New review: Siouxsie and the Banshees

Eighteen years after their split, Siouxsie and the Banshees have re-released a quartet of their studio albums, spanning 1987 to 1995, in a remastered package. Cazz Blase listens and reflects.

 Punk survivors, goth veterans: by the late 1980s, Siouxsie and the Banshees were between the proverbial rock and a hard place.

The music scene and, especially, the music press in the UK had moved on from both of the subcultures they had become tied to (however reluctantly).

In this context, it is fair to say that the band’s final four albums Through the Looking Glass, Peepshow, Superstition and might not have been afforded sufficient attention and appreciation at the time. This would particularly be the case with Superstition and The Rapture, which were more experimental. Now they have been re-released, it’s a good opportunity to revisit them.

In 1987, when Through the Looking Glass was released, Siouxsie Sioux had long become The Guardian‘s punk woman of choice, as well as a music, fashion and feminist icon. (You can hear Siouxsie Sioux in conversation with Pam Hogg as part of the 6music documentary Making a Scene on the theme of music’s relationship with fashion.) The 1986 album Tinderbox had proved to be something of a disappointment. So it was a case of “What next?”

Released a year after Tinderbox, Through The Looking Glass could be read as a reflective pause. After 11 years and seven albums (nine if you include the singles collection Once Upon A Time and the excellent live album, Nocturne, from 1983), the Banshees have chosen to release a collection of cover versions, though to term it as such doesn’t really do the resulting album justice…

Click here to read the rest of Cazz’s review and comment

Image description:

Siouxsie Sioux in black leather jacket and strong eye make-up onstage at the mic at Edinburgh Tiffany’s, 1980 (black and white image). Image released into the public domain by its author, Mantaray100 at the wikipedia project.