Siouxsie and the Banshees – “Peek-A-Boo”: A Creeping Up The Backstairs Post-Punk Three-Way
Siouxsie and the Banshees are available on iTunes.
by Walter Price
Back in the 20th Century year of 1988, you were knee-deep into flying solo in your blacked-out garb. priding yourself with filling your ears with solo-Morrissey, Nick Cave, Throwing Muses, and Peter Murphy. But, at the time, you pretended that you and only you knew about the fresh new album from post-punk legends Siouxsie and the Banshees, ‘Peepshow’.
And the band’s song from that album that pricked up your soul was a reverse sample heavy ditty called “Peek-A-Boo. Recorded with a new-ish and unique process, producer Mike Hedges was quoted from The Word says, ” It all started a year or so before when the Banshees made an album of cover versions called Through The Looking Glass. On that album they’d recorded a version of a John Cale song called ‘Gun,’ and when we were recording it I turned it over, which you can do on analog tape, and it sounded amazing. We recorded forward drums over the backwards track, crunchy and loopy, kind of hip-hoppy. Then we added accordion and bass, although there’s only one piece of bass on the entire track. It was all very quick. From turning the tape over it probably took the best part of a day and a half to finish the song.
“Siouxsie always came up with ideas very fast, and once the backing track was done she created the melody and lyrics incredibly quickly. She’s very spontaneous. So Peek A Boo was originally a John Cale song! It was one of the most experimental things I did at the time that actually worked. The Banshees were very, very experimental, and at that time in the music business, you could be experimental. There was no pressure to do anything in a straight style, which isn’t really the case anymore.”
That’s very interesting and all, but what is this darn song about you’ve pondered all these years. Well, our vocal hero here, Siouxsie Sioux has been credited for explaining the track’s message, “(it’s) the way that women are portrayed in our Fascist media.” Girl-power, fighting the grossness.
Reeking like a pigsty
Peeling back and gagging free
Flaccid ego in your hand
Chokes on dry tears, can you understand?
She’s jeering at the shadows
Sneering behind a smile
Lunge and thrust to pout and pucker
Into the face of the beguiled
But regardless of this great information or perhaps due to it, many music artists, as you and I have held this song near and dear. But you and I have never recorded our very own versions of this 80’s classic. Thank the dark goodness we have these three fine “Peek-A-Boo” covers.
The Box Brothers
Siouxsie And The Banshees
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