Webmaster 09/11/01  

The Staircase (Mystery) Advert - Click Here For Bigger ScanThat opening sequence of chords, the power, the volume!!!! Is it waltz? I remain ignorant about such things. Not a strong lyric. Childhood themes, which often dominate early lyrical outings. It's the chord structure that grabs you, it's menacing, sinister. Isn't this an odd choice for a single? Not particularly melodic, catchy or tuneful, in fact the complete opposite of Hong Kong Garden. A brave choice. But we do get 20th Century Boy, an early live favourite on the flip. Do you get the impression this was recorded in one take? It's frantic, it's fast, furious, Siouxsie yelps and squeals her way through it. It almost feels like 'punk'. The single cover is a disappointment, good that they are still steering clear from band photos for cover art. But a still from the video? Seems rushed to me.



  NME 24/03/79  
  As for Siouxsie, she's trying terribly hard to be mysterious as the hint in the brackets might suggest.  All four Banshees had a hand in the songwriting, but they appear to have mislaid the tune somewhere.  Nothing wrong with that of course.  Just the thing for oddball albums about fashionable psychiatry.  Hardly the ticket though for Radio One.  "I was standing on the landing/Now I'm standing in the hall", warbles Siouxsie, "looking up...." A pity to have come down in the world so soon.  


  Melody Maker 1979  
  From unpleasant memories of their early live gigs, I still don't understand how The Banshees have been able to come up with a couple of slices of excellent music for their singles.  The Staircase hasn't anywhere near the commercial potential or immediacy of 'Hong Kong Garden', but nevertheless it's a great song.  A sinister almost mesmerising tune, dominated by Siouxsie's unorthodox vocals - it grows and matures with each play.  Backed with Bolan's '20th Century Boy'.