|PEEPSHOW - TOUR|
|Support acts during 1988:|
- London, Brixton Academy
The Last Beat Of My Heart
|Unknown source 1988|
Siouxsie opens the Banshees festive extravaganza by crooning 'The Last
Beat Of My Heart' - a lavish, luxurious love ballad - I remember being
attracted to the early Banshees because of their severity and
starkness. And the 1988 version deliver a spirited 'Hong Kong
Garden' but most of what comes in between is reminiscent of expensive
West End musical theatre; a 'Time' or a 'Chess' for the black-clad
masses. Spectacle has been substituted for communication.
The presentation is undeniably brilliant - there may be no longer much at the heart of the Banshees package, but the wrapping is almost a work of art in itself. After 'The Last Beat' for which the cast lines up in front of a curtain dotted with tiny lights, the male Banshees disappear from view. One song later, Steve Severin and Jon Klein reappear from the wings. But, Budgie and Martin McCarrick remain hidden until half-way through the performance, when the last of a series of colourful backdrops falls to the stage. The drums and keyboards are then seen to be set in what looks like an executioners scaffold, with a small network of wooden stairs and a sculpture built from stakes and ropes behind Budgie's kit. Siouxsie prowls and skips around it all with grace and agility. The lighting is alternatively delicate and dazzling.
If the music were as thoughtful and imaginative, it would be devastating. But the 'Peepshow' material which dominates the first half of the show is generally flimsy. The lyrics in particular are often downright embarrassing, images drawn from cheap horror fiction and carelessly thrown together. The music is inappropriately lush, frequently dominated by warm washes of sound from McCarrick's keyboards. The excellent 'Peek A Boo' is an obvious exception, and it's one of tonight's highlights. The ancient masterpiece 'Overground', written when they were still interested in commenting on their surroundings, is another.
But I find myself getting bored until the encores, for which they dust off some of their finest, exotic hits. I can't deny the pleasure of hearing 'Happy House' and 'Spellbound' again, but I think this band and its latest audience deserve each other. Both flirt with superficially shocking imagery, and yet both are ultimately conservative and conformist, avoiding any real challenges. They'll probably carry on enjoying each others misery for years to come.
|13/12/88 - Edinburgh, Playhouse Theatre|
|12/12/88 - Liverpool, Royal Court|
|08/12/88 - Athens, Paoan Live|
|11/11/88 - Berkeley, Community Theatre|
|10/11/88 - Davis, Rec Hall, University Of California|
|09/11/88 - Santa Cruz, Civic Hall|
|06/11/88 - San Diego, California Theatre|
|05/11/88 - Los Angeles, Universal Amphitheatre|
|04/11/88 - Los Angeles, Universal Amphitheatre|
|02/11/88 - Ventura, Ventura Theatre|
|28/10/88 - Royal Oak, Music Theatre|
|26/10/88 - Montreal, St. Denis Theatre|
|25/10/88 - Toronto, Massey Hall|
|23/10/88 - Stony Brook, S.U.N.Y.|
|22/10/88 - Boston, Orpheum Theatre|
|20/10/88 - New York, Radio City Music Hall|
|18/10/88 - Washington, D.C., Warner Theatre|
|17/10/88 - New Brunswick, Rutgers University|
|06/10/88 - Utrecht, Muziekcentrum Vredenburg|
|04/10/88 - Berlin, Tempodrum|
|03/10/88 - Copenhagen, Saga Theatre|
|01/10/88 - Munster, Munsterland Halle (Cancelled)|
|30/09/88 - Mannheim, Rosengarten Musensall|
|29/09/88 - Munich, Circus Krone|
|27/09/88 - Paris, Le Zenith|
|26/09/88 - Dusseldorf, Philipshalle|
|24/09/88 - Hamburg, Stadtpark|
|23/09/88 - Deinze, Brielpoort|
|21/09/88 - London, Royal Albert Hall|
- London, Royal Albert Hall
The Last Beat Of My Heart
|Record Mirror 1988|
It seems slightly
ironic that this concert, a twelfth birthday for the Banshees live
shows, should be held at the rather prestigious Albert Hall, when their
first gig was at the grotty, but perhaps just as prestigious 100 Club in
the heady days of punk. For those of us too young to remember that
though, this was still a fine celebration of a splendid progression from
punk to fantasy glamour, through a technicolour looking glass.
Tonight's show was pop cabaret of the finest form. Starting off with the band behind various black and white curtains, each layer was gradually shed to reveal each member - also all dressed in black and white. Siouxsie, as ever, as the resplendent focal point. Tight, black bob, high boots, suspenders, together with flailing windmill arms provided a dazzling spectacle. And songs which on the new album may at first have appeared slightly stolid were sent precariously spinning. 'Scarecrow', 'Killing Jar' and 'Carousel' were opened up to far better interpretation than on vinyl and were sent ricocheting into an almost worshipping audience. With lights swirling and Siouxsie spinning, new material such as the messily disjointed but glorious 'Peek A Boo', was mixed successfully with the old. We were left with 'Arabian Knights', 'Spellbound' and a fiery 'Hong Kong Garden'. A happy birthday? It certainly was
|19/09/88 - Portsmouth, Guildhall|
|17/09/88 - Devon, Cornwall Coliseum|
|16/09/88 - Bristol, Colston Hall|
|15/09/88 - Leicester, De Montfort Hall|
|13/09/88 - Manchester, Apollo Theatre|
After hundreds of different hairstyles, guitarists, singles and years, Siouxsie Sioux and her dark pantomime pop troupe are still successfully trundling through the ancient showbiz hallway of Manchester's Apollo. And they effectively cramp their style into the distinctly un-rock 'n' roll surroundings of this overgrown cinema.
The Banshees, though, are here to throw a show and have created a lavish, silken stage set, off which they bounce their magic mushroom flashback lightshow.
Band members are precariously placed at several points on the structure, almost choreographed into position, as if performing in a video.
This year Siouxsie is the tart with a heart, all silk undergarments and Liza Minelli-in-Berlin top hat posturing.
The boys and girls swoon as she throws herself into her curiously British handbag jive, energy and athletics replacing the Michael Jackson method of spaced out sex-alien dancing.
Most of the material tonight was culled from the new 'Peepshow' LP. While a lot of it was ponderous and gloomy, the songs occasionally worked in a Hollywood fear style.
The highlights of the Banshees' set were the singles, always this band's forte - 'Wheel's On Fire' and the come back 45, 'Peek A Boo', showing the five-piece to be in top league form.
As ever, Budgie's drumming was superb - the man must be one of the most underrated percussionists currently flailing his way through a sponsored armoury of drum pieces.
The manic blond muppet gels fearlessly with the complex drum machine patterns to build a riveting wall of rhythm onto which Severin lays down his eternal one string bass lines.
The Banshees are no longer outsiders, although Siouxsie still retains her aura of the freaky older sister raiding mother's make-up tin - a role model for a thousand girls.
The distance themselves from the rest of the pop world and yet can still throw up a well thought out and interesting pop show for consumption.
|12/09/88 - Newcastle, City Hall|
|03/09/88 - Lausanne, Hot Point Festival|