Peter Edward Clarke (born 21 August 1957), known professionally as Budgie, is an English drummer. His first recording was with The Spitfire Boys in 1977 and then the Slits in 1979. He then became the drummer of the influential band Siouxsie and the Banshees (1979–96) and the drum-and-voice duo the Creatures (1981–2004). Budgie worked with other musicians including John Cale, Leonard Eto (formerly of the Kodo Drummers) and John Grant.
Budgie in Oakland, California, June 1986
|Birth name||Peter Edward Clarke|
|Also known as||Blister, Budgie|
|Born||21 August 1957|
|Origin||St Helens, Lancashire, England|
|Instruments||Percussion, drums, guitars, keyboards|
|Labels||Geffen, Polydor, Sioux|
|Associated acts||Big in Japan, Pink Military, the Spitfire Boys, the Slits, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Creatures, John Grant|
In 2013, Spin rated him at No. 28 in their list of "The 100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music", writing: "Post-punk introduced a lot of amazing drummers, but none more influential than Budgie. With the Banshees, Budgie didn't just play rhythms—he played hooks and leads, brilliant parts that set the songs on fire. His tom-tom-intensive approach, [was] enlightened by his awareness of world music". Spin considered his "most booming moment" to be "Into the Light", from 1981's Juju, saying: "Budgie drums up a marvel of kinetic syncopation and invention".
Budgie was hailed in 2013 by peer Stewart Copeland of the Police as one of the 16 most interesting drummers. Copeland described Budgie's playing as "very economical and offbeat", adding, "Budgie didn’t play your standard hi-hat–kick–snare; there were a lot of tom-toms and a big throb." Ari Up of the Slits praised him as "a very sensitive drummer", saying, "He could go from reggae to punk to funk to jazz [...] but still very steady." NME named Budgie the best drummer of 1983, while music journalist David Cavanagh referred to him as "the outstanding English drummer of the post-punk era".
Budgie could play anything. [...] Sting loved the Slits album Cut and what he said about it was that the drumming, he was fanatic about the drums. A lot of people at the time were raving about the drums. They knew that he had a lot of technique but he had a sensitivity, you know, and a variation about him. He could go from reggae to punk to funk to jazz, you know, all over the place, but still very steady.
In September 1979, he joined Siouxsie and the Banshees on their Join Hands tour. Initially he was intended to be a temporary replacement for Kenny Morris, who had left the band two days into a tour, but Budgie remained with the group. He first performed with renowned guitarist John McGeoch on the album Kaleidoscope: Budgie became a permanent member of the band until they split up in 1996. He released nine studio albums with the Banshees. In 1981, he formed a second group with Siouxsie Sioux, named the Creatures. Their music was based more on drums and percussion, with marimba and vibraphone. The 1981 Wild Things EP and 1983 full-length Feast were their first releases.
On subsequent Creatures albums, Budgie also played keyboards, guitars and harmonica. He co-wrote brass arrangements with Peter Thoms on 1983 single "Right Now" and 1989's Boomerang album. Budgie married Siouxsie in May 1991. Within the Banshees, he wrote the lyrics of several songs, including "She's Cuckoo", "Silver Waterfalls", "Staring Back", "Sick Child", "Hang Me High" and "Return" (the latter was co-written with Siouxsie). For the Creatures, he wrote the lyrics for several Boomerang-era songs, including "Willow", "Morriña" and "Pluto Drive" (the latter was co-written with Siouxsie).
In August 2002, Budgie first collaborated with Japanese taiko player Leonard Eto (formerly of the Kodo Drummers), recording spontaneous drum-duet improvisations in Tokyo for the fourth Creatures album, Hái!. The drum performances were then edited, and the rest of the sessions took place in France. Budgie was the sound engineer of the album, and he mixed it near Toulouse before its release in 2003. After recording four studio albums as the Creatures, Budgie's final performance with Siouxsie (featuring Eto and the Millennia Ensemble) was filmed in 2004 at the Royal Festival Hall in London for the DVD Dreamshow. This was Budgie's last concert and collaboration with Siouxsie; in 2007, the pair publicly announced their divorce.
Outside the Banshees and Creatures, the drummer also worked with Indigo Girls in 1992 on Rites of Passage, and briefly toured with them in the US at the end of that year. In 1994, Budgie recorded percussion on Hector Zazou's Chansons des mers froides, including a song for Jane Siberry. He later played drums for former Velvet Underground member John Cale during his summer 1998 US tour on a double bill with The Creatures. Budgie played two sets each night, one with Cale and one with The Creatures. In 2009, he toured Europe with Juno Reactor and moved to Berlin. Later that year, he also recorded drums for Jessie Evans' Is It Fire? album.
In 2010, he teamed up with two other drummers, Eto and Mabi, plus multi-instrumentalist Knox Chandler and guitarist Sugizo, for a programme called "The Butterfly Effect: East-West Percussive Parade." It was described as a "drumming extravaganza, featuring Western kit, Japanese taiko and African drums, that will launch the musicians into a new sonic galaxy!". The programme's world première took place in Hong Kong in November 2010 as part of the New Vision Arts Festival. "The Butterfly Effect" featured improvised solos and ensemble works as well as new pieces and arrangements specially created for the festival, inspired by the pace, rhythm and character of Hong Kong.
In 2012, he served as the drummer for Efterklang on their worldwide tour. They were accompanied by an orchestra. The premiere at the Opera House in Sydney was praised by Time Out. His last concert with Efterklang took place in Brussels in November. A live album, recorded in Copenhagen, was later issued.
In 2013, Budgie and Eto performed live material from Hái! in Tokyo, 11 years after conceiving the drum parts in that city. The concert took place at the Studio Coast as part of Juno Reactor's set. He also played drums for CocoRosie at several shows.
In 2015, he played drums on John Grant's third solo album, Grey Tickles, Black Pressure, playing in November with Grant on the accompanying tour. In 2018, he performed again with Grant in the UK at the latter's March concerts. That year, he also played with tabla player Talvin Singh for the first time since their collaboration on the Siouxsie and the Banshees' 1991-92 Superstition tour: Singh and Budgie gave a one-off performance at the "100 Years of Beat" festival in Berlin.
- Azerrad, Michael (21 May 2013). "The 100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music: N°28 Budgie of Siouxsie And The Banshees". Spin.com. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Bosso, Joe (24 June 2013). "Stewart Copeland picks 16 fun drum albums". Musicradar.com. Retrieved 21 January 2014.
- Macia, Peter (21 October 2010). "Interview With Ari Up from the Siouxsie Sioux/Shabba Ranks Icon Issue". thefader.com. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014.
- "NME awards history 1983". NME. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- Cavanagh, David (September 1996). Zesty XTC: Clever to the power [XTC Fossil Fuel: The XTC Singles Collection album review]. Q magazine.
Terry Chambers was, along with Budgie of Siouxsie And The Banshees, the outstanding English drummer of the post-punk era.
- Budofsky, Adam. Budgie interview, Modern Drummer, September 1990
- The Bestiary of the Creatures (booklet - cd 1997). Polydor
- Cairns, Dan.Siouxsie Sioux is back in bloom. The Sunday Times. 26 August 2007
- Gourley, Bob (1999). "Budgie interviewed about The Creatures". Chaoscontrol.com. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- Jessie Evans – Is It Fire? [cd-liner notes]. 2009 Fantomette Records – Fantomette 001
- The Butterfly Effect: East-West Percussive Parade Archived 2 July 2010 at the Wayback Machine newvisionfestival.gov.hk. Retrieved 6.09.2010
- on YouTube The Video. Live Excerpt. November 2010. Hong Kong. New Visions Festival
- Efterklang The Danes make an art-music splash with the SSO. Time Out. Retrieved 27 June 2012
- "We’re Looking for..." Archived 14 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine. efterklang.net. Retrieved 27 August 2012
- "The Piramida Concert". 10 June 2013. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
- on YouTube. August 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2014
- "Just played Frankfurt twice in a row with special guest drummer Budgie. Was a blast!!!". Twitter CocoRosie official. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
- Hudson, Alex. "John Grant announces grey tickles black pressure LP". Exclaim!. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015
- "Pop & Trash -interview with Budgie". Alex-berlin.de live stream. 6 September 2015.
- "Budgie". Facebook.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- "Talvin Singh/Budgie/Jason Singh, Ghana Panorama, DJ Zhao". hkw.de. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.
Talvin Singh & guests Budgie, part 4 - Berlin 2018 - "100 Jahre Beat". Youtube. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 2 August 2018.