Sunday, 5 July 2020

UPGRADE: Siouxsie & The Banshees - Left Bank Club, Mount Vernon, NY, USA - 24.10.1981 (Flac)

Photo. Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

I was asked to re-upload the Gen(1) copy I has obtained on TTD. But in the meantime someone uploaded the transfer from master on Dime, so this is an upgrade. Very Good sound.Thanks to elegymart for sharing this recording.

Original Info File:

FLAC master, 28 April 2020, by elegymart:
Analog audience recording (stereo) {recorded by Mike C, aka Mike the Bike}: unknown mics > possibly Sony TC-D5 series Cassette-Corder > 1980-82 US Maxell UDXLII C90 (Type II CrO2) analog audio cassette master {from the Gene Poole collection} > Sony TC-WE435 (azimuth adjustment) > Roland R05 (24/96) > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 (audio cleanup, convert to 16/44) > SHNtool (fixed SBE) > CD Wave (track splits) > TLH (WAV > FLAC8).
Created this text file.

Total running time  [61:30]
01  Poppy Day [2:38]
02  Halloween [3:51]
03  Spellbound [3:31]
04  Regal Zone [4:02]
05  Placebo Effect [4:15]
06  Arabian Knights [3:18]
07  Switch [6:41]
08  Mirage [2:57]
09  Israel [4:44] 
10  Head Cut [5:16]
11  Eve White/Eve Black [2:58] >
12  Skin [3:56]
13  Happy House [4:15]
14  Hong Kong Garden [5:34]  
-- encore --
15  Love in a Void [3:27]

Band line-up:
Siouxsie Sioux – vocals, tambourine
John McGeoch – electric and acoustic guitar
Steven Severin – bass
Budgie – drums, percussion



Here's the latest installment of the Gene Poole Collection, a random wellspring of recordings which have recently surfaced. To paraphrase Lou: This is gonna go on for a while, so we should get used to each other, settle back, pull up your cushions, whatever else you have with you that makes life bearable in what has already been the start of trying decade...

Some of Gene's handiwork has probably been heard by your very ears before, for the most part via the Stonecutter Archives, but this is the first major unearthing of tapes direct from the legend himself. As promising as that may seem, it's best to let the surprises hit as they are shared. The trade-off to the prolific taping on Gene's part is that the expectations for a perfect track record would be unrealistic and unfair. There will be instances of incomplete recordings, caused by late arrivals to gigs, recorder and mic malfunctions, and other assorted foibles as would befall any mortal taper. There will be times where a master from another source exists which could be superior. For the most part, Gene recorded with a variety of mics and recorders, and many shows suffered from wire dropouts, so that only one channel was extant in the capture. Due warning about the past imperfect given and out of the way, credit should be given where due as well -- for many shows thought lost forever, it's exciting to discover that many of these even in incomplete form have now cropped up.

The transfers, the audio fixes, and the research all have required some lead time -- many tapes had scant info (sometimes just the name of the artist/band, with no date listed for the performance). Needless to say, gear documentation is virtually nil -- if we wait around for that precise detail to be forthcoming, nothing from the collection would probably see the light of day.

We go up a little further north in the Empire State this time for a stop on the North American leg of Siouxsie and the Banshees's tour promoting "Juju." They were the headlining act, and  R.E.M. were the supporting act.

This was shared five years ago as part of Kingrue's transfers of the Stonecutter Collection [Vol 22]. That was from a first gen dub that Stonecutter made from this master. Something to clear up here is that this was not recorded by Gene as it was thought back then, but by Gene's friend Mike the Bike, a Vietnam vet whose day job was with the Mass Transit Authority as a token booth clerk stationed at the 1st Avenue and 14th Street subway in New York City. 

Some of the other well-known recordings Mike made were of R.E.M. at the club Zappa's, which was the night before this one. Per Gene, R.E.M. first met Mike when they played for free at the bandshell in Tompkins Square Park, and they put him on the guestlist for that Brooklyn show and this one in Mount Vernon. Mike lent Gene his master to dub, and Gene had meant to return the cassette as he did of Zappa's, but Mike was tragically killed in a hit-and-run accident on his bike about sixteen years ago. Over the years, Gene had forgotten he never returned the master. His memory of it was only triggered  when he went digging up material for this project and he pulled out this tape with Mike's handwriting on it specifically labeled as "orig."

For reasons unknown Mike didn't get the opening set this night from R.E.M., but what he got of Siouxsie is gold. He's right up there by the PA stack, with decent gear, the audience in the soundscape mostly drowned out or outside of the wondrous sphere of the music. McGeoch's dramatic slash and burn guitar is heightened, the bass and the drums, the snare, Siouxsie's ethereal vocals -- it's all a near-perfect stereo balance. This sounds just as fresh as it did when Mike put it down on tape the week before Halloween in 1981, capturing the vitality of a band that would put together their setlist moments before taking the stage.

The tape flip that comes near the end of "Skin" is quick and minimal, and perhaps the crowd had cleared some by the encore, with that song's sonics coming through more harshly on the recording than the rest. This still must have been a delight to receive from Stonecutter back in the tape trading days and it probably saw popular circulation amongst the cognoscenti.

Spotting monitors in the club, Siouxsie asks if the band are on the TV. This master transfer should be the ultimate upgrade of this show, but we'll reconsider if video of this show actually exists and surfaces.




  1. Hi,

    Her blog is excellent, the best on the web .. !!

    Could you upload this show please !!

    - Siouxsie & The Banshees 1987-07-25 Finsbury Park, London, UK [au-] [Dimitroy edit 2020]

    Thank you.