Playful Creatures Create Heavenly Show

Siouxsie Sioux and husband, Budgie, inspire goth fans with exuberant performance.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Goth queen Siouxsie Sioux danced, sashayed and

even played castanets. Between songs, her drummer husband, Budgie,

struck flouncy poses.

You might not expect such exuberance from the normally somber musicians,

but that's what they gave an enthusiastic Maritime Hall crowd during their

energetic set Saturday featuring their "drum-and-voice" band, the

Creatures.

After 20 years of predominantly morose music with Siouxsie and the

Banshees, the 41-year-old couple appeared to have so much fun during

their nearly-two-hour performance that they incited their normally

placid goth fans to wild fits of bouncing and arm-waving.

In a metal-plated halter-top minidress over a long-sleeved, black,

shoulderless top with silver-metal cuffs, Siouxsie strutted onstage and

immediately got the crowd swaying with "All She Could Ask For," a languid

B-side from the "Say" single. As Siouxsie danced and gyrated around the

stage, the lights reflected off her shiny silver dress, shooting rays of

light over the crowd.

Although they played gems from their entire 16-year career, the Creatures

focused on songs from their new album, Anima Animus. The pounding

album opener, "2nd Floor"

(RealAudio excerpt), pounded even harder with a heavy, grinding guitar

and throbbing bass and drums, making the audience sway and bounce en masse.

"That's the closest I've ever seen to a goth mosh pit!" local fan Trina

Lopez, 27, said.

While Siouxsie added bongos on "Take Mine," the charismatic Budgie

masterfully pounded out the Creatures' trademark dense, tribal beats.

Throughout the set, his arms were a blur, but he didn't break a sweat.

Siouxsie's rich, throaty voice and Budgie's driving rhythms define the

Creatures' sound, which is reminiscent of, if lighter than, their early

work with the Banshees. On Saturday they were accompanied by violinist

Jane Pickup and bassist Rob Holliday, who each took turns on guitar.

But it's Siouxsie and Budgie's boisterous stage presence that makes a

Creatures show more fun than fans from the gloomier Banshee days might

expect.

When he came out from behind the drums to play acoustic guitar on "I Was

Me" and the 1998 single "Sad Cunt," Budgie fully displayed his outfit: a

sleeveless, silver-sequined shell, black tights with white swirls, and

black-and-yellow Nike high-tops. Between songs, the flamboyant drummer

smirked and wiggled his hips like a jester and raised his arms theatrically

at the end of each song, making the crowd hoot and cheer.

The Creatures' sensuous, tribal goth-rock began as a side project for

the couple. They released the Wild Things EP (1981), Feast

(1983) and Boomerang (1989), while the Banshees were still

together. But when the group disbanded for good after 1995's The Rapture,

Siouxsie and Budgie began concentrating solely on the Creatures.

Concert-goer Nannette Mickle, 31, said seeing the Creatures for the first

time Saturday was a pleasant surprise. "You can tell they're so happy

performing together onstage, just the two of them."

Clearly, Siouxsie and Budgie were enjoying themselves; they smiled,

danced and bantered with each other. The singer also displayed a great

rapport with her fans, chatting with them and accepting flowers and other

gifts. She even crouched behind the bass drum on the side of the stage

to shake hands with the audience members behind it.

"It's time to go," Siouxsie announced to the crowd's dismay as they

launched into the ghostly "Exterminating Angel"

(RealAudio excerpt), with Budgie carving out the intense beat on the

bass drum at the front of the stage.

That alone would have made for a great finale, but despite Siouxsie's

claim, the evening wasn't over.

After a two-minute break, the couple returned alone for the first encore,

"But Not Them," during which Siouxsie's barking

and yelping brought to mind her namesake Banshees. The band then rejoined

the duo, and they went on to play three more encores, including

"Standing There"

(RealAudio excerpt), a crowd favorite from Boomerang, and a cheeky

cover of Mel Tormé's "Right Now."

"It was amazing," Lopez said. "They totally outdid themselves."