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
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
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
(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."