Siouxsie Sioux : Happy Birthday!

27 05 2012

 

“You’ll see I’ll make it easy for you. Just one blink and I’ll help you to  break through.”

I fell asleep in the garden earlier whilst listening to Warpaint. Pretty sure the heat went to my head, so anything I type as per, will make no sense. At least I have a decent excuse this time. I don’t have one for anything before. So you can be right to assume I’m just a twerp really.

There’s a lot of things I love about life. Tea, books and cute animals. I also have a lot of love reserved for anything that is Punk/stemmed from that genre and strong women. Today is the birthday of a woman is not only a strong force but, also emerged from the Punk scene. I’d never call Siouxsie a Punk, but I know many would. It all depends I suppose. I’d just call her an icon to be honest. So, with this I’ll just attempt to delve into the reasons as to why I love her, and why she is still so bloody important.

For the most part, the music industry has been dominated by large men in ill-fitting suites who just see currency signs when looking at a person. That’s nice and all, but let’s be real here- that shit is a bit worthless. You can sell millions with one record, and nobody will care for you after that. You’ll probably be found sleeping behind a bin down near Charing Cross begging for change whilst scratching at yourself. What I’m trying to say is, people will leave you rotting at rock bottom when they cannot see any worth in you. Thing is, you don’t have to be famous for this to happen. Ever been abandoned by a group of people? Get in line kid, I’ll let you stand next to me. We’ll talk about it.

With an artist such as Siouxsie, it really didn’t matter if she told 8 million or 8 records. What mattered was that she was so different to anything and everything around. She was so unique. She dressed in a way you wish you could. If you dolled yourself up like her now, you’d probably be looked at like you have 12 heads. But forget what people say you know? Go out there and dress like her if you want. I’ll probably think you look fabulous.

The first time I saw Siouxsie’s face I just knew I wanted to be part of that world. It was around the time my stepdad put me onto The Cure properly. He told me about the history between Robert Smith and when he played with Siouxsie. I was so amazed and obsessed with this. I was fascinated, and I resented my age because I wish I could’ve witnessed this myself, just like he and so many others did. I was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. I’ll never believe I was meant for this time, but hey- make do of what you are, and all you have. I know that.

It is hard to put into words how much you borderline idolise a person. It wasn’t just her voice and music that made me look up to her, it was the way she carried herself. When you can see how strong a person is, mixed with a hint of fragility in their eyes once in a while- you truly connect with that. Maybe that’s just me, but that is always what I look for. Her lyrics, I must say are utterly powerful and quite heartbreaking. If you can tear yourself away from the hypnotising sounds, you will hear just how powerful and borderline political her lyrics are. It will always piss me off when people call them Goth. I think it annoys me when anyone tries to label Siouxsie & The Banshees to be honest. Siouxsie’s voice is one that you can hear in so many. From Shirley Manson to PJ Harvey. I live in hope that some singers that are emerging now are still influenced by her. Her voice holds so much. It is delicate but it also has a lot of fight in it. You can hear the fury in her voice as she unleashes words of poison. Yet it doesn’t harm you, oh no. It makes you feel like you are part of this movement that The Banshees created. Siouxsie went beyond being a singer. Her gender played no part, but it sure as hell helped so many female singers at the time find their own voice, and follow their dreams.

There is so much a person could say about Siouxsie. I mean, everything about her is just so remarkable and bloody inspiring. She makes you want to vocalise all that plagues you, and start a riot of your own. I used to look at her photo and wish I was as tough as her. I still do. It happens when I look at her, Patti Smith and Shirley Manson. They are three incredible females that deserve a lot, a hell of a lot more respect and recognition for what they have done, and still continue to do. I may not be a famous musician who can speak up about how they inspire me, I just do it in my own little way. Maybe it is when I wear one of my Siouxsie shirts, and I feel a sense of pride and maybe a little bit of strength be embedded in me. Small things. It all takes time. I’m not one for going fast, so I’m okay with it all.

I have sung my heart out in my room and danced like I was having a seizure to her music. That will never change. Once someone touches your heart in a deep and raw way- they never truly leave. You can associate that to lovers if you want, but I wouldn’t. Aside from singing with Morrissey, I just…man I don’t even know. She is a truly flawless human being who maybe isn’t aware of what she means to so many. I sure as hell hope she does.

We need more strong women like Siouxsie around now. Especially now. There is empowerment in the words that roll off the tip of your tongue and what you think; not in the clothes you wear. I’m far too old-fashioned at times, but that’s how I am. I learnt how to hold a view on something and not let it go (without being disrespectful of course) from the likes of Siouxsie.

She finally received the Inspiration Award at the Ivor Novello Awards this year, it should’ve happened years before. But hey, better late than never right?

Happy Birthday Siouxsie xx





Covers.

13 10 2011

I hate covers, but every so often I hear a cover and my hate fades away. Hate is a bit harsh isn’t it. I don’t hate many things. But I really don’t understand why you’d want to take another song and possibly ruin it. However, sometimes a cover is better than the original. In short, I have mixed feelings about cover versions. I get a bit upset when a song I love is covered and just destroyed. There’s no need for it. But, there are some covers that I have grown fond of. I am partial to making an exception sometimes. I’ve attempted to pick 5 covers that I adore a hell of a lot. I will probably want to change my mind as soon as I’ve posted this.

Lykke Li has easily put out one of the best albums this year, and I’d say it’s been highly underrated. Her voice always breaks your heart. However, when she goes acoustic you really really feel her words. They hit you right in the gut. Many have covered Unchained Melody, but none have captured the pain within as much as Lykke Li does. A cover should mean the artist puts their own personal touch on it, she really does. When she holds the note around 2 minutes in, it just covers your body in goose bumps and you tremble. It’s such a gorgeous cover but at the same time, causes you to ache.

Apart from The Smiths, The Walker Brothers are my favourite band of all time. With one listen of this cover, it’s pretty much easy to see why. Scott Walker is like a god to me. His music is pretty much everything to me. A stunning singer who should be regarded as the greats. Let’s be honest, he’s probably the greatest. The Walker Brothers are one of the many that have covered this song originally by Jerry Butler (written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.) The Walker Brothers add huge drums to this giving it a Wall Of Sound feel to this cover. Of all the break-up songs in the world, this is probably my favourite. It’s just a beautiful that, although it may pain you to listen to it- it comforts you too.

Cat Power is a strong vocalist. Her music always moves my soul, it goes beyond the heart. Her music has got me through some times I hope I never ever have to go near again. Her music is a lifeline. Seeing her live was one of the best gigs that I have ever been to. I’d waited years to see her, and I was right at the front. It was just perfect. Cat Power has covered a lot of songs in her career. She’s even released a covers record. I could’ve picked the obvious such as Sea Of Love or I Found A Reason, but I had to go with one of her Bob Dylan covers. I fully understand Cat Power’s love for Bob Dylan, I feel exactly the same. I hate it when Bob Dylan’ssongs are covered, I firmly believe the only person who should sing a Bob Dylan song is Bob Dylan- that was until I heard Cat Power’s version of Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again. My mind was blown, my heart beat double time. I fell in love with her music and Bob Dylan all over again. It’s a truly wonderful cover, quite possibly her best cover she has done.

I love Wicked Game. I used to be obsessed with this song when Iwas younger, I had a bit of a fascination with Chris Isaak, I loved his music. What I love about this song is that it just oozes the need to fight how you feel. As someone who does that more times than they should (I’m starting to get a bit better) this song is just perfect. I’ve always loved the line, “This world is only going to break your heart.” It just sums up the whole feel of the song. Don’t bother, you’re just going to get your heart broken. However, getting your heart broken will always happen. There’s no point trying to avoid it. Shit happens, you’ll be fine-carry on. I love the way she sings, “I never dreamed that I’d meet someone like you.” We’ve all felt that way. You meet someone you thought you’d never in a million years meet. I don’t wish to make my take on this any more personal than I have, so I will now move onto my final cover…..

I love The Kills as much as I love the Velvet Underground which is probably close to an obsession. I don’t call it that, I just call it a passion for excellent music. Pale Blue Eyes is my favourite Velvet Underground song (closely followed by Run,Run,Run.) The Kills are influenced by Velvet Underground, and have covered a few other songs by them; but this is my ultimate favourite. It’s my favourite cover EVER. I love Jamie’s guitar on this, it’s just so emotional and powerful. Then you have Alison’s voice. Her voice ALWAYS sends me off some place else. Don’t ever try to have a conversation with me if The Kills are playing near us- my attention will be elsewhere. And I’ll probably start singing and be in some kind of trance for about an hour. Pale Blue Eyes has some of the most wonderful lyrics ever. The opening verse is so haunting, “Sometimes I feel so happy. Sometimes I feel so sad….baby you just make me mad.” We’ve all got someone we care about, but they just make us mad. You can’t say why, but they just do. I love this song so much, and there was a time when this song was too much to listen to due to it being so bloody apt. But, that’s been and gone now; and I can safely say this is my favourite cover of all time and I can listen to it being, and just be in awe of Alison and Jamie’s talent. I did want to choose their cover of I Put A Spell On You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins but I’d just rant forever.

I know I’ve missed out some brilliant covers, and as I’m a decent person (depends who you ask I suppose!) I’ll link you to some others:

Siouxsie & The Banshees- This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us.

Warpaint-Ashes To Ashes.

Patti Smith- When Doves Cry.

The Horrors- The Best Thing I Never Had.

Foals-Everybody Wants To Rule The World.