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Siouxsie and the Banshees with a young Robert Smith on ‘Something Else,’ 1979


 
Last week, when DM HMFIC Richard Metzger posted about Robert Smith and Steve Severin’s Siouxsie and the Banshees spin-off the Glove, it set me off on a kick. I’ve waxed rhapsodic on DM, probably more than once, but definitely once that I can specifically remember, about the surpassing excellence of the Banshees lineup with guitarist John McGeoch, also a vet of Magazine, The Armoury Show, and P.I.L. before his untimely alcohol-related death in 2004. When I listen to Siouxsie, it’s almost invariably one of the three albums McGeoch played on—Kaleidoscope, Juju, and A Kiss In The Dreamhouse.

But that’s kind of stupid, given that McGeoch’s tenure in the band was bookended by the two stints enjoyed by the Cure’s moonlighting poo-bah Robert Smith. Weirdly, as influential as both the Cure and the Banshees are/were, Smith doesn’t get a whole lot of accolades as a guitarist. Even Cure devotees know him more for his melancholic singing and his trademark hairsplosion. But the guitar stylings associated with that saturnine strain of UK post-punk that would become known as Goth owed as much to Smith’s deliberate and doleful playing as to the aggressive slashing of Bauhaus’ Daniel Ash, the disquieting Morricone-isms of the Birthday Party’s Rowland S. Howard, or McGeoch’s heavily chorused, layered picking. Check out early Cure songs like “Three Imaginary Boys” or “The Figurehead,” and it’s plain that Smith can wring a lot of emotive impact out of comparatively few notes.
 

 
And so, after that post last week about Smith’s excursion in the Glove, I started giving more attention to his time in the Banshees, and in the process I found this fantastic TV footage of Smith during his first Banshees go-round, from the BBC2 show Something Else (I love the “Watch Something Else” banners decorating the set!) in 1979. They perform “Love in a Void” and “Regal Zone” from Join Hands, an album on which neither Smith nor the drummer appearing here, Budgie, actually performed. The prior guitarist and drummer left very shortly after Join Hands’ completion, so Smith and Budgie, a refugee from Big In Japan and the Slits, were recruited to fulfill tour obligations. Budgie went on to stay with the band forever, and even wed Siouxsie, but Smith only stayed in for the duration of the tour (the Cure were the opening act anyway), so his first shift with the band was as an interpretive player. Smith wouldn’t write music with the band or perform on a Banshees album until 1984’s Hyaena, but as this was the transitional phase of the Banshees’ career wherein the band straddled punk and goth, Smith makes an apt fit even though the compositions being played aren’t his.

Also, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the reading of a pretty damn funny letter from an unhappy London viewer who wanted his vigorous opposition to all this “punk” nonsense noted for the record.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
The Glove: When Robert Smith and Steven Severin played hooky from The Cure & Siouxsie & the Banshees


 
During Robert Smith’s tenure as the guitarist in Siouxsie and the Banshees (1982-84), a period that yielded the “Dear Prudence” hit single, as well as Hyena and the live Nocturne album, while Siouxsie and Budgie were off doing The Creatures, Smith and Banshees’ bassist Steven Severin formed The Glove, a one-off side-project with vocalist/dancer Jeanette Landray (Smith’s Cure contract forbade him from singing with another group).

The Glove, named after a character in Yellow Submarine produced just one album, the experimental, druggy, yet still quite poppy-sounding goth psychedelia of Blue Sunshine (yes, they copped the title from the cult film about the bad LSD) and two singles, “Like an Animal” and “Punish Me with Kisses.”
 

 
The 2006 reissue of Blue Sunshine as a 2 CD set that features a second disc of Glove demos with Smith singing instead of Landray. (Many fans were annoyed to find that his vocals were only recently recorded.) Both Severin and Smith have indicated that they would like to record together again.

Below, “A Blues in Drag”:

 
Hear “Punish Me with Kisses” after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Cure’s Robert Smith interviewed on a playground carousel, 1985
05.28.2014
06:30 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
The Cure
Robert Smith

Robert Smith
 
This interview should be a delight to any Cure fans out there, as Master Robert is in awfully likable form, as the rest of the playground keeps sliding past him in the back. For the interview is being conducted on one of those carousels you surely played on when you were a child. As it happens, the origin story of The Cure actually involves a playground, so it all works out.

The questioner (in my head he is “the poor man’s Jools Holland”) is terribly interested in how they came up with the CRRRRAZY ideas for their videos for “Let’s Go to Bed” and “In Between Days” and “The Love Cats” (the first two directed by The Cure’s longtime collaborator Tim Pope, while “The Love Cats,” apparently, was not).

Easily the best moment comes at around 0:20, when Smith shouts at a bunch of rambunctious offscreen children to “SHUT UP!”
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Hot Hot Hot!!! A make-up session with The Cure
01.22.2013
12:46 pm

Topics:
Fashion
Music

Tags:
The Cure
Robert Smith


 

A behind-the-scenes look at a 1991 make-up session with The Cure.

And here, I thought Robert Smith just woke up that way!
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
As far as Morrissey is concerned, what do Mark E. Smith and Robert Smith have in common?
01.10.2013
12:34 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Media
Music

Tags:
Morrissey
Robert Smith
Mark E Smith


 
Via Rock Speaks Quotes from the NME 1980-1994:

The only thing I’ve got in common with Mark E Smith is that Morrissey was once asked which one of us he’d shoot, and he said he’d put one in front of the other and shoot both of us.

Robert Smith

And the same last name, too, of course.

With thanks to Post Punk Tumblr!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Siouxsie

happy_birthday_siouxsie
 
Happy Birthday Siouxsie Sioux - lead singer and co-founder (along with Steven Severin) of one the most important, brilliant and influential bands of the past 35 years.

Siouxsie was a pioneer in both music and as a role model, breaking down stereotypes and putting women on a par with men, “rather than just objects”. As journalist Jon Savage, once wrote, Siouxsie was “unlike any female singer before or since, commanding yet aloof, entirely modern.”

Siouxsie and The Banshees were, without doubt, the most audacious, artistically creative and musically ambitious band to have arisen out of Punk, who generated their own musical genres from a mix of Pop, Punk and the Avant Garde.

Here are Siouxsie and The Banshees from their classic show at the Royal Albert Hall, in October 1983, with a line-up of Siouxsie (vocals/guitar), Steven Severin (bass), Budgie (drums) and Robert Smith (guitar). This classic was of course released as the album and DVD Nocturne.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
One pill makes you larger: Siouxsie and the Banshees’ lysergic ‘Home’ movie, 1984


 
I saw Siouxsie & The Banshees’ Play At Home Channel 4 television special when it originally aired in 1984, and as a rather enthusiastic aficionado of LSD at the time, it was immediately apparent to me that this trippy trip down the rabbit hole was a program made for acidheads, by acidheads. No other drugs could explain this one! I’d have to say that this was probably in the top five of the very oddest things I’d ever seen on network television at that point. I can’t imagine what “normal” people must’ve made of it at the time.

The Play At Home series offered four musical acts—New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen, Virginia Astley and the Banshees, during the period that Robert Smith of The Cure was in the band—an hour of TV to do pretty much whatever they wanted. When they saw what the Banshees cooked up, I’m sure the execs were both thrilled and nervous (What happened to Channel 4 over the years???).

The Banshees’ Play At Home episode was finally released as a DVD extra on the reissue of the 1983 Nocturne concert film in 2006. Note inclusion of music from side-projects The Creatures and The Glove. Longtime Banshees producer Mike Hedges makes an appearance as the Queen of Hearts and Annie Hogan, once Marc Almond’s musical collaborator, can be seen as the Doormouse.

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Glove: Robert Smith and Steven Severin’s experimental side-project, 1983


 
During Robert Smith’s tenure as the guitarist in Siouxsie and the Banshees (1982-84), a period that yielded the “Dear Prudence” hit single, as well as Hyena and live Nocturne album, Smith and Banshees’ bassist Steven Severin also formed The Glove, a side-project with vocalist/dancer Jeanette Landray (Smith’s Cure contract forbade him from singing with another group).

The Glove produced just one album, the experimental, druggy, yet still poppy-sounding Blue Sunshine (yes, they copped the title from the cult film about the bad LSD) and two singles, “Like an Animal” and “Punish Me with Kisses.”

The 2006 reissue of Blue Sunshine as a 2 CD set features a disc of demos with Smith singing instead of Landray.

Below, “A Blues in Drag”:
 

 
After the jump, the video for “Punish Me With Kisses”:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dream Date Portrait Pillow
09.02.2011
11:31 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:
Robert Smith
pillows
home decorating


 
This guy is way dreamier than the Robert Smith portrait pillow.

(via Pleated Jeans)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Crystal Castles ft. Robert Smith - ‘Not in Love’

image
 
The Cure‘s majestic Robert Smith has recorded vocals for Canadian duo Crystal Castle’s ‘Not in Love’ taken from their self-titled second album. The track is released on 6 December 2010 on Fiction Records - the perfect antidote to the ghastly ‘X-Factor’.
 

 
With thanks to Nicola Black
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment