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  Ever seen The Beatles animated movie Yellow Submarine?.... remember the sneering psychedelic glove?... the inspiration behind the name.

To discover the origin of Steve and Roberts Glove turn the clock back at least two years to early 1981.................

Following a performance in Portsmouth (during a short English tour), it was a weary band of Banshees that travelled back to London and their beds.  But there was to be no sleep for Steve; the arrival of well meaning friends snatched that from him and guided him in the direction of Abbey Road studios, the location for the recording of the Cure’s Faith album.  The night turned into a lengthy one and not until 11a.m. did they stagger out of the gloom and into the daylight, when Steve and Robert exchanged the promise of working together in the future - the near future?  Not exactly - when next they spoke of the collaboration a whole year had passed, it was 1992 and the Banshees had just returned from America.  There was time to spare before they planned to record Fireworks, so Steve took the opportunity to visit Robert and commence work on their long planned project.  The plan was to see if they could write a single together, they did and immediately made a demo’ of what has since become PUNISH ME WITH KISSES.

For Steve it was back to the Banshees business, Playground studios and the writing and recording of A Kiss In The Dreamhouse.  During those May sessions (whilst the other Banshees were mixing) Steve and Robert snatched the opportunity to rehearse their song properly for the first time.

Their minds were full of ideas regarding what form the project would take, at one point they contemplated teaming together as a songwriting partnership to write songs for other people to perform (not actually being involved in the recording themselves) - then it occurred to them to have a selection of guest singers perform their songs, but they decided it was to similar to B.E.F’s Music of Quality and Distinction, so both ideas were ditched.  One point Robert did make clear was that he didn’t want to sing because he feared that the overall sound of the songs would bear to much similarity to those he recorded with The Cure, in deciding so he went on to say that he didn’t want another male providing the vocals, a decision with which Steve agreed.

It was three months before they were reunited, at which time they spent a day in the studio working on Punish Me With Kisses.  A rough version of the song was recorded, but they still hadn’t decided who (if anyone) would sing on it.

2/9/05uring this period of indecision, they decided to audition a selection of female vocalists, but none of them possessed what they were looking for.

Then as providence would have it, on the eve of the 1982 Banshees British/European tour Robert was drafted into their ranks to replace the bed ridden McGeoch, which meant that Steve and Robert would be in close contact for a lengthy period of time.  In fact it was during the European leg of the tour that Robert reversed his previous decision, and told Steve that because The Cure were going to be pretty inactive for a while, that he wanted to sing on the Glove project, so from there on they worked with the idea that Robert would be the sole vocalist.

Banshees commitments kept them busy until the end of the year, and with Sioux and Budgie becoming airborne Creatures bound for Hawaii, Steve and Robert set to work in earnest on Glove.  It had taken them a while to get into the studios for any length of time (because due to Roberts contractual obligations to Fiction records and his manager, it wasn’t clear who pay for the studio time, and if they recorded anything worthwhile whether or not they’d be allowed to release it) but eventually they did, and nine days of recording was scheduled for January.

During that time their aim was to write two songs for each of the nine days they were in the studio, so they were more than pleased when they emerged with thirteen songs.

The Creatures returned triumphantly from Hawaii, rejoined Steve and Robert as Banshees and they were off on a tour of Japan, Australia and New Zealand, so Glove temporarily took a back seat.

On their return, Robert began rethinking (again) about the vocals for Glove, and decided to get David Jensen (BBC Radio 1) to read out a request for female vocalists to apply for an audition.  He’d decided that, if he sang on all the album there was too great a possibility that Fiction records would prevent its release, on top of which the thought still nagged him that the end result could sound too much like The Cure.  As the hopeful application tapes rolled in, Steve and Robert continued working and wrote two more songs - and then there were fifteen.

Still no vocals, but it was time to bring in more musicians to complete the sound.  Enter THE VENOMETTES (Anne and ’Ginny) on strings and ANDY ANDERSON (from Brilliant) on drums.  The Venomettes were informed (via Steve and Roberts hummed tunes) of what was required, and they employed their ad lib technique to stunning effect.  It was somewhat different for Andy because he wasn’t drafted in to actually create any drum parts, but for his ability to keep good time, because with all the drum patterns already down on the drum machines his task was to replace them wherever necessary (this was a balance of ’real’ and synthetic drums was created).

A pattern was rapidly forming where all the writing/recording was being done in week long batches when they’d go into the studio and just keep working at it (until completed) - all the songs were written in the studio with the exception of Punish Me With Kisses (the first song they worked together on).  Sequencers and keyboards were frequently used as a starting point when composing - a day/nights work usually began with Steve playing something on the piano, transferring it to guitar for demonstration to Robert and it would be built on from there.  There’d also be occasions when they’d find a suitable sequence using synthesizers and drum machines with which they’d work out the chord changes, using that as the basis of a song.  It’s probably due to the fact that virtually all the songs were composed on keyboards instead of guitars that the resulting feel and sound of them has been altered.

By now, in response to the David Jensen broadcast, the letters/photo’s and tapes had started pouring in, so Steve and Robert sat down to listen seriously to the young hopefuls - eventually deciding none were suitable.  While they’d been sifting through the applications, JEANETTE LANDRAY (a close friend) continually insisted that she was exactly what they were looking for.  Her persistence paid off and she was granted an audition, during which she proved that she could sing at least as well as the unsuccessfuls, with the added advantage that, in knowing her so well they’d be able to work really quickly (they knew they’d be able to say things to her that maybe a stranger would take the wrong way - plus being a professional dancer she’s used to arduous work and discipline).

Up until now all the songs had been instrumental (because it wasn’t definite they’d use a singer), but with the introduction of Jeanette they had to re-think their plan of action, and begin writing vocal parts for her.  So it was during the later stages of recording that lyrics were written, a whole new experience for Steve when compared to the way the Banshees work (procedures had already been different from what Steve and Robert were used to - in Steve’s case (when working as a Banshee) Sioux and Budgie write their own individual parts because in doing so they’d create things that maybe Steve wouldn’t think of (being primarily a bass guitarist) which is in effect what makes a Banshees song a group song, but now, Steve and Robert had to create those other parts themselves) now that the stage had been reached where they had whole pieces of music to which they had to write lyrics round - on any Banshees songs the music always gets so far, waits for the lyrics, then the music works its way round the lyrics, the complete opposite to Glove.  It took time, but eventually they had written everything and all that remained to be recorded was vocals, at which point they decided that (contrary to what they’d said earlier in the day) it would be really good if Robert sang on some songs.  So two were carefully chosen (by Robert) to prevent them sounding too reminiscent of The Cure, Jeanette sang on six of them and two remained as instrumentals.

So the album was finished?  Not quite......remember the odd musical ditties that connected the tracks on A Kiss In The Dreamhouse?  Well they’re back (well not them exactly).  There are a couple of ideas to be worked on.  One is a two minute track (culled from the four or five tracks remaining from the Glove sessions) that has all the qualities of a 1960’s car chase (cue the nutty beat bongo’s and weedy organs) which will be cut up into sections and run through one side of the album.  The other is a tape recording that Steve took from a Japanese TV programme during the Banshees ’82 visit (which is also incorporated in the strange, sometimes cacophonic RELAX!) of a Japanese chase during a kung fu movie, which will also be cut up and run through the other side of the album.

Whether these ideas will work all the way through is yet to be seen, if they don’t, then the tracks will be cross-faded so that there aren’t any pauses between them at all.

Billy 'Chainsaw' Houlston














  Two days after the Hammersmith Odeon dates, on New Year's Eve Siouxsie and Budgie left wintery England for a warmer climate, when they took The Creatures to tropical Honolulu.

Originally the idea behind the venture was for them, with mike Hedges at the controls (who donned his best 'Five - O' shirt and shorts for the occasion) to record as many tracks as they could, mix them and bring them back to England.  Then they intended to tinker with the original recordings of the Wild Things e.p. material with Mike Hedges, and try altering The Creatures sound by coupling the old material with the new on an album.  Well that was their plan when they flew out there with heads full of ideas and a couple of song titles (but no actual songs), the surroundings on the island proved such an inspiration to them, that they completed ten new tracks (and not a cover version in sight).  Combined they go to making the album FEAST which is set for release in May, but prior to that they will release a single in early April.  At the moment it is a track called GECKO, but this may change before the release date.

I've had a sneak preview of the new material, and I can assure you that they have with the aid of chanting locals, transferred the tropical atmosphere in which they did the recordings, onto vinyl.  The result is both mellow and menacing, when you first hear Feast, turn the lights out, the sun lamp on and reach for a long cold drink because this album is a scorcher.

Billy 'Chainsaw' Houlston















  ...something that may or may not emerge during the course of 1983, but which I thought would be of interest, is the release of a BANSHEES B-SIDE ALBUM.

Towards the end of 1982, the group were relayed a message from New Zealand that their latest album was selling really well down under, and because only a few of their singles had ever been released there, they wished to compile an album of all the Banshee b-sides.  This was not altogether a new idea to the group, because when they worked on the Once Upon A Time album, they thought about compiling a b-sides album to give away free with it, but it never materialised.

So now Steve plans to get all the original recordings of every b-side and additional 12" tracks, and spend a couple of days in the studio compiling them and at the same time making a few alterations to certain things - when Steve listened to a tape of the b-sides, he heard things that could be edited, and time allowing remixed (i.e. Red Over White, Cannibal Roses).  Then the finished product is intended for release on the continent, but at the same time have it available in this country as a special cheaply priced import.

You're no doubt wondering why it wont be released in this country, well the group believe that it'd be a pointless exercise releasing it specifically for the British market, because most of the fans already have copies of their singles.  It's intended for release in those countries where very few of their singles have been released, (which is one of the main reasons why they did Once Upon A Time in the first place, because countries like France and Germany had only released two or three Banshee singles (and a lot of them haven't been on albums), the thought behind the idea is the same for the b-sides album).  A lot of places on the continent don't have a big singles market, so to them it's the difference between not releasing a single or selling 500 - 1000 copies, they sometimes don't think it necessary to release it.  The situation became apparent to the group when they returned to Europe last year.  They suddenly realised that neither Fireworks, Slowdive or Melt! was released in France, which made them wonder what they were doing with all these songs.  In fact when the Banshees did the Melt!/Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant single, they decided to get Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant released as the actual a-side in France in time for Christmas.  They sent the necessary material to French Polydor, and a message came back to England saying they'd originally planned to release Slowdive for Christmas, but they would hold it back and release Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant.  But when the group got to France on the '82 tour, the discovered (much to their horror) that neither single had been released!

At the end of the day, the deciding factor behind the whole project is whether or not enough countries take up the option to release a Banshees album that wont be released in England, to validify it being made.  It would be pointless for the group to spend money on artwork and studio time, if it's only going to sell 500 copies in New Zealand.

If it is released, it will take on a somewhat different format to the idea originally suggested by New Zealand, they wanted all the tracks to run in chronological order.  Upon hearing this, Steve compiled a tape (at home) of exactly that.  On hearing the playback he decided that it could be constructed much better.  So, at the moment, the idea is to have all the 'song' songs (i.e. 20th Century Boy, Coalmind) on one side, and the odder songs (i.e. Voices, Pulled To Bits, Eve White/Eve Black) on the other.  When he compiled the tape he discovered that with the extra 12" tracks, the album would have a running time of at least half an hour each side, which could alter the format of the release - because of the running time, if it's released as an album then it'll have to be 'cut' really carefully to make sure it's not too quiet when it's played back.  Alternatively it could be released as two 12" single, with four songs on each side.

So there you have it, the group have provided the international record company people with enough ideas, now we'll have to wait and see what they do about it.

Billy 'Chainsaw' Houlston















  Having made their choice of single, the group required a b-side to couple with it (plus an additional track for the 12" version).  So two days (23rd and 24th October) were booked at Wessex Studios, and in they went, with absolutely no idea what they were going to do.

One day one Steve and Budgie were first to arrive at the studio, and whilst they were awaiting the arrival of Siouxsie and John, they began working out something with the aid of a drum-machine and assorted effects.  In no time at all they had a backing track (both playing their respective instruments).  By this time Siouxsie and John had arrived, and on hearing the results of Steve and Budgie's musical collaboration, they added finishing touches with John's guitar and Siouxsie on glockenspiel, and the track later to be called A Sleeping Rain was completed.  They all decided there and then that it would remain as an instrumental, and it became the additional track on the 12".

The following day, although still unsure of what they'd record as a b-side, they returned to the studios.  Late arrival Siouxsie entered and announced she wanted to try a French carol she remembered from her childhood called IL EST NE LE DIVIN ENFANT.  Budgie had vague memories of the song, but Steve and John openly admitted to have never heard it before.  Nonetheless they decided to give it a try.  With surprising speed they raced through their newly appointed task.  Siouxsie and Budgie recorded the backing track, then John played the brass section on the keyboards, and finally Siouxsie and Budgie recorded additional percussion.  So pleased were they with the results that they decided to couple it with Melt! as a double a-side.  But once again the record met the same fate as its predecessor and due to virtually non existent radio airplay it failed to achieve the recognition and subsequent chart success it rightly deserved.

Billy 'Chainsaw' Houlston