The Creatures

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The Creatures
Siouxsie Creatures PromoPhototwo 1989.jpg
The Creatures in 1989. Left to right:
Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres Alternative, exotica, art rock
Years active 1981–2005
Labels Polydor, Geffen, Sioux Records, Instinct Records
Associated acts Siouxsie and the Banshees
Website Official site
Members Siouxsie Sioux
Budgie

The Creatures were a band formed in 1981 by Siouxsie and the Banshees members Siouxsie Sioux and Budgie. With the dissolution of Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1996, the Creatures graduated from an occasional project to a full-time concern. The drum and voice duo released four studio albums: Feast in 1983, Boomerang in 1989, Anima Animus in 1999 and Hái! in 2003.

With Feast, the band dabbled in exotica.[1] On Boomerang, they added a Spanish-tinged vibe to their music, with elements of flamenco, blues and jazz.[2] In the late 1990s, they developed a more urban sound; The Times then described their music as "adventurous art rock built around Siouxsie's extraordinary voice and drummer Budgie's battery of percussion".[3] In their last work, they returned to their roots while heading east, with an ode to Japanese minimalism. They disbanded in 2005.

Their music was hailed by Jeff Buckley[4] and PJ Harvey.[5]

Wild Things era (1981)[edit]

Singer Siouxsie Sioux and drummer Budgie created the Creatures in 1981 while recording the Banshees' Juju album. During one session, they discovered by accident that the combination of just voice and drums suited the track "But Not Them". A studio session was organized with the aim of recording five songs. This project was released in the form of an EP titled Wild Things. The title track was a reworking of a hit by the Troggs; the other numbers were Creatures compositions. The EP reached No. 24 in the UK Singles chart and the pair performed "Mad-Eyed Screamer" on Top of the Pops.

Feast era (1983)[edit]

In 1983, the Creatures released their first full-length album, Feast. The band decided where to record the album by randomly placing a pin on a map of the world. The result was Hawaii, which led to the Lamalani Hula Academy Hawaiian Chanters being featured on some tracks. Musically, the album was steeped in exotica and tropical backdrops.[1] During the week of its release, the band were on the front cover of both Melody Maker and NME.[6][7] Melody Maker described Feast as "an album of filtered brilliance, fertile, sensual and erotic",[8] while NME said, "The humours of Sioux's frosty larynx are nakedly outlined against skins of sometimes fabulous quality".[9] The album reached No. 17 in the UK Albums Chart. The hit single "Miss the Girl" took its inspiration from the book Crash by J. G. Ballard. Shortly after its exit from the charts, a follow-up, "Right Now", was recorded, a song that was initially performed by Mel Tormé. The Creatures revamped it by adding a brass section, and it became their most successful single, reaching the top 15.

Boomerang era (1989-1990)[edit]

The Creatures came back six years later. Siouxsie and Budgie went to a stone barn in Jerez, Andalucia, Spain to record Boomerang. Brass arrangements were used on some tracks and Anton Corbijn took colour pictures for the sleeve. The record was critically acclaimed[10] and widely regarded as Siouxsie and Budgie's crowning achievement as the Creatures. NME wrote: "It's a rich and unsettling landscape of exotica".[11] One of the bluesier songs on Boomerang, "Killing Time", was later covered live by Jeff Buckley.[12][13] In late 1989, the Creatures made their live debut appearance on U.K television and went on tour shortly after for the first time, visiting Europe and North America. In 2012, the jazzy song "You!" would be used by two dancers in the US TV show So You Think You Can Dance.[14]

Collaboration with John Cale and Eraser Cut EP (1996-1998)[edit]

When Siouxsie and the Banshees ended in 1996, the Creatures had already begun composing new material. At the same time, the long-out-of-print Wild Things EP and Feast album were remastered and re-released through the compilation A Bestiary Of.

In February 1998, former Velvet Underground member John Cale, then organizing the "With a Little Help from My Friends" festival at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, contacted the Creatures for a collaboration. The concert, shown on Dutch national television, featured a unreleased Creatures song, "Murdering Mouth", composed for the event and sung in duet with Cale.[15] That night, the Creatures also premiered a live orchestra version of "I Was Me". From June to August, the pair toured North America as a double bill with Cale, playing yet unreleased material.

During that period, Siouxsie and Budgie created their own label, Sioux Records, and became an independent act. A stand-alone single, "Sad Cunt", was offered to attendees of two warm-up concerts in London in May prior to the North American tour.[16] An EP, Eraser Cut (an anagram of the Creatures), then came out in July; Time Out described the songs as "short, sharp, percussive and infectiously atmospheric".[17] In October, they promoted the single "2nd Floor" with a video shot in black and white.

Anima Animus era (1999-2002)[edit]

Early in 1999, the Creatures released Anima Animus, their first studio album in just under a decade. Its urban sound was an important departure from Boomerang's very organic atmosphere. The Times wrote: "It's entrancing, hypnotic and inventive",[18] and peer PJ Harvey later selected Anima Animus in her 10 favourite albums released in 1999.[19] Other singles from the album were "Say" (dedicated to Billy Mackenzie) and "Prettiest Thing". The song "Another Planet" was included on the soundtrack to the film Lost in Space in a version radically reworked by Juno Reactor. Live albums Zulu (recorded in London in 1998) and Sequins in the Sun (recorded at Glastonbury in 1999) were released on limited editions via the Creatures website.

In June, the Creatures appeared on Marc Almond's Open All Night; Siouxsie duetted with Almond and Budgie added percussion on the track "Threat of Love". In late 1999, the remix album Hybrids was issued, featuring remixes by other acts including the Beloved.

In 2000, a compilation of unreleased Anima Animus-era tracks was released as U.S. Retrace. It featured the B-side "All She Could Ask For", which was the opening number for all their concerts during that period. Three one-track CDs (a live "Murdering Mouth", "Rocket Ship" and "Red Wrapping Paper") were distributed to fan club members.

Hái! era (2003-2004)[edit]

Siouxsie and Budgie returned with a full-length album, Hái!, in 2003. The drum sessions were recorded in Japan less than 24 hours after the Banshees had completed their Seven Year Itch reunion tour. Budgie first worked with the Japanese taiko drummer Leonard Eto (previously of the Kodo Drummers), with their spontaneous drum duet forming the basis of the album. The rest of the sessions were done in France over a period of several months. The single "Godzilla!" was described as "spookily brilliant" by NME,[20] and reviews were favourable for Hái!.[21][22] The opening track "Say Yes" was used during trailers for the 2004 season of The Sopranos.[23][24][25]

That same year, Siouxsie was asked to be the guest vocalist and lyricist on the Basement Jaxx's track "Cish Cash". It was included on their album Kish Kash, which won Best Electronic/Dance Album at the 47th Grammy Awards.[26]

In 2004, Siouxsie toured for the first time billed as a solo act, but with Budgie still as drummer and musical arranger. The setlists combined Banshees and Creatures songs. A live DVD called Dreamshow documented the last London concert of September 2004 performed with the Millennia Ensemble. Released in August 2005, this DVD reached No. 1 in the UK music DVD charts.[27]

Dreamshow was the last release by the pair, as Siouxsie announced publicly during a 2007 interview with The Sunday Times that she and Budgie had divorced.[28] Their musical partnership was discontinued for the foreseeable future and the Creatures were disbanded.

Siouxsie celebrated her 50th birthday in May 2007, and released the first solo album of her career, Mantaray, in October 2007, to critical acclaim.[29]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Raggett, Ned. "Feast - review". Allmusic. Retrieved 10-8-2015
  2. ^ Ned Raggett. "Boomerang – The Creatures". AllMusic. AllRovi. Retrieved 3 May 2013. 
  3. ^ Williamson, Nigel. "Siouxsie". The Times — Metro. 10 October 1998
  4. ^ Untiedundone.com archives Jeff Buckley covered "Killing Time" at the radio WFMU Studios, East Orange, NJ, 10.11.92. "Killing Time" is a Siouxsie's song from the Creatures' Boomerang album. Buckley also performed it for his first major gig in London at The Astoria in January 1995.
  5. ^ "7th January 2000 PJ selects her Top 10 Albums of 1999" Pjharvey.net. 7 January 2000. Featuring The Creatures aka Siouxsie and Budgie with the LP Anima Animus.
  6. ^ "Once A Fakir Always a Fakir". NME. 10 May 1983. Creatures on the front cover, full page.
  7. ^ "The Creatures Siouxsie & Budgie". Melody Maker. 10 May 1983. Creatures on the front cover, full page
  8. ^ Sutherland, Steve. "Dancing on Glass". Melody Maker. 14 May 1983
  9. ^ Cook, Richard. "All Creatures Great And Small". NME. 14 May 1983.
  10. ^ Reynolds, Simon. Boomerang review. Melody Maker. 11 November 1989. "'Boomerang' abounds with scarcely anticipated brilliance".
  11. ^ Morton, Roger. "Peek-A-Boom" [Boomerang review]. NME. 11 November 1989
  12. ^ Untiedundone.com archives Jeff Buckley covered "Killing Time" at the radio WFMU Studios, East Orange, NJ, 10.11.92. "Killing Time" is a Siouxsie's song from The Creatures's Boomerang album. Buckley also performed it for his first major gig in London at The Astoria in January 1995.
  13. ^ Jeffbuckley-fr.net list of songs covered by jeff buckley
  14. ^ "So You Think You Can Dance, Week 3 (July 25, 2012)". Fox.com. Retrieved 29-7-12
  15. ^ Siouxsie and John Cale. "Murdering Mouth". Amsterdam, Paradiso (With the Metropole Orchestra). 25 February 1998
  16. ^ "Sad Cunt (references)". Thecreatures.com. Retrieved 3 August 2016. 
  17. ^ Mulholland, Gary. "A girl named Sioux". Time Out. 26 September 1998.
  18. ^ "Anima Animus" review. The Times. 2 February 1999.
  19. ^ "7th January 2000 PJ selects her Top 10 Albums of 1999" Pjharvey.net. 7 January 2000. Featuring The Creatures aka Siouxsie and Budgie with the LP Anima Animus.
  20. ^ The Creatures Godzilla NME comment
  21. ^ Watts, Peter. Hái! review. Time out. November 2003. "It's a virile, sultry salute to lust and bondage, and will cure anybody of their hangover. A spine-tingling achievement."
  22. ^ Paytress, Mark. Hái! review. Mojo. November 2003. "Guaranteed to re-ignite the enthusiasm of lapsed Banshees devotees, it'll likely prompt more than a few disbelievers to take note, too. Those big, Bonham-like beats are Sumo-sized headlocks. But Hái! boasts more than a few moments of jasmine-scented intimacy, where Sioux's inimitable Banshee yelp does daintily nuanced dances to Budgie's intricate marimba manipulations. A robust return".
  23. ^ Sopranos 01.03.04 The Creatures.com. Retrieved 1 August 2012
  24. ^ "Sopranos promo music". TheChaseLounge.net. 24 February 2004. Retrieved 1 August 2012
  25. ^ "The Sopranos". AD Tunes. 5 September 2004. Retrieved 1 August 2012
  26. ^ "47th Annual Grammy Awards Winners". BillBoard. 13 February 2005. Best Electronic/Dance Album : "Kish Kash," Basement Jaxx (XL Recordings/Astralwerks
  27. ^ "Siouxsie Number One in UK Music DVD chart". The Creatures Web Site. 30 August 2005. "Dreamshow" Siouxsie Number One in UK Music DVD Chart
  28. ^ Cairns, Dan.Siouxsie Sioux is back in bloom. The Sunday Times. 26 August 2007
  29. ^ Mantaray reviews - Siouxsie Metacritic.com

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]