It still doesn't quite feel real.
On Monday 17th, the start of this week, I had the pleasure of seeing one of my idols: Siouxsie Sioux. Known for her solo work and performance with Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Creatures I've long been a fan. Siouxsie had previously been on a five year hiatus from the music industry and fans had long wondered if we'd see Miss Sioux again.
Then, out of nowhere, came the announcement that Siouxsie would play at Yoko Ono's Meltdown Festival in London. The first show sold out on the day and another date was added with Viv Albertine providing support for both nights.
Viv Albertine of The Slits and her band provided support for Siouxsie. Albertine was very funny, charming and candid about her experiences since Slits fame. At one point she discussed her song "Needles" which, although often mistaken for being a song about heroin, is about IVF. Viv Albertine joked that having previously written songs about heroin and now about IVF her next 'needle' themed song would probably be about knitting: a tale of life quite literally through the eye of a needle. Their set was entertaining and proof that Viv Albertine is as charming as ever.
In Britain we are known for our almost rabid approach to gig-going. As an audience we stand at shows and dance as if to show our appreciation, utterly spellbound. We absorb as much from the experience as we can. The Southbank Centre is, of course, a seated venue known for calmer events that may call for a seated performance however this changed very quickly. The entire room moved as Siouxsie and her band took to the stage going from a seated gig to a standing one in a matter of seconds. People quickly rushed towards the stage, leapt up and made sure to have a good view for all things to come and seeking as close a position with the rocker as possible in an attempt to be face to face with a star.
Known for her painted eyes and wild hair, Siouxsie came out looking every bit as glamorous as one would expect. The Goth Goddess took to the stage in an elegantly cut dress of white PVC with black detailing thus making for a bold performance outfit. The skirt section was later stripped away to reveal a bold one-piece body suit. Siouxsie played a lot of her Kaleidoscope hits mixed with her solo pieces like "Into A Swan" and "Here Comes That Day" whilst throwing in fan favourites like "Dear Prudence", "Happy House", "Israel" etc. Siouxsie performed with not just her voice, but her whole body. From the moment she walked out onto stage until the moment she left she left she was moving, dancing, pacing with vigour and strength.
Siouxsie has a feline grace from the wildness in her eyes to the way she paces about the stage, tossing her jet black mane, moving around in circles like a caged jungle cat. She was in full command of everything on the stage. Even whilst dreamily singing a slower number and being hassled by a rather intoxicated fan. The veteran punk rocker had been dealing with flower throwers, balloons being tossed towards her and the band and now a rather annoying fan who, by the looks of it, was grabbing at the lengths of her skirt and causing distractions. At one point Siouxsie, noticeably aggravated by the woman, yelled "F*** OFF!" She then apologised and commented that people often seem to cause trouble during her slower numbers and how she wished they'd do so during a more angst-filled piece so her yelling seemed more commonplace. Though not as young as she was when she started in music, Siouxsie still provides an energetic and entertaining performance with more skill and agility than most performers could even dream of. Her voice is now a little lower, more sultry, but she can still rock every single song in her repertoire with powerful delivery.
It was a good night for the fabulous and fierce women in the music industry that keep performing. There have long been rumours of another potential Siouxsie album. I truly hope that the wonderful Siouxsie Sioux continues performing until the last beat of her heart.