“Playground Twist”

SIOUXSIE & THE BANSHEES – “Playground Twist” / “Pull To Bits” (Polydor POSP 59) June 1979

Siouxsie & the Banshees “Playground Twist” – With each successive release, these misguided souls seem to be regressing back into the casualty ward that houses late-’60s brain-damaged cases.

They must be on a macrobiotic diet – or something. I haven’t got a clue what this is all about; it’s just tuneless waves of sound that could be emanating from synthesizers, guitars or fluff on a stylus, within which a distant Siouxsie appears to be auditioning for the part of Second Witch in Macbeth.

I will pass no comment on the fact that their publishing is called Pure Noise. (Smash Hits)

The unique sounding and loner type Banshees served up the song ’Playground Twist’ in the Summer of ’79 tackling the subject of child cruelty and looking at life in general as a playground. This completely uncommercial single crept into the Top 30 which was a good achievement bearing in mind that daytime radio wouldn’t have touched this at all.

The record was housed in a picture sleeve drawn by a handicapped kid from Kuwait. Another bold move by The Banshees who despised the record industry and refused to ’play along’ with their rules. (EXPO67)

If Ingmar Bergman produced records, they might sound like this remarkable performance which terrifyingly creates a mood of uncontrollable child madness. The listener is immediately engulfed in a maelstrom of whirling sound frequently punctuated by the ominous tolling of church bells, phased guitars, thundering percussion, a surreal alto sax and the wall of Siouxsie’s voice.

It’s a record that demands to be repeatedly played (preferably on cans to get full effect) at threshold-of-pain volume to illicit the nightmarish quality of the experience. (NME)

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