As a kind of lapsed Baptist of some 10 years standing, it’s not in my nature to give any credence or support to Halloween, but I guess many of you will be digging out the Friday The 13th, Halloween, Nightmare On Elm Street and Candyman DVDs for tonight, so as a little soundtrack to part of all that, here’s the fourth Siouxsie and the Banshees session from 1981. By this time, Siouxsie had renounced the abrasive yet thrilling punk persona for the prototype Goth, and any of these songs could have come straight out of a slasher movie, so dark and sinister are they. This time around, the archetypal line-up of Siouxsie on vocals, black make-up and scary hair and Steve Severin on pulsating bass was augmented by Budgie on tribal drumming and ex-Magazine wallah John McGeoch drafted in to contribute the screeching and fragmented guitarwork. The overall result, with its slight tinges of melody to bring light to the darkness, puts it miles away from their early material but poles apart from the competition. As usual, this is stunning, unforgettable, plangent, and a throwback to a more musically adventurous and resonant time in my life.
The set was intended to showcase their eopchal turnabout, Juju, and three of the songs from that appear here. In case you’re expecting samples from the excellent Voices In The Air set, you may be disappointed (or alternately thrilled) to hear these as they were first broadcast on the 18 February 1981, atmospheric, chilled, and bloody to the core (but still smashing quality). So the radio cuts are what I’ve gone for. Look behind you at every opportunity.
Siouxsie And The Banshees, Peel Session 1981-02-10
Halloween/In The Light/Voodoo Dolly/But Not Them