Siouxsie and the Banshees The Seven Year Itch Live

I’ve never seen Siouxsie and the Banshees live, and if this release paints a true picture of their sound on stage, I don’t intend to. So string me up by my own dangling crucifix, I’m just being honest. The High Priestess of Gothdom has seemingly forgotten how to carry a tune throughout the 14 songs, leading us to think she couldn’t well hear herself and it must’ve been the stupid sound guy’s fault. Whatever the case, the good thing is that the songs chosen don’t play out like a same old greatest hits release. The band goes way back to their 1978 debut Scream when "Batcave” punk was the (dis)order of the day and span their lengthy career, with a focus on the more early obscurities that even the spookiest might not know by heart. By several songs in, Ms. Sioux works out her vocal issues to the extent that she’s slightly less debasing, but her wavering tunefulness comes and goes. The London crowd cheers on and seems not to mind, especially after an electrified remix of the classic "Peek-a-boo.” Now her Banshees, on the other hand, couldn’t sound any tighter. Almost the original cast, with guest guitarist Knox Chandler from the Psychedelic Furs, keep the sound authentic with the crunchy guitars and fat, minor key bass lines. Maybe not the best return after a seven year hiatus, but it is Siouxsie and we love her after all. (Sanctuary)