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Siouxsie and the Banshees Biography

Birth Place: London, England
Years Active: 1976–1996, 2002
Genres: Punk Rock, Post-punk, Gothic Rock, Alternative Rock

Siouxsie & The Banshees was a British rock band that was formed in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bassist Steven Severin. Initially associated with the English punk rock scene, the band's sound quickly took on a post-punk feel loaded with musical experimentation. The band's music created a subculture that came to be known as the Goth-rock genre. The band fused pop music with an avant-garde flare.

1975 marked the meeting of Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin at a Roxy Music concert. The two became good friends and connected over their love of music. The friends began to follow the unsigned Sex Pistols from gig to gig and began to write their own music in the process. Inspired by the Sex Pistols live shows, the duo decided to put a band together. Performing for the first time at a festival in London, Sioux and Severin took the stage with guitarist Marco Pirroni and John Simon Ritchie (Sid Vicious) on drums. Vicious went on to join The Sex Pistols, and Sioux and Severin recruited drummer Kenny Morris and guitarist John McKay. The band began to play local venues in and around London to sold-out audiences, but was still unable to secure a record deal. Polydor Records ultimately stepped up and the band was signed in 1978. Their first single, “Hong Kong Garden,” peaked in the Top 10 of the U.K. Singles chart.

The band released their debut album, “The Scream,” in 1978, which received praise from critics. The Banshees' second offering, “Join Hands,” followed a year later in 1979. The band followed up with a short tour in support of the album. Morris and McKay quit the band that year after an argument. The Slits drummer, Budgie was hired, and Robert Smith of The Cure filled in as guitarist until a replacement could be found.

The band continued to release a series of albums over the next decade, of note was 1981's “Juju” album that featured John McGeoch as guitarist. By the time The Banshees released “A Kiss in the Dreamhouse” in 1982, McGeoch was struggling with alcohol problems and was hospitalized. Severin asked Robert Smith to fill in on guitar duties once again for their U.S. tour. A year later Sioux and Budgie created a side project called, The Creatures, and released an album, “Feast” in 1983. As the 1980s came to a close the band took a break away from the music world.

1991 marked The Banshees return with the single “Kiss Them for Me,” which was met with glowing reviews, peaking at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. Later that same year the band was part of the headlining line-up for the Lollapalooza tour. 1993 saw The Banshees compose a song for the “Batman Returns” film. Polydor dropped the band in 1995, which influenced their decision to call it quits in 1996.

Sioux and Budgie continued to record and achieve success as The Creatures. They released the 1999 album, “Anima Animus,” to critical acclaim. 2002 saw Sioux, Severin, Budgie, and Chandler reunite momentarily to perform on the Seven Year Itch tour.