I'm sure you've heard of Siouxsie Sioux by now, but as one of the musicians often credited with bringing life to the Goth scene as we know it today, as well as a style icon to many of those involved in dark culture, I felt it was almost stingy not to dedicate an entire post to the Banshee who became a big-haired, eyeliner-besmeared idol to spooky kids everywhere.
Banshees track Face to Face was featured in the Tim Burton film Batman Returns, and their music has also been featured in Goth cult film The Craft; in episodes of True Blood and Daria, and in the soundtracks to films such as Jeepers Creepers, Doomsday, Monster House and Marie Antoinette.
The Banshees' sound has been cited as a strong influence on modern artists from a variety of genres, and cover versions of their songs abound. Their music is most often described as punk, post-punk or Goth rock, although Siouxsie herself has denied any personal connections with the 'Goth' label.
As a young punk in the subculture's heyday, Siouxsie (born Susan Janet Ballion, or possibly Dallion, depending on your source) was well-known around the clubs of London and was a part of the Sex Pistols's 'Bromley Contingent', a group of rebellious youngsters who followed the infamous band around the country (and to France, where Siouxsie was beaten up for wearing her swastika armband). She was on the sofa for one Sex Pistols TV interview where a drunken Bill Grundy, presenting, received a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse on live television from guitarist Steve Jones for suggesting that Siouxsie meet him after the show.
Her first public performance was with Steven Severin, who also became a member of Siouxsie and the Banshees, as a support act at the 100 Club Punk Festival. Neither knew how to play an instrument, so they improvised for 20 minutes whilst Siouxsie reeled off poems and prayers.
Now in her mid-fifties, Siouxsie still receives attention from the press for dress as much as for her music, including in 2011 when she turned up to collect her Q Award (for Outstanding Contribution to Music) in a black and white rubber catsuit.
Essential Siouxsie Sioux...
Album: JuJu or The Scream
Track: Arabian Knights
Other purchase: the Dreamshow DVD of Siouxsie's solo tour
Random fact: Siouxsie described herself as a 'loner' in her teens and mentioned that her first memory was of 'lying on the kitchen floor pretending to be dead'.
If you like Siouxsie Sioux, you might like: Bauhaus, Xmal Deutschland, Skeletal Family, The Glove, The Cure.
Get more Siouxsie: http://www.myspace.com/siouxsiemantaray