During the 1980’s an East Anglian teenager called Paul Devine purchased a copy of Melody Maker. He was a disillusioned youth, bored with dusty Suffolk, and desperate to get the fuck out. He had been a bass player and sometime vocalist with proto-goth punk band Cult of the Head and was looking for escape.
At the same time, 200 miles away in Sheffield, Mark Holmes and Angie Birkett were hoping that the advertisement they had placed in a music paper would find a singer for a new project. Angie had been keyboard player with seminal art rock and Cabaret Voltaire-produced outfit Surface Mutants and both she and Mark had been in the recently disbanded and much feted Sheffield band Fatales.
Having answered the ad, Paul was invited for an audition, and then another audition… and then got the job, moving to Sheffield in May.
The name the new band took was Siiiii, from the William Burroughs novel The Soft Machine (“Siiiii”, the sound of a young man enjoying an orgasm during anal sex in a lavatory).
Not having a drummer, Mark and Paul recorded drums and utilised a reel-to-reel tape recorder for live work. Their first concert in this format was supporting The Chameleons at Sheffield Leadmill.
The band were soon joined by Wayne Furniss, late of future pop giants Pulp, on drums.
Siiiii gigged extensively during the 1980’s and possibly hold the record for the amount of times any band was nearly signed to a record label, most notably Sony Records, where their song “Over” was one of the company’s “Tracks Of The Month”.
Fusing tribal drums (sometimes using two drummers onstage), outrageously powerful basslines, intricate and ethereal guitars and Paul’s ominous, frenzied or pristine voice, Siiiii created a sound all their own.
The band played with many influential bands from early UK dark-music culture, including the aforementioned Chameleons, Inca Babies, Skeletal Family, Artery and March Violets.
Siiiii disbanded after three very productive years and the members went their separate ways. Mark went on to play and record with the Anti-Group, featuring members of Clock DVA, and Paul became involved in The Niceville Tampa (now Niceville) and then Deep Valley Orgasm in South Wales.
In 2005, having been “rediscovered” after a chance meeting of emails between Paul and legendary Gothic Rock journalist Mick Mercer, the band managed to find each other via the internet and put together “Ancient”, an historical archive album of original 1980’s songs, on their own King Sol Records label. Hot on the heels of this came a prestigious and show-stopping set at the fourth Drop Dead Festival in New York.
More gigs followed in Germany, Holland, Ireland and the UK, allowing Siiiii to showcase brand new material.
A second, live album, called “Ein Verdammtes Versprechen (A Fucking Promise)” was recorded in Germany in 2008 and the band’s second studio album, “Modern”, is almost ready for release.