When Susan Janet Ballion was fourteen she had just survived the loss of her father and a bout of ulcerative colitis and did not yet know that she would become the star and leading icon of the British goth punk scene of the ‘eighties. Her isolated and introverted adolescence was spent immersed in the sounds of the alternative music of David Bowie, Lou Reed and Bryan Ferry, and laid the foundations for one of the most anguished and mesmerising voices on the gothic scene: that of Siouxsie Sioux.
A rebellious girl, she left school at the age of seventeen to frequent London’s gay discos and the underground musical scene. She began to be known as Siouxsie and became a devoted groupie of the Sex Pistols, who provided the perfect apprenticeship for her future as a star. Her initial artistic steps were taken together with The Banshees. Their first official appearance dates back to the 20th of September 1976 at the 100 Club Punk Festival in London, organised by Malcom McLaren. The group, who at that time did not know how to play any songs, gave a twenty-minute performance based on The Lord’s Prayer, accompanied by improvised music. A sorceress of the night appeared on stage with a voice that was unmistakeably anguished, dark and disquieting, and a stage presence that was aggressive and sombre. Thus, Siouxsie Sioux was born; mysterious and sensual, charismatic and transgressive, brilliant and polished, and destined to become an icon and muse of music and style.
She created a nihilistic and tormented mood and a fashion consisting of clothing and hairstyles with a gothic-romantic allure. Her deathly pallor became famous over time as much as her compelling voice. She became the image of reference for the black-clothed devotees of a dark and desolate style of rock. But credit is due to Siouxsie not only for having contributed to the definition of a clearly defined style, the daughter of anarchic London was able to create a bridge between punk and goth, laying the foundations for a new musical movement that would dominate the ‘eighties with Joy Division, Cure, Bauhaus, Killing Joe and Sisters of Mercy. The first disc to be labelled as goth punk was the one by Siouxsie And The Banshees, The Scream.
Their music is a journey into sinister atmospheres, somewhere between horror and occult mysticism. Songs like Christine, Arabian Knights, Spellbound and Melt! became the score for a scene in continual expansion.
Siouxsie loves to go to ground in the darkest corners of the mind, feeding anxieties, paranoia and alienation. Her sound is alive with pauses and tribal drums, savage songs and crazy guitars. Her vocal style and her references to Krautrock, to the authors of English pre-romanticism and to cinematography, have made her a sacred prodigy of the rock scene for all time. The Arabian phoenix capable of rising from its own ashes, she reinvented a new path after the breakup of the group and dedicated her energies to the project The Creatures, with her husband and drummer, Budgie, and to her career as a soloist, which began in 2007 with the album ManteRey. For this occasion she returned without the dark atmosphere and chose bright colours, dreamlike images and many butterflies to symbolise a process of metamorphosis in constant movement. The metamorphosis of a former rebel girl, now retired to the valleys of the Pyrenees, who has continued to be an icon for over twenty years.