Siouxsie and the Banshees Seven Year Itch Live

In spring of 2002, these goth-punk legends from London took on the world with a tour and a unique vision. They weren’t out to perform the numbers heard one too many times on so many dance floors, or necessarily the ones that landed them their legendary status. The vision of Seven Year Itch, and the inspiration for the tour name itself, was to do something they hadn’t done quite the same way before.

On the night of July 10 at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London, the Banshees entertained their hometown crowd with a show best described as a Banshees history lesson. Some of the old classics like "Happy House" and "Christine" snuck in, but keeping the set list based on the early punk material from their first several albums took the show beyond a greatest hits package and took the audience on an aural history tour. Eighty-seven minutes worth of footage ranks high among concert DVDs in terms of production.

The night gets going with flashing lights, as the always dapper chanteuse and icon Siouxsie Sioux takes the stage in pinstripes, tie and spiky black shag. Her presence is steady throughout the whole show, and while her motion is kept to stage walking and some dancing on the spot, you really can’t take your eyes off of her. Stage banter is limited but the energy of the band is unstoppable. In fact, the whole band is the glue that holds this entire performance together.

To say that Siouxsie herself is in her best vocal shape wouldn’t be quite on the mark. Although she finds her voice about four songs in on "Red Light," the quality of it comes and goes. At best, she’s spot on and suitably theatrical. In rougher spots, she’s flat and painfully scooping the notes. Regardless, the jam-packed crowd seems to be pleased.

Smoky, dark and lit with washes of glowing red and blue, the stage complements the ominous nature of the band, and they appear just as cutting edge as they always have. Although an off night for Siouxise, the band as a whole proves to fans both old and new that they haven’t lost it. Plus: featurettes. (EMI)