Monday, November 25, 2013

Siouxsie and the Banshees - Nocturne

Today (November 25th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Nocturne, the first live album from Siouxsie and the Banshees. Taken from the shows at the Royal Albert Hall on September 30th and October 1st of 1983, this double-disk release charted at number 35 in New Zealand and number 29 in the UK; it achieved silver sales status in the UK also. Robert Smith (of the Cure) played guitar with the band for these shows.

The concert focused mostly on the group’s prior two albums: 1981’s Juju and 1982’s A Kiss In the Dreamhouse (click here for the review of the latter).

Side one includes a dramatic orchestral intro followed by "Israel", their cover of the Beatles song “Dear Prudence", "Paradise Place" (with Siouxsie on guitar), and "Melt!"

Side two has "Cascade", "Pulled to Bits", "Night Shift" and "Sin in My Heart" (again with Siouxsie on guitar).

Side three features "Slowdrive", "Painted Bird", "Happy House" and "Switch".

Side four finishes up with "Spellbound", another Beatles cover with "Helter Skelter", "Eve White / Eve Black" and "Voodoo Dolly".

It is kind of interesting that both the Beatles covers come from 1968’s The White Album. Looking at the birthdates of the band members, they all were around ten or eleven when that album came out. An early influence on them perhaps? Very likely.

I have to admit that I actually prefer the live recordings from Siouxsie and the Banshees over some of their studio albums. The latter occasionally comes across as cluttered cacophony, but here they are straight-forward alternative-rock tunes. I get a better feel for the songs from this clean, sharp concert recording.

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