Sioux Influential: The Effect of Siouxsie Sioux

Amid strange childhood circumstances, including her father extracting venom from snakes as part of his job and enduring a sexual assault that was ignored by her parents, Susan Ballion rose from the ashes of adversity to become Siouxsie Sioux. Like so many British musicians of her time, Sioux felt the pull toward music largely due to David Bowie. During the summer of 1972, Sioux was recovering from the death of her father and an operation for ulcerative colitis. While laid up, she caught Bowie’s performance on Top of the Pops. A life change ensued.

Goth chic
Goth chic
In true female style icon form, Sioux tended to frequent gay clubs in her teens, right around the time she had dropped out of high school. Her fashionable flair blended right in with the underground club scene, and she soon became a recognizable figure within the circuit. When a friend of hers, future band mate Steven Severin, told her about a band named The Sex Pistols, Sioux became intrigued. The two began following the band obsessively, and formed part of a group of fans referred to as the Bromley Contingent.
Channeling Robert Smith
Channeling Robert Smith
By 1976, Severin and Sioux had formed their band. Unlike so many personae before her, it seemed the Sioux needed no cultivation or fine-tuning. Even other British acts in the same vein–including The Smiths and Echo and the Bunnymen–needed to convince the critics of their worthiness for a time. Siouxsie and the Banshees’ debut album, The Scream, came out in 1978 and led with the single, “Hong Kong Garden.” The gothic/baroque undertones of the British music scene in the late 70s and early 80s were thus firmly established.
Japanese steez
Japanese steez
Although Sioux went on to perform under The Creatures moniker in 1983, and would eventually favor this band more heavily, the lasting effect of Siouxsie and the Banshees has continued to resound across decades and generations. Not to mention the makeup tutorials that have been created as a result of their existence.