Live Music + Gig Reviews

Siouxsie @ The Halls, Wolverhampton

21 June 2023


Kicking off a comeback tour after a decade away with haunting melodies, poetic lyricism and her bewitching persona, this night was a testament to her unwavering impact on alternative culture

Siouxsie

Siouxsie, live at The Halls, Wolverhampton (Photo: Jodi Cunningham)

On a Wednesday night, in the dour post-industrial wasteland of Wolverhampton City Centre, something truly magical happened. Siouxsie, the iconic frontwoman of Siouxsie And The Banshees, graced the stage once again – her first time in the UK in over a decade – and kicked off her triumphant comeback tour with a truly unforgettable set. The experience was a rare glimpse into a realm many thought they would never witness again, and a testament to the enduring legacy of a musical deity who forever altered the tapestry of alternative culture.

Since emerging from the ashes of punk in the late 1970s, Siouxsie Sioux has been an enigmatic force, a dark priestess of sorts, whose mesmerising voice and magnetic stage presence have woven sonic spells upon countless listeners. With her band, The Banshees, she became the face of a new era, spearheading the rise of post-punk and gothic rock. Siouxsie’s haunting melodies, poetic lyricism, and bewitching persona cast a spell that transcended music, defining an entire generation and leaving an indelible mark upon the collective consciousness. This isn’t just your average ordinary rock singer, folks. 

From the moment she started with Night Shift (from the album Juju, which many consider her finest work), the audience was captivated by the intense energy radiating from the stage. After telling us that she wanted to dedicate that song, and the entire show, to her brother – who apparently was a huge Wolverhampton Wanderers fan – Siouxsie and her band (sadly not named by the end of the show) effortlessly navigated through a setlist that covered her illustrious career, featuring both her solo work and beloved Siouxsie And The Banshees classics. 

The mesmerising melodies of Arabian Knights (another of the selections from Juju) transported the crowd to a captivating sonic landscape, while the empowering anthem Here Comes That Day from her solo album Mantaray got a smattering of polite applause. She then kicked it up a gear with the inclusion of Kiss Them For Me – and alt-rock classic by any definition – and that brought infectious energy, with its saccharine hooks and irresistible groove.

One of the standout moments of the night was her cover of The Beatles‘ Dear Prudence. Her interpretation has always found a way to breathe new life into a timeless classic, and it was no different here. Then came another certified banger, Cities In Dust, which went down as the most enthusiastically sung and applauded tune of the night up until that point. The thunderous atmosphere of Christine (from Kaleidoscope) reminded everyone of Siouxsie’s ability to create haunting musical landscapes, but the biggest cheer of the night went up for Happy House (from the same album), which had everyone dancing and singing along.

Throughout the show, Siouxsie’s stage presence was commanding and enigmatic. She effortlessly connected with the audience, conveying the depth and emotion of each song with unwavering passion. The band’s tight musicianship and dynamic performance enhanced the experience, creating a contagious energy that swept the crowd into a collective state of euphoria. The encores brought even more contagion, as the band unleashed the fierce and hypnotic Switch from the album The Scream (of which more would’ve been welcome), followed by the timeless classic Spellbound. For a second encore, Siouxsie delivered a captivating performance of Hong Kong Garden before concluding the night with Israel. Perfection. 

The night will be etched in the memories of all who were fortunate enough to be present, a cherished testament to the indelible mark Siouxsie has left on alternative culture. Her return to the stage was a momentous occasion, reaffirming her status as a pioneer and cementing her legacy as a true icon of the genre. Siouxsie’s return was a triumph: an exquisite showcase of her talent, artistry, and indomitable spirit. The night will forever be etched in the minds of those in attendance, and will remain a testament to Siouxsie’s unwavering impact on alternative culture. Her legacy as a true deity of the genre remains unshakable, and her return to the stage is a cause for celebration for all who have been touched by her music.


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More on Siouxsie Sioux
Siouxsie @ The Halls, Wolverhampton
Siouxsie @ Royal Festival Hall, London
Siouxsie Sioux @ Electric Ballroom, London
Siouxsie Sioux @ Eiffel Tower, Paris
Siouxsie – Mantaray