Siouxsie and the Banshees, ‘Cause When You’re Goth, Everyday is Halloween

Celebrating a holiday some will call Samhain, some will call Halloween with a band that proved there is nothing to fear from the darkness.

Originally emerging form the U.K. Punk scene as one of the superfans of The Sex Pistols, suburban teenager Susan Janet Ballion was part of a small group called the Bromley Contingent, a clique that realized the sunny and bright sounds coming over mass media were part of a grand scheme to keep women subservient to men. Starting her career with no prior musical training, an ad-hoc version of the band she fronted, The Banshees, opened for the Pistols, playing a droning, cacophonous version of “The Lord’s Prayer” 20 minutes in length.

They would soon become a more fully realized group, even getting a spot performing live for legendary British DJ John Peel. Fans would scrawl graffiti all over London demanding that the band be signed. They finally were, and their debut single, “Hong Kong Garden”, became a surprise top ten U.K. hit.

Siouxie and the Banshees, Amsterdam, 1979. (l-r) John McKay, Steven Severin, Sioux Sioux and Kenny Morris. Photo by Barry Schultz.

The band would, by 1980, drop some of the more gothic elements of their act and sound, knowing that a major change was coming. Siouxie and the Banshees ended up being one of the leading lights in a movement called Post-Punk, the precursor to what we called College Rock, and eventually Alternative Rock, in the U.S.

“My dreams are of water. And my nightmares.”

Siouxie SIOUX

They would continue to be a cult act in the U.S., slowly building inroads on the Dance/Club scene here in until their first U.S. Top Pop 50 single, “Peek-A-Boo”, in 1988. By 1991, the band had finally achieved their long-awaited break here: a headlining spot on a major U.S. tour, Lollapalooza, a top 70 album and a top 40 single with “Kiss Them For Me”, one of the biggest hits on alternative radio that year.

Siouxie Sioux, Madrid, 1991. Photographer unknown.

However, Siouxie found the Banshees somewhat restrictive, and with the assistance of that band’s second drummer, Budgie, they formed a duo called the Creatures in the late 1980’s. The Banshees would release one more LP, The Rapture, in 1995, an album filled with new instruments and a return to their somewhat earlier, darker sound. Siouxie would eventually go solo officially in 2004, bringing an end to one of the leading dark lights of the Gothic Rock and icons of the Alt Rock scene.

First Part

  • Spellbound, 1981, Juju
  • Hong Kong Garden, 1978, single A-side
  • Israel, 1980, single A-side
  • Slowdive, 1982, A Kiss In The Dreamhouse
  • Peek-A-Boo, 1988, Peepshow
  • This Wheel’s On Fire (full version), 1987/2002, original version on Through The Looking Glass, full version on The Best of Siouxie and the Banshees

Second Part

  • Christine, 1980, Kaleidoscope
  • Kiss Them For Me (phased mix), 1991, Superstition
  • Metal Postcard (Mittageisen)(live), 1977, Voices in The Air: The Peel Sessions (released 2006)
  • Happy House, 1980, Kaleidoscope
  • Cities In Dust, 1985, Tinderbox


  • The Rapture, 1995, The Rapture

Love to you all.

Ben “Bear” Brown Jr. 
Host, Producer, Audio Engineer and Writer

#siouxsie #goth #altrock

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