The Evening Standard 18/10/04  
Click Here For Bigger ScanSiouxsie's dream of setting her favourite Banshees songs to a string orchestra took nearly 30 years to achieve.  It finally happened 10 days after the 30th anniversary show at the 100 Club, which relived the night Sid Vicious played bass and the Banshees crash-landed into punk history.

The Ice Queen of Punk added the Millennia strings to a band led by her husband/drummer Budgie, former Kodo drummer Leonard Eto, a harp (inaudible), keyboards, brass, backing-singers, guitar, bass and vibes.

In the opening scene, Eto's magnificent huge drum and Budgie's eclectic beats created thunderous vibrations as a fiery red sun ascended a screen behind them, and Siouxsie entered in a spectacular black and red satin kimono and wide trousers, with a feathered head-dress like a Philip Treacy hat.  Her deep, disembodied voice silenced the room; she sashayed like an elegant cat.

Dancing is central to Siouxsie's performance; her easy sexuality and self-absorbed enjoyment lacking the forced eroticism of many singers.  Her unmistakeably commanding voice carries the cracked emotion of Marianne Faithfull tow decades ago.  Faithful would have loved her punk outburst about the "f***freezing temperatures".

Banshees and Creatures classics flowed in new guises, each stirring the mainly fortysomething audience.  For the epic Godzilla (kimono removed to reveal a low-cut, halter-neck top), a Kodo-style Bo Diddley beat raged as manga monsters roamed cityscapes on the screen; the anthemic Miss The Girl saw magically clinking vibraphones respond to the cello's moans; cherry petals fell during the psychedelic blur of Dear Prudence (cheers), as guitarist Knox (of the Psychedelic Furs) pealed notes evoking the Byrds.

After the interval the band was utterly cohesive.  The electric double bass's keening edge became focal, and Budgie and Eto's volcanic duets were as physically stunning as Adam Ant's Burundi drummers.  Siouxsie, in white kimono and pants, danced increasingly erotically (shimmying her yoga-fit stain-clad rear at the audience, who loved it).

She saved the most requested Spellbound to close the night, and even grinned at the audience's noisy response.  Some Australian fans on the Tube were still singing it afterwards.  The dream was worth the wait. 

Sue Steward 



  The Times 18/10/04  

You could say that Siouxsie Sioux is having a come back, but that began with the Banshees reunion in 2002 and simply picked up pace last autumn with the excellent Creatures album Hái!, a collaboration with the Japanese percussionist Leonard Eto.  Earlier this month, Sioux polished her punk credentials by selling out a trio of shows in London at the 100 Club, the infamous Oxford Street basement where the Banshees made their live debut in 1976.

Perhaps the biggest test of Sioux's enduring popularity, however, came this weekend with tow concerts at the Festival Hall.  It was an odd venue for the former high priestess of punk to play and adding a string section - six violins, tow cellos, a harp and a double bass - to sparse Creatures songs and angry Banshees classics was a risky business.

Still, the first night was sold out and by the time Sioux and her current cohorts - drummer and husband Budgie, Eto and former Psychedelic Furs guitarist Knox Chandler - and the 14-piece orchestra had got through the opening trio of tracks from Hái!, it was clear that the collaboration was an inspired idea.

The energetic Eto was incredible to watch - he danced with various huge pieces of percussion - but it was the youthful looking Sioux who stole the show.  Wearing a red and white feather headdress, a halter-neck top with plunging front, wide trousers and flowing, wizard-like, white silk sleeves attached to her upper arms, she could have stepped out of the pages of an old edition of Vogue.  Her voices was incredible - seductive and sexy one minute, haunting the next, then switching to piercing screams and howls - and her erratic, karate-inspired dance moves silly but fun.

The set was half Hái! and half old material, including a superb Dear Prudence, Cities In Dust, Not Forgotten and the set highlight, Miss The Girl, during which fans flocked to the front of the stage.  "It's good to see some of you get off your bums," snarled Sioux.  She didn't smile once, but it was clear that the lady is loving her latest revival.  


Lisa Verrico 



  Mojo 2004  

Radical departure, at least, is the plan: a new sound for the woman who canšt hear the word "goth" without breaking out.  And some of Anima Animus does take a new route, first single Second Floor kicks off with a boystown club beat, but then Siouxsiešs Germanically dour vocal does its thing, and you find youšre on an A road heading back to the same old motorway.  Since the couple became The Creatures, therešs been a primitive vibe to them: Budgie pounding tympani like King Kong hammering his chest, Siouxsie wailing like Faye.  Now though, the tone gets darker by the minute, with murky synths and lyrics mining a seam of violent degradation
mixed with the odd touch of sci-fi.  Turn It On, which opens with Budgie as the Burundi Drummers, is about vengeance on "the warlords";  I Was Me, an Ennio Morricone, style epic minus only a cracked church bell, is based on a Twilight Zone episode.  Prettiest Thing is unhealthy in an American Psycho way, while Exterminating Angel describes a post holocaust world with a "urine coloured sun", death and destruction, "Argonauts" and corrosive "menstrual streams".  All thatšs really missing is, um, a sense of irony, unless this psychotropic weirdness is strictly serious.  As a woman who would once have opened sizable veins for the Banshees, I have to say some tracks do what they do well, and Siouxsiešs voice is in fine form; itšs just that wešre up to our knees in doomy artifice, metaphors or not. And what wešre left with, just possibly, is goth, still snapping at Siouxsiešs
heels like a jet black dog with a limp.