Siouxsie and the Banshees

The Seven Year Itch

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It's fairly safe to say that after the rather bland and lackluster, pompous career-ending album The Rapture, hope for a Siouxsie and the Banshees reunion (albeit live or otherwise) was probably less than enthusiastic. Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie had been making post-breakup waves with the Creatures, and Steven Severin seemed to settle in nicely in his little world of ambient music and erotic poetry. All that Banshees business seemed to be locked away in the past. So when it was announced that the reunited core three of Sioux, Budgie, and Severin would be playing a handful of shows across America and England, it was greeted with surprise and curiosity. What would they do? Was this another big cash in on the punk revival, à la the Sex Pistols reunion? Amazingly, it was quite the contrary. The lack of a huge itinerary made the shows that did happen seem more intimate. But the real treat of the shows (especially the London one, captured on Seven Year Itch and its related DVD release) was the set list. While in the States concessions were made for some of the tunes that made a (surprising) dent on the radio, the U.K. set list was a purist's dream. Culling material from early albums such as Kaleidoscope, The Scream, and Join Hands was not only a way to retain some semblance of respect, but it was the logical thing to do given the fickleness of casual fans who probably wouldn't have made the trek to wherever to see them. This tour and its CD and DVD releases were made for the true fans, the longtime supporters who understood that the true magic of the band was found in its ability to make music that was genuinely interesting and out of the bounds of standard play lists and popular fads. A gem of a live record, Seven Year Itch leaves the listener satisfied that for once a great band got together and opted for class instead of mediocrity.

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