As I’m putting on a coupple of gigs to celebrate Siouxsie’s 60th birthday this year, I feel like writing about how I drifted into worship of this mighty being. Hopefully I can get over to you the reasons why she has been such an inspiration, though I was somewhat late to the party.
So let’s go back to 1990 for where the story really begins…
So in 1990 I was watching UK pop music TV show ‘The Chart Show’ and a band called Shakespears Sister came on with their Goodbye Cruel World video and I was instantly struck by their wonderfully impressive and spectacular image. I’d always had a bit of a thing for dramatic pop performers having loved Ashes to Ashes era Bowie and Toyah as a child so this instantly struck me as wonderful. That certain dark glamour was instantly alluring along with the superbly powerful performance from Siobhan.
My Dad remarked to me that they looked a bit like Siouxsie Sioux who he’d caught on Top of the Pops in the 80s and thought was interesting in her powerful persona. Of course I was then very interested to know what this Siouxsie person was all about and just by coincidence, shortly after Siouxsie appears on the Chart Show with the glorious Pop of Kiss Them For Me. I was a little disappointed as she didn’t really have quite that dramatic flair she had in the 80s (something which my dad said was a little disappointing about the video and presumed she’d changed as a person and calmed down) but the song was pretty good so I bought the 7″, contributing to it’s rise into the top 40.
A little while after that my mum found a copy of Nocturne in HMV and we excitedly popped the video on one evening mealtime expecting great things. Never had I been so utterly disappointed in a music video. It was dreadful, this weird funny looking woman shrieking and thrashing about on stage to some very untuneful music. I just couldn’t get my head around it. My dad tried to explain that this was her punk days so you know you couldn’t expect much or it was an acquired taste. It’s a historical document of the time or something… but secretly he was a bit embarrassed we’d wasted so much money on a terrible terrible video.
So the video went away into a cupboard never to be looked at again. I went back to enjoying Shakespears Sister and Roxette (though I would like to point out that I still do enjoy those things, nothing wrong with that at all) and largely forgot about Siouxsie after Shadowtime came out.
Fortunately someone my mum worked with had been a fan of Siouxsie in the past and was prepared to buy the video from us. Phew! Problem solved. We get some of that wasted money back from that terrible terrible video. But then weeks went by and she kept failing to pay for the video so it just remained in the cupboard. My dad was getting sick of the sight of it and can be very bullish when he decides he’s sick of something. He just goes for it and it’s done with. End of story.
So one day he decided that’s it, it’s going in the bin. So he grabbed it out of the cupboard and had a hand on the door handle and the video in the other and somehow paused. He stopped. Which is highly irregular. Stopped dead in his tracks, as if by some strange force. He reconsidered. For about the first time in his life despite being in a bit of a rage, he reconsidered. He went back and popped the video on again.
Strangely this time it started to make some sense and didn’t seem so bad after all. What’s more is I happened to come in to the room just as he’s watching. Oddly, something seemed to suddenly make sense to me too and I found myself starting to enjoy it too. Little did I know how much my life was about to change…
To be continued…