Thursday, 6 November 2014

Dabbling in 'Muso' music journalism

Polydor have, over the past six months or so, been re-releasing a number of Siouxsie and the Banshees albums.

I remember getting an email alert a while back when 1986's Tinderbox got its re-issue, but I didn't feel strongly enough to pitch a review of it to anyone.

But on October 13 the bands final four albums, Through The Looking Glass, Peepshow, Superstition, and The Rapture were reissued, with extra tracks, and I thought it would be a nice task to write a long, detailed, 'muso' type review about the four Banshees albums that are, I think, probably the least written about and lionised.

I suspect my interest in those four albums reflects my age, and the fact that I discovered the Banshees late into their career. I don't have the same emotional attachment to, say, The Scream, than I perhaps would have had if I'd been alive when it was released. As it is, I prefer the 1977-1978 Peel Sessions versions of many of those songs, probably because I encountered those versions of the songs, and came to love those versions, first. It probably helped that the 1977-1978 Peel Sessions LP was My First Punk Record.

I don't really do long, detailed 'muso' reviews of albums. There are a number of reasons for this, including never really having been given the opportunity to write them, but also not really having the technical vocabulary to do it convincingly and rarely getting the opportunity to write about a band that I'm passionate enough about to be geeky enough on the tiny details to do it. For various reasons, I'm just not that kind of music journalist.

So I quite enjoyed getting the opportunity, via Holly Combe at The F-Word, to dabble in that kind of music journalism. Doing it for a feminist website also makes it a more interesting task, and it also means that if I don't quite carry off the muso-ness sufficiently that it doesn't matter as much as it would were I writing a A4 sized featured review for, say, Mojo. (Which would never happen....)

It was interesting to re-listen to the four albums again, as it made me realise how initial reactions and responses to music can change, as well as how specific songs that you hear at specific times can still jolt you back to the time you first heard them, even years later.

I really enjoyed writing the piece, and listening to the albums, and hopefully that comes across.