I probably admired the Banshees more than loved them for a long time – I knew they were feted, I liked a few songs, but they didn’t worm their way into my head – until this came along, a combination of all that made them great, and my head just exploded. I bought the single the day I heard it, and I would play it over and over again, hearing something new in it every time I did, and I knew I was in love with them at last.
Siouxsie looks amazing in the video – she never looked less than amazing, ever – leaving the goth look behind and appearing now as a classic film star, effortlessly filling every frame while the boys in the band stood around the back doing their best Vince Clark-era Depeche Mode look, and mentally waiting for the pub to open, probably. The song itself was a paean to Jayne Mansfield, which fits, and her gory death is foundation of a song of devotion to her, but also to Siouxsie.
I can’t help but think of her whenever I’m in Chislehurst ever since I read that Hong Kong Garden was a song about racist skinheads at the local Chinese takeaway: hearing it all those years ago in Sydney it just seemed so exotic. And she’s overdue for a comeback – it’s been way too long since Basement Jaxx’s Cish Cash – the world needs Siouxsie, and we can only hope that she still needs the rest of us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpcNaqkrPm8