The Screaming Banshee Aircrew are definitely the quirkiest, and certainly one of the most exciting goth bands in Britain. The cult four-piece have different members based all over the UK (guitarist Chris Banshee is in York, co-vocalist and violinist Jo Violet is based in Leeds, while keyboardist and drummer Neal Unreal is in Leicester with vocalist Mister Ed in London).
Despite their geographical distances, the group have managed to work over a nine-year history to overcome numerous line-up changes and obstacles in order to produce a number of vibrant, self-financed and genre-bending full-length albums along with one live DVD.
Sonically, the SBA mix dark post-punk sensibility and a rockabilly stomp with razor-sharp wit and rich pop-rock hooks to create a nearly irresistible bittersweet symphony of sounds. This amalgamation falls somewhere between members of Bauhaus, The Cramps and The Horrorpops having a wrestling match in a pool of glitter while engaging in epic sword battles with black eyeliner pens.
The band’s expansive catalogue, including the standout tracks ‘Crazy Cats’, ‘Peachy Clean’ and ‘In Flames’ are built on a strong backbone of intertwining male and female vocals, winding guitars, heart-wrenching violin work, honest lyrics and steady rock beats for a deliciously dark and tasteful concoction of contemporary “goff” goodness.
Since forming in 2001, The Aircrew have not only blazed a trail for themselves on a national level they have also supported and impressed some of the most exciting international acts on the dark alternative scene including The Birthday Massacre and Bella Morte alongside playing numerous festival dates including multiple main stage slots at the celebrated Whitby Gothic Weekend.
I would also argue that there are no other goth bands in the country that are as accessible to someone who has no idea about the genre, or for that matter are capable of placing tongue so firmly within cheek when creating one track (check out ‘Happy People’), to then compose a deep and soulful ballad the likes of ‘Never Be’.
It is this diversity that has gifted the determined unit their strong reputation as one of the best dark bands around both on record and on the stage. In fact, it is within the live arena that this band truly excels in my view. While many goth acts are content to hide behind a keyboard and some programmed beats the SBA create a full-on glam-punk extravaganza that can be appreciated by fans of any genre.
Often you can find the band tearing the roof off of venues around Yorkshire, Leicester and London. The crew are certainly one of the most active and hard working acts on the scene when it comes to touring – a fact that has earned them the respect of many peers including The Last Dance and The March Violets.
In 2010, the band will continue to take their unique cabaret of noise on the road with a number of headlining slots already confirmed in London for January. The foursome will also begin to record the follow-up to their most recent album ‘Sugar’ and continue to expand on their bombastic deathrock formula.
For more information visit the official MySpace.