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Siouxsie and The Banshees: In Concert Amsterdam, 1982

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‘New band, new mistakes,’ said Siouxsie Sioux in an after-show interview from this concert of The Banshees at De Meervaart Theater, Amsterdam in 1982.

Siouxsie was describing changes to The Banshees line-up over the previous 4 years, which had seen the arrival of drummer Budgie, and guitarist John McGeoch, joining Siouxsie and 1st Banshee Steven Severin.

As McGeoch explained it was the core dynamic of Severin and Siouxsie that made The Banshees work.

The Banshees were one of the most important and influential bands of the past 30 years, and while so many other bands from the sixties, seventies and eighties are getting back together and taking to the road again, it would be good to see The Banshees regroup, to take their rightful place at the top of the tree.

Sadly, any reunion would be without McGeoch, who died in 2004. McGeoch was classed as a Punk Jimmy Page, and had successful career with Magazine, Visage, The Banshees, and Public Image Ltd. I’ll leave it to McGeoch to describe performing with The Banshees in concert at De Meervaart:

‘It was great, because I felt like I was a teenager again, which was at least 20 years ago - and it’s nice to have memories like that.’

 

And o, what memories.

Track Listing

01. “Israel”
02. “Painted Bird”
03. “Arabian Knights”
04. “Spellbound”
05. Interview with band
06. “Switch”
07. “Happy House”
08. “Head Cut”
09. Interview Steven & Siouxsie
10. “Voodoo Dolly”
11. “But Not Them”
12. “Sin in My Heart”
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Happy Birthday Siouxsie


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Vampyr’: Live score by former Banshee Steven Severin


 
Tonight in Los Angeles, as part of the ambitious, month-long Nightmare City horror film fest co-presented by Cinefamily, The Woodshed Horror Company and Cinespia, Steven Severin will be performing two sets of his live score to Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr.

I’m pretty sure Severin’s show at Cinefamily last time completely sold out, so if you snooze you’re likely to lose.

Steven Severin (acclaimed solo artist and founding member of the legendary Siouxsie and the Banshees) returns to the Cinefamily in person, giving audiences a rare opportunity to hear his new score for Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr: the third in his ongoing film accompaniment series “Music For Silents.”

Though Hitchcock called it “the only film worth seeing twice”, the mysteries of Vampyr couldn’t be untangled in a thousand viewings. Dreyer’s film set a precedent for psychological horror, deploying mood and technical wizardry to render the strange logic of a nightmare on the screen. Shot with a silent film aesthetic despite being filmed in the sound era (and a year after Lugosi starred in Universal’s Dracula), Vampyr finds a perfect aural counterpart in Severin’s suitably textured score: a synthesized, highly atmospheric soundscape that draws the viewer rhythmically into a strange, horrifying dimension just outside our field of vision.

Tickets are $15-$90 and free for Cinefamily members. There are two shows scheduled, one at 7:45pm and a second set at 10:00pm. Order tickets here.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Siouxsie

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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.
 

 

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Straight out of Bromley: Simon Barker’s photographs of Punk in the U.K. 1976-77

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Punk may be long dead, but the interest in its music, ideas and artifacts continues. Over at the Independent, writer Michael Bracewell introduces a selection of photographs by Simon Barker, a former member of the legendary Bromley Contingent, the group of original Punks that included Siouxsie Sioux, Steven Severin, Jordan, Bertie “Berlin” Marshall, Tracie O’Keefe, and Billy Idol. Barker was a participant and witness to some of the key events during the 14 months, in 1976 and 1977, when Punk changed everything - as Bracewell explains:

[Barker’s] photographs share with Nan Goldin’s early studies of the New York and Boston sub-cultures of the 1970s, a profound and joyously audacious sense of youth going out on its own into new freedoms and new possibilities.

In this, Barker’s photographs from this period capture a moment when the tipping point between innocence and experience has yet to be reached. The model and sub-cultural celebrity Jordan, for example, is photographed as a self-created work of art – her features resembling a Picasso mask, her clothes more post-war English county librarian. The provocation of her image remains untamed and unassimilated, nearly 40 years later; and within her surrealist pose there is the triumph of art made in the medium of sub-cultural lifestyle.

Barker/Six was a member of the so-called ‘Bromley Contingent’ of very early followers of The Sex Pistols and the retail and fashion work of McLaren and Vivienne Westwood. Other members would include the musicians Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin, and the writer Bertie Marshall, then known as ‘Berlin’ in homage to the perceived glamour and decadence of the Weimar republic. Originating from suburbia, but all determined to leave its security as soon as possible, the Bromley Contingent became the British sub-cultural equivalent, in many ways, of Andy Warhol’s notorious ‘superstars’ – volatile, at times self-destructive or cruelly elitist, but dedicated to a creed of self-reinvention and personal creativity.

It is this creed, as opposed to the swiftly commercialised music of punk, that Barker’s photographs from the period anatomise so well. At once intimate and forensic, austere and camp, documentary and touchingly elegiac, these photographs capture a milieu experiencing a heroic sense of being outsiders – a condition that has always been the privilege of youth, and which has long claimed many victims in its enticing contract with the thrill of taking an oppositional stance.

Read the whole article and see more of Simon’s photographs here.

Simon Barker’s book Punk’s Dead is available here.
 
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Poly Styrene
 
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The Banshees: Steven Severin, Kenny Morris and John McKay
 
With thanks to Derek Dunbar
 
More punk memories after the jump…
 

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Steven Severin: Interviewed on ‘Music Box’ from 1987

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Steven Severin has always been cool as fuck. From when he first appeared on TV, looking edgy at the back of the infamous Bill Grundy interview that launched The Sex Pistols’ “filth and the fury” onto the nation, through Siouxsie and The Banshees, to his position now as one of our leading film composers. Just take a look at Mr. Severin in this interview for Music Box, from 1987, with his blonde crop and silk waistcoat, and compare him to the mullet haired interviewer, who looks like he’s come off the set of Miami Vice, or failed the audition for Conan the Barbarian, again. Mr. Severin has always been ahead of the pack, and that’s what makes him so interesting musically, creatively, intellectually, and in his sense of style.

In this brief, rare interview, Steven discusses how he first met Siouxsie (at a Roxy Music concert in 1975); why the band’s line-up has changed for the better; his thoughts on being the first band to tour Argentina since the Falklands war; why The Banshees recorded “Dear Prudence” in Stockholm; and how tax problems affected The Glove, his band with Robert Smith.

Steven Severin is touring with his superb score for Carl Dreyer’s Vampyr in May and June this year, details here, where you can also buy a copy of his Vampyr CD.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

The Glove: Robert Smith and Steven Severin’s experimental side-project


 

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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
Carl Theodor Dreyer: ‘Vampyr’ from 1932

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Carl Theodor Dreyer preferred to work with non-actors, as he believed they offered a more reactive performance. In truth, it was because non-professionals did as he said without question or interpretation, which gave Dreyer greater control over the film. Jacques Tati and Pier Paolo Pasolini similarly used non-actors. With Tati it often blighted his films (see Traffic), while for Pasolini it brought something sublime (see The Gospel According to Saint Matthew).

For Dreyer, the use of non-actors in Vampyr (1932), added to the disorienting, dream-like quality, drawing the spectator into a strange and compelling, nightmare world.

Following on from his success with Music for Silents, composer and former Banshee, Steven Severin, has written a fantastic new soundtrack for Vampyr, which he will be performing at special screenings of the film across the UK during January and February. Dates include, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Bradford, York, Hackney, Brixton, Brighton, Stratford Upon Avon, Ambleside, Oswestry, Cardiff, Bristol, Exeter, Hebden Bridge, Nottingham, Birmingham, Lancaster & Salford. Details here.

Steven will also be releasing a CD of the soundtrack, which you can order directly form his website.
 

 

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‘1-2 FU’: A personal odyssey through British Punk Rock

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I first met Peter Boyd Maclean about twenty years ago, when he was about 12, or so it seemed, as he was precociously young and at the same time incredibly wise, and most annoyingly Talented with a capital ‘T’. He had arrived from the ether to work at the Beeb as a top director / producer, having made a splash on that TV earthquake known as Network 7. He was funny, witty and always made work fun. I recall at the time Peter had just “Shot the shit” out of some island to placate his over-zealous exec, who repeatedly demanded “Pictures! Coverage! More pictures! More coverage!” every 10 minutes by ‘phone, fax and pigeon post. Since then m’colleague, has gone on to greater achievements and awards and hairstyles of interesting description.

He also made this rather super documentary on Punk, 1-2 FU with Jonathan Ross taking a personal odyssey through the music of his youth. It’s quirky, orignal, and has an impressive line-up of the punk bands who most effected the TV showman, including Steven Severin, Ari Up, The Damned, Adam Ant, etc. Like the best of Peter’s work, F-U 12 takes an original approach to a subject, rather than the usually biblical reverence of “In the beginning was Punk and the Punk was with…” etc. Of particular note here, is Jonathan’s bus tour of London’s punk clubs, and his rendition (as in torture) of “Anarchy in the U.K.”

Now here’s more of the same from the official blurb:

1-2 FU

Jonathan Ross presents the ‘Memoirs of a Middle-Aged Punk’ in this authored documentary charting the rise and demise of the most nihilistic movement in the history of British music.

Jonathan delivers a fast and furious rant confessing his passion for punk and the lasting effect it’s had on everything, from music and fashion to art and television.

As a forty-something whose life has been defined by punk and all the anarchy it stood for, Jonathan sets out to discover if punk really changed the world or was it all overblown hype?

To fully explore the legacy of punk, Jonathan gets a Mohican and grabs Captain Sensible to join him as he transports an open-top bus full of punks on a tour around London’s most notorious punk hotspots.

Finally, it’s Jonathan Ross as you’ve never seen him before when he fulfils his ultimate punk fantasy performing with Vic Reeves as The Fat Punks for one night only.

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Happy birthday Siouxsie Sioux
05.27.2011
11:32 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Siouxsie Sioux
Steven Severin


Siouxsie Sioux by Dangerous Minds pal Austin Young

Happy birthday to goth goddess Siouxsie Sioux, who turns 54 today, but who is of course, ageless…

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Siouxsie Sioux: The Martha Stewart of punk rock
Steven Severin: From Siouxsie to Music to Silents
Peter Cook Hosts TV’s Punk ‘Revolver’

Below, a young Siouxsie and Steven Severin interviewed in 1976.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Steven Severin: ‘Blood of a Poet’

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Former Siouxsie and The Banshees’ co-founder, bass-player and all round musical genius, Steven Severin is currently touring the U.K. with his brilliant score for Jean Cocteau’s 1930 debut film Blood of a Poet

Since 2002 and the demise of The Banshees, Severin has been writing soundtracks for TV and cinema, including superb scores for London Voodoo and Richard Jobson’s The Purifiers.  More recently, Severin has composed and toured with his compositions for The Seashell and The Clergyman and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. His four treatments for Caligari was one of the highlights of last year’s Edinburgh International Festival.

Now, having successfully toured with Blood of a Poet across America and Canada earlier this year, Britain has the chance to catch one of the must-see events of the year.

It is always possible to subvert, to rebel.  A strong idea can be a salve, an inspiration to some whilst the very same idea is an irritant, a disruption to others.  I just try to do things that move and excite me and hope I am capable to transmitting those emotions in the most eloquent way possible.

                                                          -  Steven Severin

York CITY SCREEN 7th. Oct.
Bradford PLAYHOUSE 8th. Oct.
Leeds HYDE PARK 9th. Oct.
Liverpool FACT 10th. Oct.
Norwich CINEMA CITY 12th. Oct.
Kensal Rise LEXI 15th. Oct.
Southampton HARBOUR LIGHTS 16th. Oct.
Brighton DUKE OF YORKS 17th. Oct.
Brixton RITZY 19th. Oct.
Greenwich PICTUREHOUSE 21st. Oct.
Derby QUAD 28th. Oct.
Cardiff CHAPTER ARTS 29th. Oct.
Oxford PHOENIX 30th. Oct.
Exeter PICTUREHOUSE 31st. Oct.
Bath LITTLE THEATRE 1st. Nov.
Bristol WATERSHED 2nd. Nov.
Inverness EDEN COURT 4th. Nov.
Croydon CLOCKTOWER 8th. Nov.
Sheffield SHOWROOM 11th. Nov.
Nottingham BROADWAY 12th. Nov.
Birmingham ELECTRIC 14th. Nov.
Leicester PHOENIX 15th. Nov.
Edinburgh CAMEO 18th. Nov.
 

 
Steven Severin’s ‘Cesare Variations’ after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Steven Severin: From Siouxsie to Music to Silents
01.12.2010
07:58 pm

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Steven Severin

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In his Los Angeles live solo debut, goth legend Steven Severin (he of Siouxsie and the Banshees fame) will be appearing at the Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theater for two evenings, adding moody live scores to several surrealist silent shorts (including Germaine Dulac’s “The Seashell and the Clergyman,” a collaboration with Antonin Artaud). The second night will see Severin premiering a “trance-inducing” new score for Jean Cocteau’s 1930 film “Blood Of A Poet.”

Jan. 13-14, $15 on Jan. 13; $17 on Jan. 14; 8 p.m., Cinefamily at Silent Movie Theater, 611 N Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 655-2510
 

Cross posting this from Brand X

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment