February 13, 1995 12:00 PM

>Siouxsie Sioux

A GOTHIC ROMANCE

IN 1976, WHEN SIOUXSIE AND THE BANshees made their debut in London’s 100 Club Punk Festival, the band’s one-tune set—a spooky recitation of “The Lord’s Prayer” that lasted longer than most sermons—left even the most jaded punkers in the audience scratching their mohawks. So did the group’s name. “We had seen a [1970] Vincent Price film called Cry of the Banshee,” says Siouxsie Sioux (née Susan Dallion), now 37, “and we just liked the word ‘banshee.’ I thought it was a great word.” As for the unusual spelling of her own moniker, “I was always on the Indians’ side in westerns. I thought the cowboys were extremely suspicious, even without knowing the historical genocide that went on.”

By the time punk’s first wave had washed out in the early ’80s, Siouxsie and her Banshees had established themselves as classic Goth-rockers who actually looked and sounded like something out of Cry of the Banshee. Their latest Gothicisms sprang from songwriting sessions at the dining room table in Siouxsie’s chateau outside of Toulouse, France, where the former Londoner has lived for nearly three years with her husband of four years, Budgie, the Banshees’ drummer. “Budgie joined the band in 1979,” she says, “but it was a few years before we started to notice each other.” They’ve since perfected a no-cuddling-on-the-clock strategy for working together. “When we’re working, we tend to become strangers,” Siouxsie explains. “And when it’s over, we kind of notice each other again.”

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