Gitane Demone: Life After Death is a 3 disc set that consists of live footage covering many periods of her musical career. Gitane Demone was a member of both Pompeii 99 and Christian Death and left Christian Death in the late 1980s to focus on her own career. Coming from a background of punk and death/goth rock, Demone created and experimented with new styles of music and expanded her interest in gothic / fetish clothing and incorporated the fetish elements into her musical performances.
The first DVD in this set includes a Dutch television special in which Gitane discusses a bit about her life, her interests such as Satanism, mysticism, tarot and how she eventually ended up being consumed by sex and the fetish lifestyle. Also on this disc are clips of live performances from Holland, Switzerland, and Germany and there’s also some clips of her smashing up stuff Wendy O. Williams style. The second disc has a very Madonna-esque almost pop song video clip which was directed by Demone’s former partner Nico B, who co-directed Pig with Christian Death front man Rozz Williams.
The two features which will probably be the gems of this set to all you Demone/ Williams fans will be the Dream Home Heartache Tour which has Williams and Demone performing the following songs: Time, Pope’s Egg Hat, A World Apart, In Every Dream Home A Heartache, Flowers, Moon Without A Tear, Lead us Not and also, Christian Death live Astoria II, London, 1996 which comprises of the following songs: Spiritual Cramp, Cervix Couch, Lament, Luxury of Tears, Ashes, Cavity and Sleepwalk.
I was never a fan of Christian Death so I was completely unaware of who Gitane Demone was. She’s more of an underground Lydia Lunch than a Madonna (she’s touted by journalists as Madonna’s naughtier underground cousin). Although far less aggressive than Lydia Lunch, she seems more sincere in her convictions, she’s not just about pseudo-intellectual rants and coming off as a hard-ass. She practices what she preaches. Sadly, many of her fetish performances were not covered very well, there was one performance where she penetrated a rubber clad woman with a strap-on dildo, whipped people on stage and gave a strap-on blowjob, but most of these segments had a very short run time. The main lengthy performances are the ones with Rozz Williams and Christian Death.
Over the two discs we are treated to Demone’s jazz / blues inspired songs right through to her sexually charged fetishist stage performances accompanied by very headstrong sexual lyrics. The range of her voice is really impressive, in her solo blues songs she sounds like a much rougher Patti Smith. Demone can go from sounding sensual and seductive to fucked up and in your face, and pulls it off very convincingly without any conceitedness or pretensions. To me, Demone embodies the true spirit of punk.
Also accompanying this limited to 2500 copies digipack set is a CD Gitane Demone ‘Times’ which consists of demo recordings from 1984 -1991. A 12 page booklet with memoirs also accompanies this set. For any fans of Gitane Demone and her contributions to Christian Death, this will be the ultimate definitive DVD set for you. For everyone else this is worth looking at, especially if you are a girl and like me, admire strong women like Lydia Lunch and Wendy O Williams who are out there proving that you don’t need balls to be in rock n roll.
- 12 Page booklet
Available on DVD from Cult Epics.