Record Mirror 1983  
  Feast Advert Click Here For Bigger ScanImagine if you can, a Banshees album stripped to it's bare bones, shattered, splintered, and then sent cartwheeling off into another nameless direction.  'The Feast' is such an album.

Siouxsie sings and Siouxsie wails her way through the ten tempestuous songs.  It's a hot, sweaty jungle she's fighting through and what's the best way to get through it?  To use her sex of course.  That dubious sexuality is pushed to the fore here, and it's a more erotic girl than ever before.  'Flesh' burns out a demonic lyric over a discordant shriek, while 'Miss The Girl' explores the darker side of relationships.

Budgie infuses a seething primeval life into his percussion, more than making up for the absence of strings.  He strikes, strokes and blows a profusion of weird instruments to achieve the desired effect.  He's at his mindsnapping best on 'Skytrain' where rolling drums threaten to carry us off to God knows where.

Siouxsie and Budgie are wondering deeper and deeper into a jungle that looks like having no easily definable boundaries.  With Robert Smith and Severin promising a similar fate for our senses, the Wonderland label can only be worth probing into.  But not too near, now.  These people are deadly. 


Paul Prayag



  NME 28/05/83  
  Feast Advert Click Here For Bigger ScanFor one, brief, wonderful winter when I was 11, three of my friends and I formed a small theatre company and showed off to the rest of the school with plays that we wrote, produced and performed ourselves.  We'd write a certain scene time and time again - a Rising From The Grave scene, effected by the application of talcum powder to the face and getting up slowly off one's back with a glazed look in one's eyes and hands out in front like a sleepwalker.

Eventually some squealer spilled the beans and we were hauled up in front of the head - words like "unhealthy" and "morbid" were thrown around.  Morbid!.  We were only HAVING FUN.

Siouxsie is stuck in the sort of adolescence in which the stuff dreams are made of is sťances, car crashes, ketchup and the house of Hammer - I could never take her seriously with the Banshees, and The Creatures - the Sonny and Cher of the psychiatric ward - are even more transparent.  They're not evil incarnate, they're comedians.

If you take a girl from Chislehurst and drop her on a paradise island - Hawaii in the case of The Creatures' 'Feast' - obviously she's going to be impressed; but Siouxsie's instant impressions leave a lot to be desired.  The sounds of the sea and the jungle, what with Siouxsie's complaining, droning voice imposed over them, give the record the flavour of a travelogue narrated by someone recovering from a nervous breakdown; the voices of the Hawaiians featured seem totally superfluous and show-offy.

Siouxsie will hate to face the fact, but what she does is very '60s, very hippy, very Bad Acid.  Her voice often sounds like Julie Driscoll's, and her songs could be Arthur Brown or Edgar Broughton, or even Donovan.

The key words of the record are (in order of popularity) FLOWERS, COLOURS, FIRE and DANCING - very Bad Acid.  And the lyrical content throughout is as florid as Denis Healey's face.

There are doubtless many questions to be asked about Hawaii, but The Creatures' sub-Campari ad gushings - "Good 'ere, innit?" - answer none of them.  

Julie Burchill



  Webmaster 30/10/01  
  Feast Advert Click Here For Bigger ScanThe Creatures first full-length outing. 

Feast is not of its time, not of anytime. I find Feast quite glacial, which is surprising seeming as it was recorded in Hawaii. 

Crisp drumbeats, haunting marimba and Siouxsie's cool, cool voice. 

Morning Dawning washes in like an early morning tide as the sun pops its head out over the horizon. 

Miss The Girl (written after reading Crash) has the perfect contrast between music and lyric that the Banshees do so well. The music is soothing, melodic, pulling you into false sense of security, at odds with the bloody crimes portrayed in the lyric. Is this song, possibly the most bizarre single to ever grace the UK charts? 

Icehouse & Dancing On Glass are sharp, crisp, drum driven excursions, that if observed too closely would surely lacerate your skin. 

Siouxsie's voice often excels and is at it's best on Creatures fare, when not battling with guitar and bass it cuts through the music like a knife. 

There's little here lyrically that wont make you feel uncomfortable. Car cashes, incest, snuff movies, but there are lighter moments, the joint celebrations that are Festival Of Colours and Gecko. But it's on songs like Sky Train and A Strutting Rooster that Budgie brings the drums to the fore and you are invited to lose yourself in their beat. 

Right Now was recorded separately to the album and was never meant for inclusion, this much is obvious, Weathercade on the other hand could have slotted in quite nicely among the more light hearted moments of Feast and as could Hot Springs In The Snow. 

The artwork? ummm, the red and the yellow are certainly exotic and fitting for such a location as Hawaii, the traditional dress is maybe a bit too obvious. Siouxsie & Budgie lost amongst the bamboo on the Miss The Girl sleeve is gorgeous, ties in well with the album cover and is something I would have liked to have seen more of. The Right Now sleeve has an identity of it's own, which would seem fitting for the song itself.



  Flexipop 1983  

As exclusively revealed in your furry Flexipop! two months ago, here is the first album by Siouxsie and Budgie. It is basically voices and things you hit and blow, but that's like equating the record with a bald peacock - it's what they've done with the atmosphere of Hawaii, where it was done, and their own formidable talents for words and expression that makes this album a full-flowering fantail of colours, moods and sheer pleasure. Budgie can be full-tilt on the kit or tickling the marimbas, Sioux is warning one track, soaring the next and in-between waves crash and the jungle throbs. It ends with a party, like all the best celebrations



  Unknown source 1983  


To scream or to dream?  To kiss or to miss?

The Creatures are Siouxsie and Budgie and they must know that such questions are stupid, because their "Feast" invites no clear choice but demands a blurred complicity.  Indeed, it begins with the very sound of complicity: waves that are neither the crushing blows of night nor the measured still of day, but the languid laps of dawn - a soundtrack for the netherland between memories of dark and anticipations of light, the state between lingering in the past and launching into the future.

Not an easy decision - especially when the song's lyric "the morning is over" mutates into "the mourning is over" - but one they are determined to confront us with: no sooner have the waves died away when "Inoa 'Ole" begins, and its "Rosemary's Baby" soft-focus gasps and slowmotion aches suck us into the trance between awakening and the turmoil of whether to fight or to succumb.

Welcome, then, to "Feast": the feast where no welcome is assured.  The feast where protocol matters and table manners are unimportant, and where you're left dying for the cuisine... and not because it's late arriving.  Bring your own knife and fork.

"Feast" was recorded in Hawaii, introduces itself with graphics of a kind of brooding Inca majesty and of a demotic, tribal simplicity, and draws on a musical heritage alien to our own: a heritage more simple in sound, more complex in resonance.

In a sense, the setting is a red herring: their tales of menace and futility in suburbia transported to the jungle, where the only difference is that you have more room and more heat to stew in your own despair, and a more luxurious heel to darken your nightmare.

"Dancing On Glass", for example, is like a more heady "Switch" where one is pressed down not by urban edge but by "tropical fever" (as they sing on "Gecko").  So, although I mentioned Nic Roeg in the single review, "Feast" may be their walkabout but it's not their "Walkabout".  There is no sense of this landscape being more implicitly pure or good or even natural; there is nothing natural in Siouxsie's imagination, not even nature.

What makes the ambience so right, then, is the sparseness of sound it affords, a sparseness that is a more potent expression of this emotional malaise then almost anything Siouxsie has created with the Banshees.  It is, of course, voice and percussion, and just as Siouxsie has two voices - the true, pure, piercing melody and the nebulous whisper - then so there are more facets to the percussion than we're used to: sometimes tuned and reciprocating, sometimes shards of backdrop noise, an unrequited chorus of cascades and chants.

There is something arbitrary about the choice of locale, as well, but if it's an extra layer of morbid duplicity, then it's a thrilling one: for if the artists are clambering up a wall of voodoo to see what is on the other side, then it's a perfect perspective.  Because if one theme runs through these tales it is the sting of voyeuristic decadence and the bite of cruel power.  Few people know why Burroughs called his novel "The Naked Lunch" - the sudden charge of reality that the sight of the meat at the end of the fork provokes - and even if Siouxsie and Budgie are among the ignorant, I think they've worked it out for themselves.

"Flesh" is the big one here, but although its stylised screams cut one to the quick and its oblique "mise en scene" quiver the senses, its lyrics merely dull them.  A line like "a disfigured, dismembered sex with a Third World cast" is all wrong, both too explicit and too obscure at the same time: too explicit to allow for any subliminal potency, too obscure to focus the disturbing imagery.  The histrionics of it all are redolent of Jim Morrison's excesses, and, indeed, something like "Horse Latitudes" would not seem out of place here.

Much better are the true simplicity of "your loving strokes are fatal charms" ("Miss The Girl") and the true tease of "Erogenous touch of brother and sister" ("Ice House"), or even "Panoramic banana, a passion fruit samba" ("Gecko") - for although it looks frivolous on paper, a mere reprise of "Christine, the strawberry girl" silliness, there is a subtle yet crushing difference.  Where the psychedelic tone of that song posited a notion of rose-tinted nostalgia, the phychedelia of this one (this album even) is that of blood-rose psychosis: raspberries ripe and raspberries ruffled.

The most chilling charge of it all is still "Miss The Girl", for when you hear the line "miss the girl" itself it strikes you as banal.  It's only later, in the context of "you didn't miss the girl - you hit the girl", that you realise you're in the presence of the most shocking "double entendre" since Costello's "My Aim Is True".

Breathlessly exotic, "Feast" is Siouxsie's frightening fruit from foreign places.  To scream or to dream?

Mark Brennan



  Unknown source 1983  


Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie Banshee's first full-length venture as The Creatures is more a set of sharp fragments than an album.

The Banshees have always expressed moods intensely - from the violent, heady swirls of their early work to the inward gnawing of 'A Kiss In The Dreamhouse'.  The Creatures throw up the same images but let them flit past.  As a result, their sound is never as fluid or as heavily magical as that of the Banshees.  Yet their sparsity can create stark beauty.

Recorded in Hawaii, ethnic effects run through the album.  Where they take over completely, as on 'Inoa Ole' and 'Festival Of Colours', the spindly sound is suffocated.  When used subtly the drummers and chanters complement the brilliant flaky edge of Sioux's vocals and Budgie's percussion.

'Miss The Girl' and 'Morning Dawning' stand out.

More than a tourist guide, less than a journey, The Creatures' debut LP is sometimes insubstantial, sometimes as thrilling as the sudden flight of a hummingbird.

Next time, let's hope the whirlwind romance turns into a long honeymoon.  The first cuts aren't always the deepest.


Leyla Sanai