To say that Siouxsie Sioux is as cool as fuck seems as unnecessary as saying that grass is green. When I first heard Cities In Dust
coming out of the speakers it was strangely on a Now That’s What I Call Music
compilation — it was a lonely place for a song of such quality, and as far as I can recall the only other decent song on the whole tape was Ghost Town
by The Specials. From that period the other song which stuck with me was Dear Prudence
, one of the best Beatles’ covers ever; I was going through a big surreal fucking phase that lasted too long where I kept telling everyone that The Beatles were okay at writing songs but not great at recording them (dumb, huh? I did it with Dylan too if you can believe it). I think my ears may have been made sensitive to her voice by my neighbour who was the resident punk chick (also cool as fuck).
The next wave of awareness came through connections with The Cure, the arrival of The Creatures, and an obsession with The Sex Pistols where she was in the background of that infamous interview on the Grundy show. I was gifted with Hong Kong Garden and a load of other songs to furnish my consciousness with. I loved the music for years before I got my first album — having hosts of taped albums I had recorded off of friends. She has the kind of staying power and timelessness that Bowie is a great representative of, and she has the same drive for innovation; Siouxsie Sioux is nothing if not a moving target.
I think this is something all those punk and post-punk albums have in common — they harness the energy of the musical form to the intellectual and artistic concerns of people pushing for change at all levels; they acknowledge no barriers and, as a result the work alway seems to stay a step ahead of the crowd. Even today a lot of those albums seem as fresh, if not fresher, than what is being turned out by your mainstream, and just off mainstream musicians. She still embodies the true spirit of punk — she still offers a blueprint for how constant innovation might be married to longevity. The question that should be asked is, why are so few people taking notice? But then maybe that is how it is supposed to be — certain people lead from the edge and others will never be anything other than followers; they both serve their purpose.
Now playing: Portishead – Wandering Star