The Blackened Series brought me another gem this week, as I FINALLY got to see Death In June live! Firstly, if anyone has every said that DIJ is a fascist band, they were wrong, they are quite the opposite. Don't believe me? See the early Crisis stuff (pre-DIJ punk band). Yes, one former member DID go super right-wing, but DIJ itself and certainly founder Douglas P. never have.
THAT said, DIJ has had several styles over the years, progressing from the punk sound of Crisis on very early recordings, to stripped-down mostly martial percussive drones, to noisey electronics, to acoustic folk, to any combination of the above. The lion's share is the acoustic folk, usually consisting of Douglas P. singing over an acoustic guitar with minimal background accompaniment, often sparse percussion, chimes, bells, horns, etc. The subject matter of the lyrics is usually depressive, utilizing metaphors, symbols, ideas/ideals from Nordic and Germanic culture to create a unique and personal gestalt that is something like sad-man paganism. I do also love that Douglas P. is openly gay. One (of many!) quirk(s) in their history that I would like to discuss is the extensive collaboration with Boyd Rice. I am not super familiar with him but from I gather of his public persona, he likes to annoy people simply for his own amusement. I give him credit for his sound experimentation and for having (at the very least) interesting and different ideas, but I have yet to find anything that really makes me like him much. ANYWAY, Death In June is awesome and so was the show.
The set started and ended with songs in the martial drumming style with acoustic bits throughout the majority of the set. I was happy with the mix of songs, with some from pretty much every major release. Douglas even asked for and delivered some requests! The sound was great too, which I had been a bit worried about since the acoustic stuff takes careful miking to broadcast.
As for stage show, there was a back drop of a huge American flag with the death's head symbol used by DIJ in the blue field. The same design with alternation between the death's head and the DIJ 'whip hand' symbol decorated the drums on stage. Performers were Douglas and a percussionist. Both of course were wearing all camouflage and Douglas began by performing in his signature DIJ mask. Of note, it was interesting to see him play in a long flectar camo jacket with shorts and high socks! Throughout most of the set though he wore no mask but instead a hat and dark glasses with his camo get-up. I was well pleased with the show and felt satisfied with the set.
Songs included (in no order) but not limited to:
Giddy Giddy Carosel, She Said Destroy, Symbols of the Sun, 13 Years of Carrion, Roseclouds of Holocaust (check out the Nachtmystium cover!), Fall Apart (check out the cover by Ikon!), Good Mourning Sun, To Drown a Rose, Death of The West, We Drive East, Ku Ku Ku, But What Ends When The Symbols Shatter?, My Black Angel, All Pigs Must Die, The Enemy Within
*Review copyright The Samnambulist, 2013*