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Siouxsie and the Banshees, with Wonderstuff - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
Siouxsie and the Banshees, with Wonderstuff
Note: A few days before this message, I mentioned that I was going to a concert, in a message otherwise not about music. I'm fairly sure that the opening band, whose name I took to be "Wonderstuff", was actually The Wonder Stuff. The headliner was of course Siouxsie and the Banshees. I added the sub-headings when I copied this to my journal.

From: steveXX@microsoft.com
Subject: Siouxsie/Wonderstuff
Date: 29 Jan 1992 11:50:44 PST


Well, I'm actually getting around to writing about Monday night's concert. Wonderstuff opened for Siouxsie and the Banshees. The show did very well in terms of timing – Wonderstuff actually started their opener a minute or two before the scheduled 8 p.m. starting time! The intermission was a reasonable 50 minutes.

Wonderstuff was a nice surprise for me, overall. They started off just sounding like well-performed, "generic college rock", with muddy mixing that made it sound even less interesting. One plus was the presence of an electric violin, which had a pretty cool sound to it, and a quite skilled fiddler playing it. In between songs the lead singer commented briefly (maybe one sentence) about the songs. He had a fairly strong English (I think) accent, but not one I was familiar with. He said, "fuck", at least once in every sentence he spoke. The light show and stage presence were decent, but not incredible. So I was not initially impressed. But after three or five boring songs, they got going.

The first one of theirs I enjoyed was, "The Extent of My Alcoholic Problem", or was introduced as that by the lead singer. He said that the lyrics wouldn't be comprehensible unless you were, "totally fucking drunk", or something like that. I was quite familiar with the song from the radio, though I hadn't known it was their song. They played it very well, and the mixing people got the sound right by then too. Next was something that I'd call, "Get It Out of Your System", not knowing the real name. That reminded me of the mood of early punk stuff, and really got everyone going. He introduced the next couple of songs as, "some pop bullshit". I'd call them, "Don't Get Me Down" and "Space in my Diary for You", since I don't know the real titles. Both were poppish, but far enough off the mainstream that I wouldn't have called them "bullshit" pop. I wouldn't mind seeing them again.


During the intermission, I did the usual concert thing for someone not dressed up in the black costumes: people watching, of people dressed in black costumes. My wife and I were both impressed most by a guy with funny hair and extra-long spikes on his leather coat, not so much because of the costume, but because of the odd image of someone in a black concert costume in a wheelchair. Another amusing one was a guy with bright blond hair wrapped in a post from the top of his head, then hanging down his back to around the middle of his thighs. A fairly cool one was a girl with funny hair wearing a shiny grey coat, instead of the typical black.

Siouxsie and the Banshees

Siouxsie and the Banshees started around 9:25 pm. They did a decent length show, finishing around 10:45, after two or three very short encore teaser breaks. They had six people on stage, with an interesting instrument set. The basic setup was Siouxsie singing, a guitarist, a bassist, a keyboardist, and two drummers, one on a regular drum set and one on a more specialized set. Sometimes they substituted electric cello for the keyboard or second drum set. They had a few other alternate instruments also. The mixing was off on most of the songs. Voice and guitar were too low and mid-range drums were too loud. Other instruments (bass guitar, keyboards, and miscellaneous) and high and low drums were mixed about right. I think they performed well, but on most of the songs the mixing mostly made it hard to tell.

Siouxsie looked pretty old. That should be no surprise, as long as they've been around. Some of the others looked pretty old too. One guy in the front row had either gray hair, or very blond hair that looked gray because of the lighting. The stage and lighting were set up fairly creatively. They had some wavy streaks in the platforms under the drummers and the keyboardist, which late in the show lit up in colors. Behind them they had a large mural in an Indian art style, of a couple in a passionate state. It was in grainy and shades of grey, but later in the show the lighting revealed that they had fluorescent paint drawn on as highlighting in the mural. The lighting in the later parts was synchronized with the music, and had some interesting patterns.

I only picked out two songs well (probably because they were the only ones mixed right), though all or nearly all were familiar. One was "Peepshow". Her voice was off though. She was pretty flat on most of the high notes. I guess it's a difficult song though, for most voices. The final song was "Memory Serves You Well". That one was right on – her voice worked right for her. It was nice that the song ringing in our ears as we left was done just right.


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