Siouxsie Sioux's voice...

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After listening to several live Banshees recordings, I believe the nicest thing I can say is, "Hmm, rough around the edges."

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 1 May 2003 20:43 (twenty years ago) link

Yeah, I still like some of the songs, but I have less and less patience with her voice with each passing year.

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 1 May 2003 20:46 (twenty years ago) link

Are you both insane?

Ally (mlescaut), Thursday, 1 May 2003 20:46 (twenty years ago) link

The studio is often your friend. It is very often her friend, and yet her voice is still utterly wondrous and is perhaps most so with the Creatures, actually.

That said I still think Nocturne is possibly the Greatest Live Album Ever That Isn't Something Else I Might Be Forgetting Right Now And Yes I Know James Brown Live At The Apollo Is The Standard Answer For Good Reason But That Need Not Be The End-All And Be-All...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 1 May 2003 20:48 (twenty years ago) link

She can't sing well, in conventional/technical terms, and her compensations for it aren't interesting enough to make up for that lack, so no I'm not insane.

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 1 May 2003 20:49 (twenty years ago) link

It's a pouty yelp.

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 1 May 2003 20:53 (twenty years ago) link

I think her voice is less effectively judged as "singing" and more effectively judged as "melodic oratory." (That's not even a joke, either.)

nabisco (nabisco), Thursday, 1 May 2003 21:00 (twenty years ago) link

"vocal theatre" was the term I was going to use.

Ally (mlescaut), Thursday, 1 May 2003 21:00 (twenty years ago) link

I truly never thought I'd be motivated to actually use this phrase but....


Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 1 May 2003 21:01 (twenty years ago) link

her voice is great, it's the lyrics that are crap.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Thursday, 1 May 2003 21:03 (twenty years ago) link

Don't get me wrong, I still LOVE The Banshees; "Night Shift" has been rocking my world for the past two weeks. HOWEVER, whatever she does when she sings the words "night shift" is deeply, deeply unsettling; I now understand why she had to stop singing for a while or face losing the ability to speak. She's a textbook case of how to get nodes on your vocal chords.

Also, comparing what she did on the live version of "Land's End" (aka One Of The Most Gorgeous S&TB Songs Evah) to the studio version shows some SERIOUS studio influence.

HAVING SAID ALL THAT: siouxsie roxxx i amn't all gay

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 1 May 2003 21:29 (twenty years ago) link

Siouxsie Sioux is fantastic. However, Karen O is her fault, so I'm thinking of revising my stance.

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Thursday, 1 May 2003 21:48 (twenty years ago) link

The lyrics are crap, but some of the songs are still good.

Rockist Scientist, Thursday, 1 May 2003 22:01 (twenty years ago) link

I was just passing through here - does that mean I'm gay too?

Davlo (Davlo), Thursday, 1 May 2003 23:15 (twenty years ago) link

the jury's out on that one

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Friday, 2 May 2003 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Poly Styrene's the one for me. She sounds a bit like Siouxie, only better.

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Friday, 2 May 2003 03:29 (twenty years ago) link

It's totally an insult to the whole "poison roxx u r all gay" phenonema to call this thread gay because quite honestly it's TOTALLY BEYOND.

Her voice is great. It gives me chills. YOU ARE ALL MENTAL.

Ally (mlescaut), Friday, 2 May 2003 03:45 (twenty years ago) link

Well, I'm mental. I'm mad for it, me.

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Friday, 2 May 2003 03:52 (twenty years ago) link

As regards listening to live Banshees recordings (or indeed studio ones I guess) it's very important to consider what period they come from. Siouxsie started to have all sorts of problems with her voice around (IIRC) '79/80 and basically was told that the way she'd been singing was rapidly destroying her vocal chords and that she had to learn to sing in a completely different way or she'd destroy her voice completely.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 2 May 2003 09:41 (twenty years ago) link

i love her voice now more than ever - i keep singing 'Happy House' in my head and i had to download a whole loada Banshees the other week and just grabbed a load of album tracks - i might have to get some Creatures next.

stevem (blueski), Friday, 2 May 2003 09:45 (twenty years ago) link

my recent memory of Siouxsie is her on TV saying she didn't 'think James Dean Bradfield has that nice a voice at all, actually' or words to that effect, heh

stevem (blueski), Friday, 2 May 2003 09:47 (twenty years ago) link

A great singer is a singer who can interpret a song, and live it, as it's meant to be.

So yes, Siouxsie IS a great singer in her own way.

Technically perfect singers are incredibly boring on the whole - it's textbook singing, passionless. Give me rough round the edges any day.

russ t, Friday, 2 May 2003 10:12 (twenty years ago) link

Damn you Stevem - I can't seem to stop singing "Happy House" in my head either now!

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 2 May 2003 10:15 (twenty years ago) link

Hong Kong Garden - that's such a funny lyric. "Chicken chow mein" - hard to sing in a Siouxie Sioux voice while holding a straight face, but she manages it.

colin s barrow (colin s barrow), Friday, 2 May 2003 11:31 (twenty years ago) link

Go back and listen to "Cities in Dust." Those vocals pin me to the floor.

Jeanne Fury (Jeanne Fury), Friday, 2 May 2003 13:47 (twenty years ago) link

...her voice on 'Melt'.....beautiful.
...and 'Last Beat of my heart'.

russ t, Friday, 2 May 2003 14:01 (twenty years ago) link

Can we pay attention to the context of the original remarks?

"AAfter listening to several live Banshees recordings,..."

Her voice is absolutely gorgeous on the studio albums, especially many of the songs listed here ("Last Beat Of My Heart" SWOON!). HOWEVER, she does some really ugly things with her voice on the newest live album. Sometimes it works well ("Metal Postcard"!!!!). Sometimes it's horrifying ("Land's End").

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Friday, 2 May 2003 21:17 (twenty years ago) link

I saw some book that had pictures of Siouxsie performing back in tthe olden days. Apparently she liked to play show with her tits out.

Helltime Producto (Pavlik), Friday, 2 May 2003 21:21 (twenty years ago) link

She also sported a swastika, but that was "just to shock the squares," apparently.

nickn (nickn), Friday, 2 May 2003 23:34 (twenty years ago) link

Didn't all the british punkers sport swastikas back then? Besides the Clash of course.

Helltime Producto (Pavlik), Friday, 2 May 2003 23:38 (twenty years ago) link

Dan, I got the original context of remarks and agree with ya.

Don't know why ppl are having a hard time seperating Siouxsie album version from Siouxsie live.

H (Heruy), Saturday, 3 May 2003 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

my .02:
Siouxsie is a Goddess with the voice of an evil angel. Speaking of her in anything but a tone of reverence is an act of heresy. What some think of as her weaknesses are actually her greatest strengths. Bow down before her and beg for her forgiveness, thou philistine infidels.

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Saturday, 3 May 2003 00:21 (twenty years ago) link

Custos OTM.

Ally (mlescaut), Saturday, 3 May 2003 01:25 (twenty years ago) link

The rough edges of her voice are EXACTLY what makes it work sooooo welll. Its a "Queen Titania voice": Its both Elfin *and* authoritative. Like a pixie all growed up and vocal cords tinged with vodka burns.

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Saturday, 3 May 2003 01:29 (twenty years ago) link

oh come on, thas a bit rich

H (Heruy), Saturday, 3 May 2003 01:42 (twenty years ago) link

Yep. Like coffee with just a bit of irish cream.

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Saturday, 3 May 2003 12:53 (twenty years ago) link

Like she recorded in Heaven and sent the tapes to hell for mastering.

Cozen (Cozen), Saturday, 3 May 2003 13:40 (twenty years ago) link

Subthread: How does Gitane Demone compare? Any opinions?

Lord Custos Epsilon (Lord Custos Epsilon), Saturday, 3 May 2003 14:08 (twenty years ago) link

Okay, I listened to _Nocturne_ again and it's just age; back in 1982 she could still belt like a champ, but she's really, REALLY struggling on _The Seven Year Itch_ (compare the versions of "Night Shift" to see what I'm talking about). So, I backpedal slightly.

Also, how the hell have I lived my life thus far without ever hearing "Icon"???????

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Sunday, 11 May 2003 11:53 (twenty years ago) link

Helltime, I saw Siouxsie & the Banshees last year and I can attest to the fact that she sang in her bra (black with rhinestone cups) for the last half of the set. And she looked fabulous. (And she was 45 years old at the time.) Oh, and the show itself was just as sharp.

Jeanne Fury (Jeanne Fury), Sunday, 11 May 2003 12:08 (twenty years ago) link

I was at that show (Roseland, Jeanne?) and as much as I love her/them, we left early.

Siouxsie & the Banshees Reunion - a Review.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Sunday, 11 May 2003 14:36 (twenty years ago) link

Heh, I wonder if this new live recording I heard is the Roseland show? It's definitely from the same tour.

Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Sunday, 11 May 2003 16:50 (twenty years ago) link

How did I miss that thread the first time around? I was wanting to go to that gig; now I am glad my laziness and forgetfulness prevented me from attending.

Ally (mlescaut), Monday, 12 May 2003 01:51 (twenty years ago) link

If the recording was the new live cd (due later in May, I think), then it's the July 9th, 2002 concert from the Shepherds Bush Empire in London.

Should I not buy it and stick with Nocturne then?

Paz, Monday, 12 May 2003 03:07 (twenty years ago) link

four years pass...

New Siouxsie video for the track: Into a Swan on youtube

djmartian, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 16:48 (fifteen years ago) link


baaderonixx, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 17:24 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, I hope to be reviewing it for the new Plan B.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 17:26 (fifteen years ago) link

This should get its own thread, really, but in the meantime here's the cover:

baaderonixx, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 17:27 (fifteen years ago) link


baaderonixx, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 17:27 (fifteen years ago) link

God, she's gorgeous.

HI DERE, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 17:59 (fifteen years ago) link

the music reminds me of Depeche Mode

djmartian, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 18:02 (fifteen years ago) link

This is the kind of single that without sounding like 'OMG best thing evah' really wets my appetite for the album. I really like the tabla break, makes me wonder how a collab with Timbaland would sound.

baaderonixx, Wednesday, 18 July 2007 18:05 (fifteen years ago) link

one month passes...

P'fork review is out. Just bought tickets to see her in October. Bring it on.

baaderonixx, Tuesday, 4 September 2007 12:22 (fifteen years ago) link

she stormed out of the interview with MOJO this month. changed her press officer because of it. makes for a fascinating read.

pisces, Tuesday, 4 September 2007 13:15 (fifteen years ago) link


baaderonixx, Tuesday, 4 September 2007 13:21 (fifteen years ago) link

It's a commanding, accusatory, stentorian voice rather than a pleasant melodic one. It basically forces SATB's to follow the thematic route that they've always taken. Which I like a lot.

I never had her down as a looker, though.....

PhilK, Tuesday, 4 September 2007 13:39 (fifteen years ago) link

five months pass...

i just read that Ned interviewed Siouxsie today !

djmartian, Monday, 4 February 2008 22:51 (fifteen years ago) link

I like to imagine that the exclamation point is pronounced "stop"

Curt1s Stephens, Tuesday, 5 February 2008 00:56 (fifteen years ago) link

I did indeed interview Siouxsie today. Only for a short period of time, but a good interview, some interesting answers. The story will run next week in the OC Weekly.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 5 February 2008 01:08 (fifteen years ago) link

Nice work, my son.

Alex in NYC, Tuesday, 5 February 2008 02:50 (fifteen years ago) link

You made it bro!

baaderonixx, Tuesday, 5 February 2008 07:34 (fifteen years ago) link

Naturally you asked how Budgie is?

Bob Six, Tuesday, 5 February 2008 07:42 (fifteen years ago) link

Indeed, good work there, Mr R.

As for her voice--she's pretty challenged pitch-wise. Even i the studio she's always on the verge of drifting a bit off, but in the studio, that also adds to the drama/anxiety of listening to her.

The timbre of her voice is what's awesome/disturbing/hot.

i, grey, Tuesday, 5 February 2008 17:40 (fifteen years ago) link

Naturally you asked how Budgie is?

Har har.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 5 February 2008 17:53 (fifteen years ago) link

My feature is up.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 14 February 2008 22:42 (fifteen years ago) link

five years pass...

I saw an awesome young Siouxsie/Banshees cover band over the weekend - a trio, with the lead singer handling Severin's bass lines as well - and my friend and I agreed she sounded as good as the original.

German Disco Songsmith (Dan Peterson), Monday, 13 January 2014 18:01 (nine years ago) link

one year passes...

"Love Crime", her first song in eight years, was featured in the finale of the TV series Hannibal, broadcast in August 2015. Series creator Bryan Fuller, who had contacted her in November 2014, described the collaboration with Brian Reitzell as "epic". On 4 December, "Love Crime (Amuse-Bouche Version)", was made available via download stores as a digital-only single.

Completely passed me by. Hopefully more new work to follow.

ilxors ananimus (onimo), Monday, 11 January 2016 20:36 (seven years ago) link

this is great

Very selfish, and very ironic (DJP), Monday, 11 January 2016 20:39 (seven years ago) link

"Siouxsie hasn't even stepped foot in a studio for eight years, and she said that this piece was the first thing that she heard that inspired her to do anything," Reitzell said. "And the good news is that I'm going to do a few more tracks with her. I've written a few more, and we’re not sure how we're going to release the track, and that's kind of unfortunate, but it will be out."

ilxors ananimus (onimo), Monday, 11 January 2016 21:30 (seven years ago) link

two years pass...

Isolated vocal from The Killing Jar

Non, je ned raggette rien (onimo), Thursday, 10 January 2019 17:36 (four years ago) link

four years pass...

Paradiso last night.


Fried Egg Sandwich, Friday, 5 May 2023 20:56 (three weeks ago) link

Yeah, the Dutch press today was not kind. :((

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 5 May 2023 21:03 (three weeks ago) link

There was a gig from bitd, on BBC4 last night. She's always been "rough" vocalwise, that's the point.

Mark G, Saturday, 6 May 2023 09:41 (three weeks ago) link

Pleased she's got the courage to keep going and psyched to be seeing her in September.

Dr Drudge (Bob Six), Saturday, 6 May 2023 21:18 (three weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...


Which means…no Siouxsie set.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 21 May 2023 04:50 (one week ago) link

Replaced with new tweet

Due to severe weather, please exit the event site and move to your vehicles or protected areas outside of the event site for safety. Stay tuned for updates.

— Cruel World Festival (@cruelworldfest) May 21, 2023

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 21 May 2023 04:51 (one week ago) link

Well the upshot is she's performing a near standalone set tonight in turn (along with Iggy, which makes for just a great double-bill as is), and that she'll apparently play an 'extended' aka fuller non-festival set. Which, if you didn't have to fly out for the show, kinda counts as a win!

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 21 May 2023 16:40 (one week ago) link

Never thought that in 2023 I’d face a scheduling conundrum of “damn, I’d love to get to that Siouxsie/Iggy show but we already have tickets to see The Cure tonight.”

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 21 May 2023 17:09 (one week ago) link

I wonder how I can get into this, a full festival is a no for me. Seeing only Iggy Pop and Siouxsie.

Bee OK, Sunday, 21 May 2023 18:25 (one week ago) link


curmudgeon, Monday, 22 May 2023 04:37 (one week ago) link

Per a friend on FB:

What an epic weekend… 17 song Siouxise set with some deep cuts somehow made us not seem to mind that one day festival suddenly became a two day festival. Siouxsie talked a lot between songs, told jokes about lightning and the Pasadena fire department and made it clear she wasn’t coming back anytime soon if ever again. set list below:

Night Shift
Arabian Knights
Here Comes That Day
Kiss Them for Me
Dear Prudence
Face to Face
Land's End
Cities in Dust
But Not Them
Sin in My Heart
Happy House
Into a Swan

About to Happen
(first time since 2008)

Encore 2:
(first time since 2013)

Ned Raggett, Monday, 22 May 2023 16:59 (one week ago) link

Whatever caveats I have with not having Budgie on drums, I admit not being able to see "Sin In My Heart" live juuuuust gets to me a bit.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 22 May 2023 17:00 (one week ago) link

Saw her on the 2008 tour and was very underwhelmed. Didn’t bother going this time around altho set lists seem pretty cool.

licorice oratorio (baaderonixx), Monday, 22 May 2023 17:36 (one week ago) link

She was amazing last night

kurt schwitterz, Monday, 22 May 2023 20:05 (one week ago) link

"The Pasadena fire department broke in. I was trying to tell them it’s part of our fucking light show"

In the end, we did the sensible thing: we sold our tickets for The Cure and saw Siouxsie instead. This wasn't a difficult decision (Cruel World is <15 minutes away from home) even with the mad chaos of ticket exchanging happening on Reddit and FB... I almost got passes from someone who was in a plane headed back to Chicago, but here's a Pasadena pro-tip: go to the western end of Washington Blvd., turn left on Arroyo, go two blocks and park where you can. The bluff you're on overlooks Brookside Park with a clear view directly to the main stage. It's not close but you're not that far away. I first saw Siouxsie at Anaheim Stadium, opening for Bowie on the Glass Spider tour, and this was better in all respects.

Certainly better than any of the clips from earlier in the month. I think the set-list minimized the roughness and whatever you think of her voice, her overall performance was terrific - especially scaled up to a big crowd of 40,000 with the sound reverberating up and down the Arroyo Seco on top of Jack Parsons' old consecrated stomping grounds and a crescent moon setting behind the stage. The 50-100 of us up on the bluff were dead quiet, except for an occasional creak of a lawn chair or someone sparking up a joint, but someone blurted out "I've seen her a lot of times and that was fucking amazing" at the end of "Sin In My Heart" and everyone exhaled with OMGs and HFSs. A guy standing next to us was there to pick up his son afterward but just decided to hang out and watch the show. Never heard her before, but loved the show - he's a fan now.

Budgie will never be allowed back and McGeoch is dead. I don't know how much better it could get unless "Red Light" gets into the set-list somehow.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 22 May 2023 22:25 (one week ago) link

BTW, I don't want to propagate any whataboutism but if you're going to pick on someone for singing badly, criticize Ian McCulloch. I saw some clips of Echo's set on Saturday and that was utterly embarrassing.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 22 May 2023 22:28 (one week ago) link

Amazing, ET. What an experience.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Monday, 22 May 2023 22:31 (one week ago) link

made it clear she wasn’t coming back anytime soon if ever again

to LA or the US or anywhere? I know this was stated as her 'only NA appearance' but I'm still holding out hope she winds up touring again next year. Seems odd to have done the preparation with a band to only do like, 3 shows ever then disappear again. I only saw Siouxsie once, on the Superstition tour, which was great but of course I can barely recall it now. Still kicking myself for not seeing her in NYC for her solo show, which we didn't get tickets for even though they were available and we were staying right down the road from the venue.

I? not I! He! He! HIM! (akm), Monday, 22 May 2023 23:05 (one week ago) link

I wish I knew about the look out point last night, oh well.

Bee OK, Monday, 22 May 2023 23:51 (one week ago) link

that is one kick ass setlist

broken breakbeat (sleeve), Tuesday, 23 May 2023 01:22 (six days ago) link

Bee OK, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 02:16 (six days ago) link

Seems odd to have done the preparation with a band to only do like, 3 shows ever then disappear again.

She's doing a dozen more shows in Europe through the summer. I thought when she said she wasn’t coming back anytime soon it was to Cruel World Fest.

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 04:25 (six days ago) link

I wish I knew about the look out point last night, oh well

FYI for the future: 34.167296°N, -118.166530°W. (gMaps link, street view)

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 04:35 (six days ago) link filmed the whole set a couple rows back from the front. It's so great!

Elvis Telecom, Tuesday, 23 May 2023 11:00 (six days ago) link

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