Siouxsie and the Banshess Newcastle City Hall 3rd March 1981

Siouxsie and the Banshess Newcastle City Hall 3rd March 1981
siouxsieprogmarch81The Banshees’ released their second album, Join Hands in 1979 and went out on a major UK tour to promote the new album. However, a few dates into the tour drummer Kenny Morris and guitarist John McKay quit the band after an argument. Drummer Budgie was rapidly recruited from The Slits, along with guitarist Robert Smith who was borrowed from tour support band The Cure. I had a ticket for the show at Newcastle Polytechnic but the concert was sadly cancelled as Siouxsie was unwell, and it was another two years before they called at Newcastle again. By the time I saw the Banshees again, at Newcastle City Hall on 3rd March 1981, Smith had returned to the Cure and the late great John McGeoch, from Magazine, had joined on guitar. McGeoch was the perfect choice for the Banshees; he understood how to coax an amazing, innovative noise from his guitar, inventing his own scales and making imaginative use of effects. He has been described as “one of the most influential guitarists of his generation” (Perrone, 2004) and in 1996, he was listed by Mojo in their “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” for his work on the Banshees song “Spellbound”. siouxsietixmarch81
By the time of this gig, the Banshees had released three albums: “The Scream”(1978); “Join Hands” (1979) and “Kaleidoscope” (1980), and had achieved further hit singles with “Happy House” “Christine”, “Spellbound”, and my favourite, the wonderful “Israel”, which was often their opening song. So there was plenty of new material, and the set had changed almost completely since I last saw them in concert. Support came from The Comsat Angels. The Banshees had become a considerable force, transcended the punk genre, and were a major classic rock band, and Siouxsie was elegant, scary, crazy and remained totally engaging. Although I loved the early Banshees, I think that this was their classic period and classic line-up.
Setlist: Israel; Spellbound; Arabian Knights; Christine; Tenant; Halloween; Night Shift; Paradise Place; Switch; But Not Them; Voodoo Dolly
Encore: Eve White/Eve Black; Red Over White; Happy House

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4 responses to this post.

  1. i was at this one too. I remember what a great drummer Budgie was

    Reply

  2. John McKay lives near me. Our sons were in the same year at primary school. Love your reminiscences/reviews; I thought I’d imagined seeing Siouxsie with her leg in plaster at the Edinburgh Playhouse, thanks for confirming that.

    Reply

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