Death InJune - Live in Italy 1999 plus(Dvd) [NER - 2009]Live in Italy 1999 plus is a highly enjoyable, wonderfully performed and filmed hour long concert recorded at the Tpo in Bologna on the 29th of May 1999. The concert takes in the electronic, sampled and big percussive sound of Death in June, as well as the tight yet melodic neo- folk acoustic side of the project too.
For the concert Death in June were a three piece with of course Douglas P leading up the show on electric and acoustic guitars, big drums and various percussive matter and of course his distinctive lead vocals. He’s supported by John Murphy on various percussion and backing vocals, and Albin Julius on Keyboards, Tapes, Percussion & backing vocals. The show starts in very dramatic form with loads of flashing red and yellow lights, & lots of smoke machine discharge as Douglas appears on stage waving a large flag; dressed in full combats and his sinister/ infamous mask- he picks up his electric guitar and the band kick-in. The first part of the concert features the denser sample/electronic based sound of albums like Take Care and Control, Operation Hummingbird. With the three piece really pulling off a great performance that swings between being manic, ritualistic and dramatic with loads of stage lighting flashers & smoke- with the whole thing being heightened by the often grainy and slight texture affected camera work and effective editing. The second half sees Douglas P take off his mask and don an acoustic guitar for a selection of memorable yet staunch neo-folk tracks. Really the concert is the best of both worlds taking in both sides of Death in June's sound and I’ll have to say it really made me appreciate and enjoy the more electronic/ sampled based sound seeing it in such an powerful and dramatic live setting.
After the concert finishes we get a rather bizarre and strange treat in the form of three videos from techno terrorist Future Shock, which features Douglas P's vocal talents on. The three videos are a mixture of: pumping strobe lite club footage, day-glo psychedelic and tripped out tunnels, late 90’s computer graphics and the odd hint of leather and chain fetish too. Musically the tracks are fairly pumped up and fast techno with quite a militaristic over tones; with Douglas' vocals appearing in a spoken word form mainly are sampled and repeated over the tracks techno scapes. The most effective of the three videos and songs is the first one The vision; as the track seems to have a bit more about it beyond lame techno pounding - it twists and turns it’s way along quite effectively and the video is great too with space and astronaut footage mixed with twisting psychedelic tunnels and all manner of brain frying and dizzy making graphics. All told the three videos are a quirky and interesting enough extra to the live show, though I can’t see myself revisiting them often.
All in all a very satisfying highly enjoyable, dramatic and powerful concert topped off with the three quirky videos that sees Douglas P going all Techno on us. Of course of interest to Death in June fans; but I can also see it being enjoyed by anyone who enjoys powerful, yet a little unhinged live music.Roger Batty