Siouxsie and the Banshees began as a time-filler back in 1975 when a band dropped out of the 100 Club Punk Festival. Siouxsie Sioux suggested to friend Steven Severin that they take the open spot, and Siouxsie, with her rocked out, sexed up hair and blackened eyes would become a fantasy for many during The Banshees 20 year career.
Asked to play again after their impromptu first appearance at another festival they enlisted two borrowed musicians, one being Sid Vicious on drums. The set was a 20-minutes of improvisation with ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ as its focal point.
Although plans were to de-band, requests for Siouxsie and Severin to continue on were so great that they decided to form a proper band. The Banshees experienced a revolving line-up during their years as a band. After finding Budgie in 1979 to play drums, The Banshees continued to struggle to find a permanent guitar player, even enlisting Robert Smith of The Cure on guitar while the band grappled to fill their line-up.
The Banshees had a difficult time getting a record deal, that Siouxsie speculated was due to being a famale fronted band, but eventually Polydor Records offered and released their first single, ‘Hong Kong Garden’ in 1978. In their impressive eleven records to follow The Banshees explored genres such as, punk, electro-pop, rock, and orchestra infused ballades.
Siouxsie Sioux is considered one of the most influential female vocalists, with PJ Harvey and Shirley Manson citing her as a major influence on their own music. Her goth-punk attire paired with her famously styled black hair made her a style icon among girls in the 70’s and 80’s, and a fantasy among boys (and some girls).
In 1995 after the release of, The Rapture, Poyldor decided to part ways with The Banshees even though their album had done well in sales. Once dropped from the label, the band decided it would be best to break-up. Siouxsie began a serious of one-off collaborations with the likes of Morrissey.
Although the band has been dormant since 2002 after their brief ‘Seven Year Itch’ tour, The BBC has decided to honour The Banshees with a 3-CD and DVD set, At The BBC. It includes digitally-remastered live recordings of all The Banshees’ classics along with a DVD of their Television appearances in the UK. It seems even The BCC agrees that Siouxie’s intoxicating voice is hard to quit.