Budgie (musician)

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Budgie in Oakland, California - June 1986
Background information
Birth name Peter Edward Clarke
Also known as Blister, Budgie
Born (1957-08-21) 21 August 1957 (age 57)
Origin St Helens, Lancashire, England
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Percussion, drums, guitars, keyboards
Labels Geffen, Polydor, Sioux
Associated acts Big in Japan, The Spitfire Boys, The Slits, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Creatures
Website Official site

Peter Edward Clarke, (born 21 August 1957, in St Helens, Lancashire), better known as Budgie, is an English drummer. His first recording was with The Slits in 1979. He then became the drummer of the influential band Siouxsie and the Banshees (1979–1996) and its side project The Creatures (1981–2004). Budgie has also collaborated with other musicians including John Cale and Leonard Eto (formerly of the Kodo Drummers).

In 2013, Spin rated him at No. 28 in their list of "The 100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music",[1] writing: "Post-punk introduced a lot of amazing drummers, but none more influential than Budgie. With the Banshees, Budgie didn't just play rhythms — he played hooks and leads, brilliant parts that set the songs on fire. His tom-tom-intensive approach, [was] enlightened by his awareness of world music".[1] Spin considered his "most booming moment" to be "Into the Light," from 1981's Juju, saying: "Budgie drums up a marvel of kinetic syncopation and invention".[1]

Budgie was hailed in 2013 by peer Stewart Copeland of The Police as one of the 16 most interesting drummers. Copeland described Budgie's playing as "very economical and offbeat". "Budgie didn’t play your standard hi-hat-kick-snare; there were a lot of tom-toms and a big throb."[2] Ari Up of The Slits praised him as "a very sensitive drummer".[3] NME named Budgie the best drummer of 1983.[4]

Early life[edit]

Budgie spent his childhood in Liverpool. He later became an art student, but in 1976 he gave up school to become a musician.


He debuted as a drummer with The Spitfire Boys and Big in Japan before playing with The Slits on the 1979 album Cut. Years later in 2010, The Slits's singer Ari Up commented:

In September 1979, he joined Siouxsie and the Banshees on their Join Hands tour. Initially he was intended to be a temporary replacement for Kenny Morris, who had left the band two days into a tour, but Budgie remained with the group. He first performed on the album Kaleidoscope, and shortly after, became a permanent member of the band until they split up in 1996.[5][6][7] He released nine studio albums with the Banshees.

In 1981, he formed a second group with Siouxsie Sioux named The Creatures. Their music was based on drums, including percussion, marimba and vibraphone. The Wild Things 1981 EP and 1983's full-length Feast were their first releases.

On subsequent Creatures albums, Budgie also played keyboards, guitars, and harmonica. He co-wrote brass arrangements with Peter Thoms on 1983 single "Right Now" and 1989's Boomerang.[8] Budgie married Siouxsie in May 1991.

In August 2002, Budgie first collaborated with Japanese taiko player Eto (formerly of the Kodo Drummers), recording drums in a Tokyo studio for the fourth Creatures album. Hai! was issued the following year.

After recording four studio albums as The Creatures, Budgie's final performance with Siouxsie, (featuring Eto and the Millenia Ensemble), was filmed in 2004 at the Royal Festival Hall in London for the DVD Dreamshow. This was Budgie's last concert and collaboration with Siouxsie. In 2007, the duo publicly announced their divorce.

Outside the Banshees and Creatures, the drummer also worked with Indigo Girls in 1992 on Rites of Passage, and briefly toured with them in the USA at the end of that year.

Budgie later played drums for former The Velvet Underground member John Cale during his summer 1998 US tour on a double bill with The Creatures. Budgie played two sets each night, one with Cale and one with The Creatures.

In 2009, Budgie toured Europe with Juno Reactor. Later that year, he also recorded drums for Jessie Evans's Is It Fire? album.

In 2010, Budgie teamed up with two other drummers, Eto and Mabi, plus multi-instrumentalist Knox Chandler and guitarist Sugizo, for a program called "The Butterfly Effect: East-West Percussive Parade." It was described as a "drumming extravaganza, featuring Western kit, Japanese taiko and African drums, that will launch the musicians into a new sonic galaxy!".[9] The programme's world première took place in Hong Kong in November 2010 as part of the New Vision Arts Festival. "The Butterfly Effect" featured improvised solos and ensemble works as well as new pieces and arrangements specially created for the festival, inspired by the pace, rhythm and character of Hong Kong.[10]

In 2012, Budgie served as the drummer for Efterklang on their worldwide tour.[11] They were accompanied by an orchestra. The premiere at the Opera House in Sydney was praised by Time Out.[12] His last concert with Efterklang took place in Brussels in November.[13] A live album, recorded in Copenhagen, was later issued.[14]

In 2013, Budgie and Eto performed live material from Hai! in Tokyo, 11 years after conceiving the drum parts in that city. The concert took place at the Studio Coast as part of Juno Reactor's set.[15]


  1. ^ a b c Azerrad, Michael (21 May 2013). "The 100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music: N°28 Budgie of Siouxsie And The Banshees". Spin.com. Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  2. ^ Bosso, Joe (24 June 2013). "Stewart Copeland picks 16 fun drum albums". Retrieved 2014-01-21. 
  3. ^ a b Macia, Peter (21 October 2010). "Interview With Ari Up from the Siouxsie Sioux/Shabba Ranks Icon Issue". Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "NME awards history 1983". NME. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  5. ^ Ankeny, Jason. Siouxsie and the Banshees biography at Allmusic
  6. ^ Rothman, Robin A. "Siouxsie Takes NYC Back in Time", Rolling Stone, 22 April 2002
  7. ^ Budofsky, Adam. Budgie interview, Modern Drummer, September 1990
  8. ^ The Bestiary of the Creatures (booklet - cd 1997). Polydor
  9. ^ The Butterfly Effect: East-West Percussive Parade newvisionfestival.gov.hk. Retrieved 6.09.2010
  10. ^ Budgie - Butterfly Effect on YouTube The Video. Live Excerpt. November 2010. Hong Kong. New Visions Festival
  11. ^ Budgie of Siouxsie & The Banshees joins Efterklang for fall orchestral dates in Europe. slicingupeyeballs.com. 6 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012
  12. ^ Efterklang The Danes make an art-music splash with the SSO. Time Out. Retrieved 27 June 2012
  13. ^ "We’re Looking for...". efterklang.net. Retrieved 27 August 2012
  14. ^ "The Piramida Concert". 10 June 2013. Retrieved 2 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Leonard Eto & Budgie ~ Juno Reactor Japan Tour 2013" on YouTube. August 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014

External links[edit]