Siouxsie and the Banshees were a British rock band, formed in London in 1976 by vocalist Siouxsie Sioux and bass guitarist Steven Severin. They have been influential, both over their contemporaries and with acts. Mojo rated guitarist John McGeoch in their list of "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" for his work on "Spellbound"; the Times cited the group as "one of the most audacious and uncompromising musical adventurers of the post-punk era". Associated with the punk scene, the band evolved to create "a form of post-punk discord full of daring rhythmic and sonic experimentation", their debut album The Scream was released in 1978 to critical acclaim. In 1980, they changed their musical direction and became "almost a different band" with Kaleidoscope, which peaked at number 5 in the UK Albums Chart. With Juju which reached the top 10, they became an influence on the emerging gothic scene. In 1988, the band made a breakthrough in North America with the multifaceted album Peepshow, which received critical praise.
With substantial support from alternative rock radio stations, they achieved a mainstream hit in the US in 1991 with the single "Kiss Them for Me". During their career and the Banshees released 11 studio albums and 30 singles; the band experienced several line-up changes, with Siouxsie and Severin being the only constant members. They disbanded in 1996, with Siouxsie and drummer Budgie continuing to record music as the Creatures, a second band they had formed in the early 1980s. In 2004, Siouxsie began a solo career. Siouxsie Sioux and Steven Severin met at a Roxy Music concert in September 1975, at a time when glam rock had faded and there was nothing new coming through with which they could identify. From February 1976, Siouxsie and some friends began to follow an unsigned band, the Sex Pistols. Journalist Caroline Coon dubbed them the "Bromley Contingent", as most of them came from the Bromley region of South London, a label Severin came to despise. "There was no such thing, it was just a bunch of people drawn together by the way they felt and they looked".
They were all inspired by their uncompromising attitude. When they learned that one of the bands scheduled to play the 100 Club Punk Festival, organised by Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren, were pulling out from the bill at the last minute, Siouxsie suggested that she and Severin play though they had no band name or additional members. Two days the pair appeared at the festival held in London on 20 September 1976. With two borrowed musicians at their side, Marco Pirroni on guitar and John Simon Ritchie on drums, their set consisted of a 20-minute improvisation based on "The Lord's Prayer". While the band intended to split up after the gig, they were asked to play again. Two months Siouxsie and Severin recruited drummer Kenny Morris and guitarist Peter Fenton. After playing several gigs in early 1977, they realised that Fenton did not fit in because he was "a real rock guitarist". John McKay took his place in July, their first live appearance on television took place in November on Manchester's Granada, on Tony Wilson's TV show So It Goes.
They recorded their first John Peel session for BBC radio and appeared on the front cover of UK weekly Sounds magazine the following month. While the band sold out venues in London in early 1978, they still had problems getting the right recording contract that could give them "complete artistic control". Polydor offered this guarantee and signed them in June, their first single, "Hong Kong Garden", featuring a xylophone motif, reached the top 10 in the UK shortly after. A NME review hailed it as "a bright, vivid narrative, something like snapshots from the window of a speeding Japanese train, power charged by the most original, intoxicating guitar playing I heard in a long, long time"; the band released their debut album, The Scream, in November 1978. Nick Kent of NME said of the record: "The band sounds like some unique hybrid of the Velvet Underground mated with much of the ingenuity of Tago Mago-era Can, if any parallel can be drawn". At the end of the article, he added this remark: "Certainly, the traditional three-piece sound has never been used in a more unorthodox fashion with such stunning results".
The Banshees' second album, Join Hands, was released in 1979. In Melody Maker, Jon Savage described "Poppy Day" as "a short, powerful evocation of the Great War graveyards", Record Mirror described the whole record as a dangerous work that "should be heard"; the Banshees embarked on a major tour to promote the album. A few dates into the tour in September, Morris and McKay left an in-store signing after an argument and quit the band. In need of replacements to fulfill tour dates, the Banshees' manager called drummer Budgie with the Slits, asked him to audition. Budgie was hired. Robert Smith of the Cure offered his services in case they could not find a guitarist, so the band held him to it after seeing too many "rock virtuosos"; the tour resumed in September and after the last concert, Smith returned to the Cure. Drummer Budgie became a permanent member, the band entered the studios to record the single "Happy House" with guitarist John McGeoch of Magazine, their third album, released in 1980, saw the Banshees exploring new musical territories with the use of other instruments like synthesizers and drum machines.
The group had a concept of making each song sound different, without regard to whether or not the material could be performed in concert. Melody Maker described the result as "a kaleidoscope of sound and imagery, new forms, an
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Edward Strachey, 1st Baron Strachie PC, known as Sir Edward Strachey, Bt, between 1901 and 1911, was a British Liberal politician. He was a member of the Liberal administrations of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith between 1905 and 1915. Strachey was the eldest son of Sir Edward Strachey, 3rd Baronet, Mary Isabella. John Strachey and Henry Strachey, were his younger brothers and the Labour politician John Strachey his nephew. Strachey was returned to Parliament for Somerset South at the 1892 general election, a seat he held until 1911, served under Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman and H. H. Asquith as Treasurer of the Household from 1905 to 1909 and under Asquith as Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries from 1909 to 1911; the latter year he was raised to the peerage as Baron Strachie, of Sutton Court in the County of Somerset. In 1912 he was admitted to the Privy Council and appointed Paymaster-General, a post he held until 1915. However, he not offered a ministerial post when the 1915 coalition government was formed, never returned to political office.
Lord Strachie married Constance, daughter of Charles Bampfylde Braham, in 1880. He died in July 1936, aged 77, was succeeded in his titles by his son Edward. Lady Strachie only survived her husband by a few months and died in December 1936. Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Edward Strachey Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Lord Strachie Portraits of Lord Strachie at the National Portrait Gallery, London