• Gitane Demone – Life After Death

    Released by: Cult Epics
    Released on: November 4, 2008.

    Director: Nico B., Andreas Hoffman, Richard Wells
    Cast: Gitane Demone, Rozz Williams
    Year: 1988 - 1998
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    The Movie:

    A collection of videos documenting Gitane Demone’s post Christian Death musical career (Life After Death… get it?), this two disc set compiles footage from various sources and presents a fairly exhaustive collection of her later period work. Covering the years from 1988 through to 1998, there’s a lot of material here, the majority of which has been pretty hard to see until now. While in Christian Death Demone often played second fiddle to front man Rozz Williams, usually playing keyboards and providing background vocals and only occasionally (though always effectively) contributing lead vocals. Here, she’s front and center, and doing things in a very different manner.

    Taking a look at the track listing and performances contained in this set, it’s pretty obvious that this covers a lot of ground. Highlights include the pseudo-Christian Death reunion footage from 1996, a couple of years before Williams would be found hanging to death in his garage in Hollywood after committing suicide at the all too young age of 34. Tracks from early Christian Death albums like Spiritual Cramp and Cavity off of the Only Theater Of Pain album are performed well by the band here, even if by 1996 some of the anger and aggression that made their early material so intense had started to wane.

    The Rozz Williams/Gitane Demone collaboration album, Dream Home Heartache is also nicely represented here and the album is pretty much covered in its entirety thanks to the 1994 concert footage recorded by Andreas Hoffman. They bring a strange sort of dark cabaret act to life quite effectively, blending the cold jazz of much of Gitane’s solo work with the abrasive deathpunk sounds of the now-legendary band they were in together prior.

    The footage that Cult Epics founding father Nico B shot during his relationship with Demone is interesting to see as well. They’re not as polished as some of the later material but they capture Demone during an interesting evolutionary period as she toys around with themes like love, sex and death all the while strutting about provocatively in various degrees of fetish wear.

    The two discs in the collection contain the following performances and clips:

    Disc One:

    VPRO, Dutch Television, 1991 (TV Special – The Dark Side Of Life)
    Directed by: Bram Van Splunteren
    Songs: Obituaire / Blue Spirit Blues / You Don’t Know What Love Is / Kill This Love

    Mazzo Club, Amsterdam, 1989:
    Camera by: Nico B
    Songs: Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me / Strange Fruit, (This Is) A Man’s World

    AT5, Dutch Television, 1992
    Recorded Live On Air
    Songs: Sound Of War

    VPRO Radio, Holland, 1993
    Camera by: Nico B
    Songs: Golden Age / Love For Sale / Little Birds

    ISC Club, Bern, Switzerland, 1993
    Camera by: Nico B
    Songs: Somewhere / Eye To Eye / Gloomy Sunday / Lullaby For A Troubled Man / Lover / Sing The Blues

    Indie Tour, Querfurt, Germany, 1995
    Camera by: Andreas Hoffman And Nico B
    Songs: I Only Have Eyes For You / These Vulnerable Eyes / Manic Depression / Alien / Despairiosity / My Death

    Disc Two:

    A Heavenly Melancholy, 1991
    Videoclip directed by: Nico B

    Skin Two, UK Videomagazine, 1992
    Camera by: Richard Wells
    Songs: Passion / Pleasure And Pain

    Fetish Generation, Denmark, 1995
    Documentary by Steen Schapiro
    Songs: Tongue Of Fire / Interview / Cool Domina / Perv

    Zillo, Hamburg, Germany, 1994
    Camera by: Andreas Hoffman
    Songs: Tongue Of Fire / Perv / Loveless

    Dream Home Heartache Tour Featuring Rozz Williams, Zwischenfall, Bochum, Germany, 1994
    Camera: Andreas Hoffman
    Songs: Time / Pope’s Egg Hat / A World Apart / In Every Dream Home A Heartache / Flowers / Moon Without A Tear / Lead Us Not

    Christian Death Featuring Rozz Williams And Gitane Demone, Astoria II, London UK, 1996
    Camera by: Andreas Hoffman
    Songs: Spiritual Cramp / Cervix Couch / Lament / Luxury Of Tears / Ashes / Cavity / Sleepwalk

    Kato, Berlin, Germany 1998
    Camera by: Andreas Hoffman
    Songs: I Lost A Friend To Heroin / Speed / Incendiary Lover / What Now, My Love?


    All of the material here is presented in its original 1.33.1 fullframe aspect ratio and as is to be expected with this type of material the quality is all over the place depending on the source material. The first few clips, which are in black and white, look the worse while the newer material understandably looks a little cleaner. A lot of this footage was shot with handheld cameras in nightclubs under less than ideal shooting conditions and the picture quality reflects this in that the picture is sometimes dark and not always pristine. That said, the majority of the material looks fine once you consider these factors. Does any of it look perfect? No, not really, but it’s all watchable enough.

    Like the video quality, the audio quality is erratic and it varies from one source to the next. Some clips sound nice and clear, others are a little muffled and fuzzy sounding. Generally the audio quality is pretty decent, however, particularly when you take into account how and where this material was recorded in the first place.

    The two DVDs in the set are barebones except for scene selection but inside the slipcase packaging is a nice booklet containing eight pages of liner notes from Demone herself explaining how she got into music, her times with Christian Death, her relationship with Rozz Williams and other luminaries, and about the fetishistic in her work. Complete credits for all of the clips in this set are also included here as is a listing of her eight albums.

    Also included in this release is an exclusive CD containing the following never before released demo recordings:

    Somebody’s On My Mind (1984) / Them There Eyes (1984) / In My Solitude (1984) / Gloomy Sunday (1996) / I’m A Fool To Want You (1990) / I Only Have Eyes For You (1990) / Trust In Me (1991) / I Just Want To… (1991) / When I Was A Child (1994) / Trust In Me – Instrumental (1991)

    The Final Word:

    Gitane Demone – Life After Death won’t likely make you a fan if you aren’t into her music to begin with but those who know they dig her odd brand of fetishy jazz goth pop will absolutely relish the chance to have all of this rare footage in one slickly produced package. Limited to only 2500 copies, this is a very nice collection that will definitely appeal to any fan of Demone, Rozz Williams or Christian Death.