN THE NIGHT
They began to work on an album, but Steve was also working on new material with the Banshees at the time - both projects being conducted at night.
"It just naturally came about that we ended up sleeping all day and then getting up and working all night," says Steve. "That's why I'm so tired now. I should be in bed."
It's this reversed lifestyle that led to the seemingly psychedelic fell on the album - the guitars stretching and twanging, the strained vocals and the dreamy keyboards.
"It's not psychedelia, though," Steve insists. "Don't forget that it was recorded during the night and we were sometimes drunk or worse. We'd just sort of stagger over the keyboards and records something." He laughs. "That's one reason why we're not going to play live. There's no way that we can hope to recreate some of those moments on stage. No way."
OF THE GLOVE
Glove songs concentrate on all manner of weird and wonderful things. 'Like An Animal', the current single, tells the sad, but true story of a woman living in a US tower block who slowly went mad.
She started dropping small things onto people's heads and progressed to finally throwing a washing machine on top of some unfortunate.
Films played a part in the songwriting. "We'd get back to my plat about 6am sometimes," recalls Steve. "Then we'd maybe watch a video before going to sleep. The next day, of course, when we went in to record the film would still be in our minds.
"For instance, one of the songs on the album, 'Sex-Eye-Makeup", is derived half from Bad Timing (a tortuous love affair) and half from a letter that Robert has. It was written by a madman to the Queen."
It seems that Glove are inspired by odd and strange affairs. Steve agrees. "That old stuff about The Cure and Banshees being on the brink and close to the edge (of madness) is pure rubbish. It's an interest in these things that we have, not an obsession."
ON THE OTHER HAND
"The chance to play other instruments has certainly been a big spur to me," says Steve. "I'd never really had the chance to play keyboards or drums before.
"We thought that if we just played the instruments we'd played before we'd have sounded up like a cross between The Cure and the Banshees. As it is, we've experimented and come up with a new sound.
"Getting in Jeanette (Landray, a friend of Budgie's) was a similar decision," he continues. "Robert's voice sounds too distinctive... actually, he sometimes sounds as if he's crying."
All this fiddling about has produced a brand new sound for Glove. It's a part classical, part exotic, part dreamlike sound, and one they can be proud of.
I for one would wear this Glove.
Paul Burshce 1983
You've warmed to The Creatures, now meet The Glove - the next episode in that long-running saga of the fun - loving musical folk who make up Siouxsie And The Banshees.
Hot on the trail of Siouxsie and Budgie's success with The Creatures and the re-emergence of Robert Smith in his other guise as one half of The Cure, Smith joins with the remaining Banshee Steve Severin to don mean and moody black shades and form The Glove.
The first product of this alliance is a single 'Like An Animal' while an album is on it's way. This means the inevitable round of interviews and promotion and, with Robert flying off to America with The Cure, Steve Severin has been landed with the task. Unfortunately the quiet bassist doesn't greatly like interviews, or interviewers for that matter. "I took an instant dislike to doing interviews - and journalists. I only like doing them when there's something to say - something to talk about."
OK Steve, so how did The Glove start?
"It was just my friendship with Robert. We'd had some ideas since he first came into the group during the 'Join Hands' tour in 1979, but we've only just been able to put them into practice."
With the appearance of The Glove and the separate work of The Creatures the question inevitably arises - is this the end of Siouxsie And The Banshees?
"Not at all," Steve answers. "I think Siouxsie and I have both considered leaving the Banshees every other week but there's always some sort of crisis - always a reason for doing another record."
So why is there the need for The Glove at all? What can it offer that the Banshees can't?
"As much as you can say within one context," he explains, "there's always things you can't possibly do. It's just another way of working. It's also exciting to work with Robert because we get on so well."
What sort of music has this happy little union created? For a start, the single has received mixed reactions. The instrumentation has a Cure/Banshees ring about it but the weak vocals turn it into something of a damp squib. The other side though, has Smith's vocals bringing all the angst and emotion we are used to in a number that improves with every play. Steve has experienced the same sort of reactions.
"Everybody I've played the new album to doesn't really understand it until they've heard it two or three times because it's so different," he says with a smile.
"I've never been able to categorise what Siouxsie And The Banshees have produced and this is the same. I imagine people who don't like The Cure and the Banshees might like it - if they get to hear it, or want to hear it that is."
You get the impression that talking to journalists about his music would not rank in Steve Severin's top ten most stimulating experiences league. He seems equally unimpressed by the prospect of any sort of commercial success for The Glove.
"I don't mind if the single isn't a hit really - but I'd quite like the album to be heard," he admits with the mildest enthusiasm. This man certainly knows how to punish is product.
Eleanor Levy 27/08/83
THE GLOVE WILL TEAR US APART
Steve Sutherland witnesses the birth of The Glove, further adventures of the Banshee mafia starring STEVE SEVERIN and ROBERT SMITH.
The comely young wife with her hands in the sink smiles as her husband strolls into the kitchen of her Los Angeles dream home. Just back from the office and starving for his dinner, he skirts the table and folds his arms around her ample waist, twisting her into an affectionate embrace.
She tilts her head back to receive his kiss, and suddenly tufts of her hair drift gently to the tiles. As he recoils in horror a carving knife arcs up out of the suds and strikes and strikes and strikes again....
This, or thereabouts anyway (it's a long time since I've seen it) is a scene from 'Blue Sunshine', a superbly B-movie that did the rounds to little acclaim towards the end of the disillusioned seventies. Taking it's name from a reputedly super-potent strain of LSD, it's plot was lip-smackingly simple: anybody who was unfortunate to have sampled a certain contaminated batch of the said hallucinogenic would, without warning, go bald ten years to the day that they dropped their dammed trip an then turn into a homicidal maniac. The revenge on or of the love generation?
Some people out there would do well to start checking their diaries smartish.
'Blue Sunshine' is also the name of The Glove's first and only album. This is no coincidence. After all, The Glove - that's Robert Smith, Steve Severin and Zoo-dancer-turned-singer Jeanette - took their name from the Blue Meanies' giant fist-cum-executioner in 'Yellow Submarine'. The same glove, you'll remember that turned back into LOVE when the power of music overcame bad with good.
There's either message or madness in these mindgames.
Of course, both the Banshees and The Cure have always mucked about with the romantic notion of love, happiest with a relationship to dissect or an emotion to torture into screaming confessions of guilt; so it should come as no surprise that when Smith and Severin's plan for a single called 'Punish Me With Kisses' expanded into a feverishly claustrophobic album project love should end up on the rack.
It does come as something of a shock however when Smith sits crossed-legged on the floor of Severin's flat and says "It's quite a happy album really. It's good that it's gonna be a summer release."
My mind swiftly retracts in panic... the nightmare in a nursery of 'Mr. Alphabet'...the brooding cacophony of 'Orgy'... the séance tension of 'A Blues In Drag'? And then I catch a hint of a smile.
I should have known, once a Banshee always a...
"We haven't got together to do this because there's anything trapping us within the music that we already do". Severin insists in a whisper, "it's not as if we're trying to escape from a constriction that's going on in either the Banshees or The Cure because I know that I'm quite free to do whatever I like within the Banshees and always have.
"The main reason the whole thing started in the first place was because when I listened to The Cure, I could understand why Robert was putting a certain thing in a certain place and that's probably why we get on; the sense of dynamics and melody was fairly similar to what I was doing within the Banshees. Like, some of the melodies he was writing for The Cure, I could see myself writing, so it was really obvious in the end that we would do something together.
"The main thing now though is it's a completely different situation, a completely different way of working..."
Smith agrees: "I thought it was a real attack on the senses when we were doing it. We were virtually coming out of the studio at six in the morning, coming back here and watching all these really mental films and then going to sleep and having really demented dreams and then, as soon as we woke up at four in the afternoon, we'd go virtually straight back into the studio, so, it was a bit like a mental assault course towards the end.
"I found, when we were writing the words, that we were picking up on things we'd experienced within the time of doing the album. Usually I write about things that happened months ago, so it was really strange working like that, I mean' God, we must have watched about 600 videos at the time! There'd be all these after-mages of the film we'd just watched cropping up in the songs from time to time.
"It wasn't deliberate, it just happened that way but, after a while, they were chosen, I think almost as influences. I mean, when we were waking up, in the half hour or so that we were just like in a coma, I'd put on a film or a piece of music that was completely different to what we'd been doing the night before so that it would influence the day. I mean, as we'd set ourselves the task of writing two songs a day, it was the only way we could refresh ourselves.... otherwise the whole thing would have snowballed.
"There was a strange sort of humour involved all the time we were making it. It was never like we were really making a record, it was always just going into the studio and doing something we wanted to do and then, later, we had to sit down and mix it and make sense out of it. Up until that point there were just all these little snippets."
"We just kept going at it," Severin confirms. "We had to make it sound complete. At the beginning it was just like a dozen, 15 songs completely different from each other."
"Songs?" laughs Smith, "It sounded like 15 different groups! It sounded like a K-Tel compilation album. The other thing that influenced it, talking about snippets, was the amount of junk we were reading, the amount we spent on idiot magazines and stuff like that! We were making big murals of these cuttings and pictures and stuff, big Day-Glo posters."
And the films?
"Oh, 'The Brood', 'Evil Dead', 'Helicopter Spies', 'Inferno'...I fell asleep in that and missed the end, didn't I? I was really annoyed... I dunno, what else?... some divine stuff... 'Yellow Submarine'..."
Ah, but what purpose these days to such perversions of love? can they act as anything beyond kitsch, choreographed titillation?
The love-peace vision of the Sixties has long been reduced by retrospect to a fashionable quirk and ridiculed for its naivety. Where we should probably feel ashamed that the youth revolution couldn't do anything concrete with the inroads it made into personal liberation (except allow the trappings to be merchandised by peripheral entrepreneurs) we tend to dismiss the whole ethos as stoned-out lunacy and look to cut-throat private enterprise as a means of personal, rather than global, salvation. So much for Sergeant Pepper and Blue Sunshine.
And even the promise of promiscuity and dark-fantasies fulfilled - inherent in Severin's chosen pseudonym and Smith's psychotic imagery - are a confusion, and unwitting compromise, a wry comment on society's accepted double standards.
There are some who will see The Glove as little more than a sensational rape story in a smutty Fleet Street paper; they will miss the fact that Smith and Severin have, crucially unburdened themselves of all hypocritical pretence at moral judgement. This is unfortunate.
The Glove are actually honest in their irresponsibility. They decline to opine on their subjects/victims and thus, as with The Cure, Banshees and Creatures, function among the few still bold enough to provoke a reaction through brandishing artistic license.
The Glove know love is synonymous with love in the Eighties, that songs about so-called seedier sides of love are as prolific and clichéd as trad Moon-in-Juners. But they also know that if sex doesn't shock anymore, if sexual perversion as been neutered as artistic fuel by over-familiarity, and if any attitude towards sex, no matter how extreme, can barely raise blood pressures, then refusing to have an attitude is the only course open that, at once, shocks and comments.
On the surface 'Blue Sunshine' sounds like thrills for thrills' sake, a journey into the tunnel of love that took a wrong turn into the house of horrors. But underneath, there beats a subliminal pulse, a desperate motive, and a frantic desire to test out ways of working within the confines of pop with contributing to its malaise.
Severin and Smith want to join in the game, but play by their own secret rules. They want to do something with their fame. Where others make commercial success the be-all-and-end-all of their existence, the Banshees contingent was to use it as a weapon. Hence the splintering of the group into offshoots. Experiments with the attraction of repulsion.
"It's basically an album and that's where it's gonna stop," says Severin of The Glove. "But then, that's what The Creatures is, just an album. We haven't got the time to promote ourselves the same way The Creatures did because they've been waiting for us to finish all this so we can go in and work on a new Banshees album although the more time The Creatures are seen to be around, the more people think 'What's happened with the Banshees, have the split up?' and all that kind of nonsense. So, we're just gonna do the minimal amount so people know it's out and then just concentrate on other things."
"To me it seems perfectly natural to be involved in so many different areas," says Smith, "But it still seems odd to other people. Funny that..."
Severin agrees: "Surely the only way you keep going is by still being relevant, I mean, something has always happened in between Banshee albums to make the next one interesting for people to listen to. They expect to hear something different because a certain event has happened.
"I'm sure we'd be more popular if we churned out the same thing all the time simply because that's what other people do - just do something to death and then go to America and crack it because they're five years behind... all that kind of nonsense. I mean, when John and Kenny left the Banshees in 79, I think there's actually a quote where I said groups were finished and we weren't gonna be a group anymore. Well we are because we feel the Banshees, as an idea are still perfectly valid. It probably gets more valid as it goes along but there's no reason why that idea can't spread to any kind of limits.
"I mean, there's three completely different phases to the Banshees; the first two albums where we were really a solid group, where everybody had their say and it was like a real iron fist. Then there was 'Kaleidoscope', which isn't too dissimilar from what we've just done, the way me and Sioux dictated everything that was going and slowly it all came together though we still didn't have much of an idea except for the Banshees past to work on. And then we got back into another group, although we tried to keep the elements we'd learned from being a duo.
"When it got to the stage where it was looking as though everybody - including the people in the group - wanted it to be a group per se, that's when we had to throw it apart again. 'Dreamhouse' came out of that wanting to just like... BANG!"
The trap is, of course, that in ensuring your own working environment remains vibrant, it doesn't necessarily follow that what you produce will be valid to anybody else. Just because Robert Smith plays a lot more keyboards than guitar on The Glove album doesn't necessarily mean the album's any good. Severin is acutely aware of the problem.
"The idea that The Glove could get away with anything vanished very quickly because it became a real responsibility to get it to sound not indulgent. I think what I wanted was for it to have more of a specific personality than, say, the Banshees or The Cure. I mean, the Banshees have a set, almost concrete image that, no matter what we do, we're kind of stuck with on a very superficial daily paper 'ice-queen and doom and gloom' level.
"I think we've nearly got to an idea of what me and Robert are like as people, our relationship. It goes back to what Sioux and Budgie said about The Creatures, about how, when you've got four people and an original idea, it's almost inevitable that the idea is gonna get altered, not necessarily distilled, but definitely altered by presenting it to a bunch of people who have very strong ideas about what they want to play. So.... things like 'Blues In Drag' is the kind of thing I'm most pleased about because, if the Banshees had approached that from the beginning, it wouldn't have ended up like that.
"I just wanted to do something a bit... softer, a bit more... introverted, probably. That's what I wanted to achieve: the kind of things that are exclusive to our friendship because it's completely different to the two groups. Whether we've achieved that I don't know but, without prompting, everybody I've played this to has almost immediately said it sounds really fresh and added to that by saying that everything else that's coming now is really horrible.
"I just think that, last year, something like 'Fireworks' being in the charts was unusual and this year, when a Banshees single gets in the charts it'll be even more unusual because the climate's just horrific!"
"Chartwise, so much of it is down to melody," Smith intrudes, "although... I know that's hard to believe, looking at the charts at the moment. All you need is a song that you can sing, a song that you can remember. You find yourself humming most of The Glove songs but, at the same time, they're not pop songs. I like that about it. It's the same with the Banshees singles that have got in the charts, they've always had melody, but they haven't had melody like anything else in the charts - they're rarities. There's few people who can still do that... so few in fact, it's unbelievable."
The Banshees coterie are more valuable now than ever because, in a musical climate that encourages safety and contrition, being different for being deferent's sake is one hell of a virtue. The Banshees/Glove/Creatures' particular genius is that not only do they advocate constant change but they remain fertile and unbridled rather than cynical or calculated.
"We haven't a clue what the next Banshees album is gonna be like," Severin chuckles, "if you stuck The Creatures album and The Glove's together, I don't think anybody could know what is coming next from the Banshees. There's a certain amount of glee involved in that but it's not contrived at all."
"No," Smith agrees, smiling. "Just manic."
Paul Burshce 03/098/83
and finally... The Glove
Mistily, through a haze and vodka and orange I seem to remember a meeting with a girl. A girl involved in something called The Glove. Steady hands, twenty twenty vision...I have none of these things but I'll do my best to recollect the vague outlines of this far-off meeting.
Onto The Glove which as you know by now is the project designed to house the fevered imaginations of Steve Severin and Robert Smith, a collection of ideas deemed for posterity the instigating pair involved a guest vocalist, Jeanette Landray who featured on the album 'Blue Sunshine' and stole the show on the Gloves Riverside spot.
she's not known that well yet as a musician, Jeanette's face is already
familiar with millions through her regular appearances as one of Top Of
The Pop's regular dancers added a welcome inventiveness to their stale
cavortings. However, before she graduated to these heights she
already had a musical pedigree of sorts courtesy of Eric's, launching pad
for so many scouse success stories...
"I used to go down their a lot with friends when Big In Japan or someone were playing and once in a while we'd just join in one way or another, Budgie was always around, either in one of his bands or as a regular DJ and eventually it was through him that I met Steve and Robert."
Steve Severin had been nurturing intentions of working with Robert for a few years since Mr. Smiths first stint as a part-time Banshee back in 79 on the Join Hands tour but his schemes didn't come to fruitition until early last year. The duo laid some backing tracks and then began auditioning hopefuls for the role of guest vocalist, the point at which our Miss Landray entered the picture. Amid fierce competition, Jeanette landed the job and as they started work so the position became a bit clearer and a few illusions were shattered.
"Basically because it was so clearly Robert and Steve's project I had a strange role, involved but not with any real say in the way things turned out, almost like a session musician really. I don't know what I'd actually expected but if I was offered something similar again I'd have a much clearer idea of the problems involved. I'm not bitter about it, but I have had to fight to get this far and it did get me some very useful exposure but I just underestimated how little expression I'd have in the promotion of the album. I still feel like a faceless voice to some extent. It's very mush Steve and Robert's baby though but that was always clear so I can't really complain."
Is it something you'd do again?
"Yeah, I would but I'd be much clearer about everything a second time around and that's valuable experience, the sort I wouldn't have got without having done this. Anyway we had some great times while we were making the album and some of the things that happened were just ludicrous... too much vodka!"
By this point I was suffering from the same complaint but through the cobwebs of my memory I recall we discussed the contorted nature of some of the cover photos, carry on Jeanette I'm feeling a bit weak...
"That photo for the sleeve of 'Punish Me With Kisses' was murder! We had this old foreign photo of this woman in that sort of crab position but it was done by cut-ups so of course I set out to do it for real. I had to sort of handcuff my legs to the table and just contort myself but being a dancer I managed to do it somehow. I've got the scars to prove it!"
By this point in the proceedings your humble reporter was feeling less than 100%, having been drunk under the table by both the interviewee and her press officer Claudine. Just before becoming totally incoherent Jeanette filled me in on her future plans.
"The Glove as a project is now virtually over, there might be odd bits and pieces here and there but I'm really concentrating on my own plans now. I'm working with a guitarist friend and by the time this comes out we'll have some great demos ready and then we'll go about getting a deal. It's light years away from what we've done with The Glove but I think I've still got a fairly clean slate as far as that goes. I've also just started choreographing videos for people and that's something to fall back on but I'm really determined that I'm going to be known for my choice and singing rather than just a beautiful arse on Top Of The Pops."
Amen to that. Despite having been disillusioned by The Glove I think Jeanette has definitely got a real future ahead of her. She's a real all-rounder and that's a welcome change from the hordes of dilletantes currently tempting to be multi media men. 'Blue Sunshine' is not this woman's epitaph, it's an introduction and you'd do well to keep the name in mind.
Who is the most bewitching person you know?
If you could make a Frankenstein's monster, whose bodies and which bits would you use?
Wes (from Mad Max II)'s head and haircut. Jack Nicholson's eyes. John Cleese's body. Young One Vivian's voice. Russ Meyer's sense of humour. Roger Corman's brain.
Could you fancy a vampire?
Absolutely. They'd suit my hours.
What do you do on Friday 13th?
Don't usually notice it. On the last one we finished The Glove album.
Who's your fave film character?
Michael Myers in Halloween. He always gets up when he's killed. He's just a mindless monster.
Fave horror film actor?
Definitely Vincent Price. he's been involved in so many films I like.
What films wouldn't you watch alone?
The Shining, The Thing. Films that have a lot of tension in them.
What character would you like to be?
There's a family in Texas Chainsaw Massacre who are real yokels and who used to work in an abattoir. I'd like to be one of them.
Anything to do with losing my eyes.
What's your fave horror movie?
Bad Timing (the Nicolas Roeg film starring Art Garfunkel). I would class it as a horror film although others wouldn't.
Have you ever seen a ghost?
I've seen a lot of musicians who should be ghosts.
Who's your favourite horror author?
Edgar Allan Poe.
Who is the most ghoulish public figure you know?
Reagan. He looks like death warmed up.
What's your secret fear?
I've got a bit of a phobia about birds.
What would you sell your soul to the devil for?
LOOKING GLASS GIRL
THE GLOVE'S GINETTE LANDRAY SPEAKS
After a passionate interlude between dirty sheets, we are left knowing only the name of our siren, written in smeared hooker-red lipstick upon the looking glass. Ginette Landray, our looking glass girl, is left a dashing mystery by madcap maestros Robert Smith (The Cure) and Steven Severin (Siouxsie and the Banshees) after one ephemeral record. The three encompassed the Glove, and their record Blue Sunshine still enraptures audiences today.
Recorded in 1983, Blue Sunshine is the epitome of psychedelic creativity in the same league as Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Sgt. Pepper, and Surrealistic Pillow. Spearheaded by Severin, Rhino Records has recently reissued this seminal album in a special two disc deluxe edition. The first disc is the record, fully remastered with a few extra goodies attached, while the second disc is stripped of the mysterious siren, instead featuring alternate vocals and arrangements by Robert Smith.
The appeal of mystery aside, who actually is Miss Landray? Your humble narrator used all his cunning to track her down in sunny Florida. "I have been living here for the past five years," Landray explains. "I had lived in London before, but now I on a break from the music scene, so I live on a farm with my horse that I rescued, being very much a cowgirl."
Ginette Landray was born March 4th, 1958 in Liverpool, where she lived until the age of 16. She then moved to London with then boyfriend Budgie, ex-drummer for Big In Japan, the Slits, Spitfire Boys, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, currently active in The Creatures. "I had originally moved to London to follow a dance career, and took many classes. During this time Budgie and I grew apart and split up, and although Budgie got together with Siouxsie Sioux, we remained friends."
Soon after their split and Siouxsie and Budgie's subsequent pairing, Ginette met Robert Smith and Steven Severin, who were working together in the Banshees. Both musicians were in need of a desperate diversion from their prospective projects, in Robert Smith's case a break from the personal strains of recording and touring for 1982's Pornography. "They needed to get their creativity out in another way. They had been writing the Glove album together for quite some time, and knew what they wanted quite well. They were very certain about it. I was a good friend of Steve's, and I asked him if I could sing for the record, and he said 'you can't sing!' I replied, 'so?'" And so it was...
During the recording of The Glove record, Ginette admits that there was a slew of drugs taken and b-movies playing at every turn, both of which served as inspiration of sorts during the sessions. "The only film I can actually recall is Barbarella," Landray states, but one can assume that during the haze they also watched the film Blue Sunshine, a 1976 zombie film about experimental strains of LSD and their after effects. The title, directly utilized for the record, sums up the playful, maddening chaos of the sound and creation of Blue Sunshine.
"(Robert and Steven) never suffocated me, they let me experiment. There was a time when my singing of 'Like An Animal' was not getting crazy enough, and all of a sudden, I hear this soft voice singing from behind a couch. I walk over towards the voice and it's Robert on all fours singing 'Diamonds are a Girls best Friend!' Let's just say Robert and Steve were easy to work with. Siouxsie and Budgie would often look in on these sessions, and they had the sensibilities to know that we were doing something fantastic... something magical."
Promotional efforts for Blue Sunshine included releases for 'Like An Animal' and 'Punish Me With Kisses,' and though the three-piece never played shows together, the album still became a cult favorite. Robert Smith revamped the Cure shortly after playing guitar and keyboards on Siouxsie and the Banshees' Hyaena and both bands pressed forward, further paving their successes. However, what was to become of Miss Landray?
In 1986, Ginette sang for London based band Kiss That, which put out just one record, through Chrysalis Records. David Bowie's legendary main man, Mick Ronson, produced the album, entitled Kiss and Tell. Despite a warm response from the critics, the commercial response to Kiss and Tell was rather tepid. During this time however, Ginette kept busy with her dancing and began to choreograph dances for music videos, including clips for Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode, Flesh for Lulu, and a short film for Duran Duran. Ginette also choreographed fashion shows and danced for Top of the Pops, as well as infamous dance troupe Hot Gossip.
Ginette gave the music business one last shot with husband Chuck Sabo in the band Sonny Lucas, but bad luck and freakish accidents prevented them from breaking through properly. "Sonny Lucas was close to a deal with RCA New York for about nine or ten years, and we were even flown out to NYC for a showcase, but when we got there and were well on our way, the streets were closed because RCA was on fire!"
Sonny Lucas eventually received their showcase, but a lawyer asked for too many points on their record contract, sabotaging the band's takeoff before it could start. The band folded. It was at this point that Ginette felt too old to struggle for another record deal, so she made the switch to songwriting, and has written tunes for artists such as Louise Scott and Sally Ann Marsh. However, Ginette still holds The Glove as one of the most amazing things she has ever been a part of.
"It amazes me how people are touched by the music of the Glove. On one occasion, I was getting a tattoo, and the artist was making small talk. He started going on about this great record he had heard and put it on while he worked, it turned out to be Blue Sunshine! He went on and on about how much he loved The Glove, and eventually after debating with myself, I decided to tell him it was me singing on the record. I still had to pay for the bloody tattoo, though!"
On another occasion, I met a girl who was going through a hard time, and while hanging out with her she put on The Glove, and told me how she would get lost in the album when she was feeling bad. I told her it was me singing on the record, and she was amazed. I remember thinking she was nuts!"
With the Glove's popularity growing after almost 25 years and the recent remastered edition of Blue Sunshine out on the shelves in 2006, one might wonder if the band will ever perform live...
"Robert and Steve never talk about playing, or at least, they never talked to me about it! I have not talked to Steve in over a year, and I have not seen Robert in over fifteen, but if they wanted to perform as The Glove, I would do it in a heartbeat!"
One could only hope for this dream-laced reality...
Alex Baker Summer 07