Siouxsie and the Banshees – archive John Peel session from 1981 available for one week

I came across the “BBC Music Showcase” website today, which is an archive for BBC recordings.  It lists which recordings are available to listen to currently, e.g. here’s a list of their current rock & indie selection.

The link I found was a Siouxsie and the Banshees John Peel session for the BBC, broadcast 10th February 1981 – and it’s a cracker.

The tracks are from the Juju period (Juju was released in June 1981), but the third track is a Creatures track taken from their first (double 7 inch single EP) release “Wild Things” although it seems that the Banshees used to play this track out as well.  

The session runs:

  1. Into The Light
  2. Voodoo Dolly
  3. But Not Them
  4. Halloween

The session is really good, and this comes from the dual attack of Budgie on drums and John McGeoch on guitar.  John McGeoch played on three of the most, if not the most, important Banshees LP and I agree with Siouxsie when she says he was the best Banshees’ guitarist:

“John McGeoch was my favourite guitarist of all time. He was into sound in an almost abstract way. I loved the fact that I could say, “I want this to sound like a horse falling off a cliff”, and he would know exactly what I meant. He was easily, without a shadow of a doubt, the most creative guitarist the Banshees ever had.””

From Wikipedia:

After joining Siouxsie and the Banshees in early 1980, McGeoch entered a period of both creative and commercial success. During his first session with the Banshees, he began a new way of playing. He later commented:

“I was going through a picky phase, as opposed to strumming. “Happy House” was lighter and had more musicality in it. They invited me to join. I was sad leaving Magazine but the Banshees were so interesting and it felt like a good move.”

He played guitar on the Banshees albums Kaleidoscope (1980), Juju (1981), and A Kiss in the Dreamhouse (1982). The Banshees’ hit singles of this era featured some of McGeoch’s greatest work, particularly 1980’s “Happy House”, “Christine” and “Israel”.

However, McGeoch suffered a nervous breakdown due to the stresses of touring and drinking and collapsed on stage at a Madrid concert. This marked the end of his membership in Siouxsie and the Banshees.

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