In my ongoing quest to see, hear, touch and drink beer with music from the inside, I wanted to share with you something that my dear friend Martin McCarrick just shared with me. Martin’s a current member of The McCarricks and besides being a former member of the band Therapy?, and musician with This Mortal Coil, Throwing Muses, Gary Numan and countless others, Martin spent years as a member of Siouxsie and the Banshees.
On Monday night in London, Siouxsie performed at the Royal Festival Hall as part of the Yoko Ono-curated Meltdown Festival. And Martin was in attendance. So what’s it like for a band member to review (and rejoice) in the current work of a former bandmate as she performs an old album he didn’t work on? This. This is what it’s like. And it’s rather quite lovely thing to share the experience through his eyes.
Herewith, Martin McCarrick (formerly of Siouxsie and the Banshees) talking about what it was like to watch Siouxsie perform at Meltdown:
“Monday’s Meltdown was an amazing night. I went with no expectations other than to expect the unexpected – which is exactly how is should be. Having been involved in several Meltdowns I have come to realise that they are a world unto themselves. Those who see the shows get something very special and unique, and those involved come away unable to sleep for weeks and with a strange magnetic pull towards London’s Southbank that just won’t go away.
Viv Albertine ( The Slits) and her band were a delight. Punky, energetic, tight and with the right amount (and kind) of aggression, and Viv was hilarious. 25 years away from the music scene (according to her own admission) and I for one am thrilled that she hasn’t turned to Jazz, or Torch Songs like so many others, but kept the edge that we all loved The Slits for. And I was smiling to see my mates Laura Kidd, Emily McGregor in her band.
I was intrigued when I heard that Siouxsie had chosen to highlight Kaleidoscope for her show. I had hoped for A Kiss in the Dreamhouse but as it turned out it was the most brilliant choice – a sonic monster. I always like the record – but I hang my head a little and admit that after Monday night’s performance I realise I have under rated that record, but then again I was a Hyeana fan so my musical taste was already on the esoteric side. Actually I’ll alter my words – it wasn’t a ‘brilliant ‘choice. It was an absolutely fucking massively huge colossal awesome choice and now I’m not sure if Kaleidoscope isn’t simply the best Banshees album ever!
The band stepped up to the occasion and were a perfect backing for Siouxsie. They were dressed in black and in the background but it was Siouxsie who ruled the waves in a white PVC full length Pam Hogg gown. This time around any ‘Ice Queen’ remarks would have been entirely appropriate but I think that was deliberate and rightly so.
I didn’t really miss the signature John McGeoch skeletal guitar sound, which was replaced with something much more forceful, and I didn’t even miss Budgies tribal kit battering. The only thing lacking for me, was the presence of Steven Severin’s bass, and I realised that this is the key – this is the one thing that will never be replicated – not ever! In fact if Severin had walked on stage to play just ONE song I swear the place would have exploded, or imploded, or whatever it is that happens at such monumental happenings, and I would have cried with joy – and I’m not one to be soppy about a band, even one that does play a part in my own musical history.
It was still magical which is why 3 days later I’m still thinking about it. Meltdowns are like that.
I wonder who’s doing next year….” \m/