Author Topic: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)  (Read 5060 times)

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Offline Ulrich

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Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« on: July 15, 2015, 10:49:23 »
Although it is not really a "solo project", I'm missing a topic about Robert's stint as the guitarist in Siouxsie & the Banshees.
This happened twice, 1979 (for a tour only) and 1982-1984 (various tours, tv appearances, a single, a live album + a studio album).

Here you can find a new article incl. 2 nice vids from a tv show in 1979!  :smth020
http://dangerousminds.net/comments/siouxsie_and_the_banshees_with_a_young_robert_smith_on_something_else_1979

Melt & Painted Bird (OGWT 1982)
https://youtu.be/s-5mVUb1gqM
https://youtu.be/y5jmB4xgNWw

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocturne_(Siouxsie_and_the_Banshees_album)

Nice article about "Hyeana" (1984):
http://www.post-punk.com/siouxsie-and-the-banshees-hyaena-turns-30/

but memory's not life... and it's not love.


Offline Ulrich

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 12:12:03 »
http://www.post-punk.com/siouxsie-and-the-banshees-nocturne/

Quote
One of the best Post-Punk live albums of all time is most certainly Siouxsie & The Banshees’ Nocturne. Recorded September 30th and October 1st, and released on November 25th, 1983, Nocturne was a double live album and concert video from two amazing sets at Royal Albert Hall in London.

The concerts were two homecoming gigs after the band had performed abroad in Japan, Australia, and Israel—and followed the released of the Dear Prudence single which marked the acquisition of The Cure’s Robert Smith as an official member of the band. Smith had previously been a temporary member replacing John McKay for the remainder of the Join Hands tour in ’79, so this was the Cure singer/guitarists second time filling in for an outgoing Banshees guitarist—in this case the hard to fill shoes of the brilliant John McGeoch.

You can pick up a copy of Nocturne in the upcoming Banshees boxsets, the first of which is due out on January 29th, 2016.
but memory's not life... and it's not love.

Offline BiscuityBoyle

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2016, 19:37:13 »
Need to listen to Hyeana; I guess I was always put off by a couple of disparaging remarks made by Robert about the strings etc.

Anyway, travelling to Jerusalem with the Banshees was a direct inspiration for The Wailing Wall, which to me is one of The Cure's greatest songs. I've come across a couple of testimonies on his brief stay in Israel (I read Hebrew) and by all accounts he didn't have the best of times, consumed industrial amounts of beer and refused to speak about The Cure with local enthusiasts... Not that you'd assume as much listening to the song, which is of course among The Cure's most uplifting!  :-D 


Offline Ulrich

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2016, 16:03:13 »
Need to listen to Hyeana; I guess I was always put off by a couple of disparaging remarks made by Robert about the strings etc.

Well, it's not a bad album. It has its flaws and Robert probably hears 'em more than we do.  ;)
I guess he saw its potential and wasn't too happy about the result. ("Out of the 10 songs finally chosen for 'Hyaena' four are good and six are boring" is what he said once.)

I listened to it around the time I made that post (or a bit before) and enjoyed it. And that article from post-punk I linked is good, they're right: Robert's guitar work on "Blow the house down" is amazing.  :smth020
but memory's not life... and it's not love.

Offline BiscuityBoyle

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2016, 18:52:14 »
Yeah I agree, it deserves careful consideration regardless of what Robert said about it one time or another.

Not good at listening to entire albums in a single intake but Take Me Back is such a great song! I'm gonna go ahead and assume that the idea for Budgie's ace marimba riff came from Robert and/or Severin under the influence of Captain Beefheart, their favourite and mine :D Especially in a year when Robert penned his superb Trout Mask Replica homage, Give Me It.

BY THE WAY, from today's perspective Siouxsie's fat-shaming of Robert ("fat Bob", and I seem to remember "fat boy Smith") is "problematic", though Gothic rock goddesses cannot be expected to abide by the laws of political correctness, I suppose. Always thought he looked amazing in 1984 though.   


Offline BiscuityBoyle

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2016, 17:43:02 »
If The Hanging Garden is The Cure's great Banshees-style single, this is literally a Cure pop song by Siouxsie & co

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Offline piggymirror

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2016, 10:34:52 »
Three interviews that, reading between the lines, can tell you a bit of what led to Robert leaving the Banshees.
Pity that Robert never managed to get John McGeoch into The Cure, that could have been incredible, but maybe they couldn't find each other at the right time.

The last we know about Robert having anything to do with the Banshees was that very recent pic of him and Severin in Edinburgh. Hope Severin's ok.

www.musicfanclubs.org (interview from Guitar World, June 1996) -click to read in its entirety-

Quote
[...] GW: How did playing with the Banshees impact your guitar style?

RS: It allowed me to experiment. I inherited an approach from John [McKay, the Banshee's first guitarist] which was just to have everything full up, really. It was just a matter of getting somewhere in the region of the right chord and you got away with it. Severin's bass was so loud, Budgie's drums were so thunderous, and Siouxsie's voice was so loud in the mix that there was very little room for guitar. It was phased/flanged distortion noise, really. There were only about 5 songs where I had to learn the parts. The rest of it was just in a key.

It was a lot more interesting the second time I played with the Banshees and inherited John McGeoch's setup. [_McGeoch has also played with Magazine, Visage, and P.I.L.] He had an old MXR flanger mounted on a mike stand; he'd hit a chord and sweep the flange knob in real time. I actually watched a video of what he was doing and that gave me insight. They wanted me to use his guitar, but I refused - again, on grounds of aesthetics! I said, "That's an ugly instrument. I'm not going to play it." But I used his amp instead.

GW: John McGeoch is a sadly underrated and unappreciated guitarist.

RS: Yes, he is. I used to go out with him quite a bit. He left the Banshees under a bit of a cloud, but he stayed friendly with me and Severin. Last time I saw him was about 4 years ago, I think, in a hotel lobby. It was toward the end of his tenure with P.I.L. There was a real air of desperation - they weren't getting anywhere. We were leaving to go to a gig and so were they. It was in America so we were playing this Enormo-Dome sort of place and they were playing a club. John Lydon had an attitude of "I should be doing that, not them." It was really weird. McGeoch was kind of stuck in the middle, apologizing for having to side with his band. [...]



The Independent (Nov/02/1997) -click to read in its entirety-

Quote
[...] Those with long memories will recall that Smith was the Banshees guitarist for 18 months in the early Eighties, playing, most memorably, on the single "Dear Prudence". Asked if there was any ego clash between himself and the famously spiky Siouxsie Sioux, he permits himself a brief explosion of mirth, a sort of wheezy snigger. "It caused quite a lot of friction at the time, because the Cure were actually selling more records than the Banshees. We did 'Lovecats' and it was a big hit! When I was with the Banshees, I refused any payment. It meant they couldn't make me do anything. Sioux found it difficult; she's unused to males saying no to her." There's a long pause after this statement. "I've not seen or spoken to her but I'm not sure that Sioux and I would be on very good terms. She'd probably hold a grudge." [...]



www.untiedundone.com (interview from UNCUT, January 2005) -click to read in its entirety-

Quote
[...] "WHY'S HE ON THE COVER?" demands Siouxsie Sioux. "Fat fool!"

"He" is Robert Smith and "the cover" is that of Uncut's sister publication NME Originals, their recent edition dedicated to goth. Or "goff", as the erstwhile queen of punk snorts derisively. Maybe Siouxsie has never fully forgiven the Cure frontman and one-time Banshees guitarist for deserting her band on the eve of a 1984 world tour. As Smith recently told Uncut (Take 87), he was diagnosed with chronic blood poisoning and quit on doctor's orders. Siouxsie's having none of it.

"It wasn't like he became ill," she complains. "He was one of those people who just didn't say 'no' to anything, so when it's self-induced it's hard to have sympathy. To actually say two days before a tour that's been planned in advance that he can't do it - f*** off! What a lightweight."

Or maybe she should have been on the cover herself? [...]

Offline piggymirror

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2016, 10:51:06 »
Another interesting fact is that certain Banshees fans have Robert in more or less the same position as Jason Cooper.

In The Cure, it's a Jason Cooper vs Boris Williams "war".
The Banshees version of that flamewar, it's Robert Smith vs John McGeoch.

The fun side of the story is that, if I'm not mistaken, there must be one record having "something" (can't say exactly what) containing Robert Smith, John McGeoch and maybe even Porl Thompson.
That's obviously Blue Sunshine.

If you have that album, look at the leaflet. You'll see a reference to a "recorded using the fish-panning method by Mr.Waverley". If I'm not wrong, that Mr.Waverley is none other than John McGeoch (the Mr.Waverley thing comes after a boat called Waverley in Greenock, McGeoch's birthplace in Scotland).

Interestingly, Martin McCarrick, who joined the Banshees in 1987, also appears on Blue Sunshine, as well as Andy Anderson and (if I remember correctly), some reference to "Porl and Lol".

Offline piggymirror

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2016, 11:38:07 »
Need to listen to Hyeana; I guess I was always put off by a couple of disparaging remarks made by Robert about the strings etc.

I don't own the Ten Imaginary Years book (oficial Cure bio 1976-1986), but I seem to remember Reading about him not being very satisfied with the keyboards masking his guitar parts a bit too much.

Besides, he didn't get as much credit as he'd like, and that, for a second time, because he wrote or co-wrote at least one song from Kaleidoscope ('Hybrid', and correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember him claiming his involvement in 'Christine').

Well, it's not a bad album. It has its flaws and Robert probably hears 'em more than we do.  ;)
I guess he saw its potential and wasn't too happy about the result. ("Out of the 10 songs finally chosen for 'Hyaena' four are good and six are boring" is what he said once.)

Must be that six songs were his, but he got no credit for that.
One is certainly 'Swimming Horses', which he as good as rewrote and turned into 'Six Different Ways'.

Interestingly, there's a funny number of Banshees/Creatures songs that have something to do with The Cure... or in reverse.

In 1987, the Banshees released the B-side 'The Whole Price Of Blood' -click to listen-, containing a previous recording of Robert on sitar.

Later on, in 1998, The Creatures released the song Pinned Down -click to listen-, which... has a riff that is suspiciously similar to 'M'.

And in 1999, The Creatures released the song Exterminating Angel -click to listen-, which ressembles Wailing Wall more than a bit.

Finally, in 2008 The Cure released Sleep When I'm Dead, whose bassline ressembles quite a lot the Candyman bassline (Robert said it was a "Head On The Door outtake"). Candyman -click to listen- was recorded by the Banshees in 1985, released in 1986. It's in the Tinderbox album, which I've always found it has some vague similarity to Distintegration, to some degree (and it has a 'Lullaby', too, although the Banshees 'Lullaby' is just a B-side -a very good one though).

Curious, isn't it?

I listened to it around the time I made that post (or a bit before) and enjoyed it. And that article from post-punk I linked is good, they're right: Robert's guitar work on "Blow the house down" is amazing.  :smth020

Indeed it is.

Click here to watch a live recording of the Banshees in 1984 (Running Town, Bring Me The Head Of The Preacher Man, and an incomplete Blow The House Down).
It's the only time I've seen Robert play his famous "fishbone" broken guitar.
The three of them sound rather different from the album versions btw.

Offline Ulrich

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2016, 11:29:45 »
The Banshees version of that flamewar, it's Robert Smith vs John McGeoch.

Where does that happen? I've never visited a Banshees forum in my life (if there is one), maybe better that way.  ;)

That's obviously Blue Sunshine.

If you have that album, look at the leaflet.

I have it (vinyl bought in early 90's or so), no leaflet inside though.  :roll:
but memory's not life... and it's not love.

Offline Ulrich

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2016, 18:02:28 »
Did a bit of Google research and found this article about "A Kiss In The Dreamhouse" and why and how John McGeoch had to be replaced (not a very nice story, but told by Severin and Sioux themselves):

http://www.uncut.co.uk/features/siouxsie-and-the-banshees-we-were-losing-our-minds-2572
but memory's not life... and it's not love.


Offline stefano

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2016, 18:04:15 »
Did a bit of Google research and found this article about "A Kiss In The Dreamhouse" and why and how John McGeoch had to be replaced (not a very nice story, but told by Severin and Sioux themselves):

http://www.uncut.co.uk/features/siouxsie-and-the-banshees-we-were-losing-our-minds-2572
danke, Ulrich !

Offline piggymirror

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2016, 07:04:18 »
Severin on Facebook:

May 2:

Quote
Slowly but surely, on the mend. Upgrading the studio this summer. Two solo albums coming by the end of the year.

June 9:

Quote
Memoir a-go-go! My literary agent is starting to pitch to interested parties and I shall be writing an outline over the weekend to spur them on. Also in talks with a label to release a vinyl version of my unreleased CALIGARI score(s).

 :-D

Offline piggymirror

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2016, 07:10:32 »
The Banshees version of that flamewar, it's Robert Smith vs John McGeoch.

Where does that happen? I've never visited a Banshees forum in my life (if there is one), maybe better that way.  ;)

There is no open Banshees forum that I'm aware of now.
The last one was closed, and that flamewar was one of the main reasons.
It went as far as to reach Severin's own website (which used to have a forum).

You can still see bits of that flamewar on the YouTube comments to certain Banshees albums or songs.

That's obviously Blue Sunshine.

If you have that album, look at the leaflet.

I have it (vinyl bought in early 90's or so), no leaflet inside though.  :roll:

I'll try and find the leaflet and write here what can be read on it. It's in a drawer at the moment. Later though.

Offline Ulrich

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Re: Siouxsie & the Banshees (feat. Robert Smith)
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2016, 09:02:11 »
There is no open Banshees forum that I'm aware of now.
The last one was closed, and that flamewar was one of the main reasons.

You can still see bits of that flamewar on the YouTube comments to certain Banshees albums or songs.

No thanks, I can live happily without ever reading those! (I hardly read any yt comments anyway. I go there to watch videos, listen to songs...)

I'll try and find the leaflet and write here what can be read on it. It's in a drawer at the moment.

No hurry, maybe I can find it online. Later.
but memory's not life... and it's not love.


 

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