UPDATES

NTSC DVD DELIVERY UPDATE.

28th April 2017

 
Dear Gatherers,
 
A silver dollar for every child
Where everybody has got their price.
 
We are happy to say that all NTSC pre-sales DVDs have been dispatched from the UK by Royal Mail.
 
The Film is now available for purchases in the following formats.
Note delivery times.
 
PAL DVD + EXTRA DVD & BOOKLET

ALLOW 28 DAYS TO SHIP

 
NTSC DVD + EXTRA DVD
 
BLU-RAY + EXTRA DVD

 ALLOW 5-11 DAYS TO SHIP

 

BOOKLETS FOR NTSC AND BLU-RAY ORDERS

DVD Booklet Front

DVD Booklet Back

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UPDATE ON BR, NTSC AND PAL FORMATS

NTSC and BR formats have both now been sent to the U.K. plant so should be done soon. PAL pre-orders have now been dispatched, besides a few US/Canadian ones, who have only just confirmed as PAL orders. We are currently still a couple of weeks behind with ongoing orders but expect to be up to date by the start of next week.

SOUND

A few rumours on the sound quality of the documentary. The PAL discs currently defaults to 5.1 Cinema sound with the film’s dialogue on it’s own 5.1 centre channel. Music and effects tracks are on left and right. It’s a music doc and if it’s too quite then turn up your centre speaker. We’ve checked all the levels on our master source file and played it back on different consumer set ups – it’s good. If you don’t have the 5.1 set up, and are playing either on a laptop or standard dvd player stereo system, then you will need to change the settings on your DVD audio control to STEREO.

This will give you a better experience. Hope that helps & thanks for your patience

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OLDER POSTS

Thanks to everyone who has bought a copy of the DVD

and for all of your comments…

If you have not bought yours yet, our first batch of DVDs (Pal versions) are running out fast!

NTSC AND BLU RAY FORMATS ARE NOW IN PRODUCTION.

We will let you know when they are ready to ship…

‘NEITHER BEGINNING NOR END’

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UPDATE TO DVD SHIPPING

Hi Folks,

I have just been informed that the mailing centre in York will be shut until 3rd January.

No one from this company told us.

Firstly my apologies for this continued delay & i’m as frustrated by this release as you all are.

Some DVDs were posted directly and Coffee Films have been taking care of that.

The bulk mailing centre, who are mailing the majority of DVDs,

have finally responded & promised me they will be

posting on the 3rd January.

Shaun

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Christmas Eve update…

We are very happy to announce film is finally shipping! With PAL DVD is now arriving to fans.

We will continue to full fill orders over the holidays and into 2017.

Merry Christmas to all Killing Joke Gatherers. Honour the Fire!

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paldvd


DVD Update: 4th November 2016

Hey Everyone, an update on PAL DVD, NTSC DVD and Blu-Rays…

Complete apologies as we know we’re running late, we’re doing our best to move everything along, try to keep in mind things can take a while if you want to get it right as little indie producers.

The DVD/BR packages were put together in NZ and got to the UK in early October, unfortunately, especially with artwork and packaging, what’s standard in NZ isn’t the same as what’s standard in the UK and there’s been delays whilst different plants found close-as-possible templates and we re-jigged artwork to fit and still look pretty. 

Likewise, getting solutions for NTSC DVD and BR has been tricky, there’s been very little demand for these products which are extremely expensive to produce, rather than just give up on them we’ve worked around a load of places finding solutions and again re-jigging art and formats and other stuff to make it all work.

As of today, we appear to have everything set, and now just need confirmation of that from the manufacturers’ ends. Once we have that we can state a specific delivery date we expect to hit and we’ll post up a purchase order or something from the plant, it should be within the fortnight now that everything appears to be right, as soon as we know you will also know.

Hugely appreciate the patience so far, the release would not have been possible without this pre-order/crowd-fund type model, and extra apologies to anyone who ordered hoping it would arrive for a specific birthday or other key date that has been missed, sometimes delays are unavoidable unless you want to turn out a crap product that might not even work, we hope it’ll feel well worth it when it arrives.

And if anyone’s investing time in the “it’ll never arrive” conspiracy theory we’ve heard whispered, please refer to the previous “it’ll never be finished / it’ll never be screened / it’ll never be for sale” conspiracy theories which all turned out to be total balls as well. It is on it’s way in a form worthy of the content, the music, and what so many of you have paid for it, we’ve always put quality first and that’s the reason there’s been another wait, it is very nearly over.

Thanks again to so many of you who’ve made it possible to do this release, and hope any of you heading to the gig in York tonight have a blast,

Steve + Shaun x

 

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LOUDER THAN WAR

Killing Joke DVD – Director Interview

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We talk to Death and Resurrection Show film-maker Shaun Pettigrew   

Much more than a band, always an enigma and for many a way of life; Killing Joke have, for approaching 40 years, maintained an often menacing detachment from the musical mainstream. Genre defining rather than following, Killing Joke are a musical phenomenon.

Despite the unbreakable bond that exists between the band and the fans, the inner-workings of Killing Joke have remained suitably mysterious. Jaz Coleman once stated that no one would ever get close enough to the band to write a biography and it would be a brave person who attempted to do so from a distance.

However, long-time fan, and close friend of Jaz, Shaun Pettigrew has for the last few years been working on a film that not only chronicles the emergence and development of Killing Joke, but also places their career firmly in context of the occult influences that surround the band. It also sheds a disturbing new light on Jaz’s decision to move to Iceland in 1982. The film that emerges is quite stunning in its intensity and, in addition to being an outstanding musical biography, is also an emotional roller-coaster in a way that has to be seen to be understood. Creating a work of such significance and impact was a labour of love for Pettigrew, and a huge investment of time and energy and what emerges is a remarkable account of the making of the film.

LTW: Tell us about your early interest in Killing Joke; why they appealed and live performances you witnessed. What set the band apart from their contemporaries in your view?

Shaun Pettigrew: My first chance to see the Joke was a year after I’d heard about them from friends and word of mouth in 1980, they lived close by to a squat I used to hang out in, called the ‘Apocalypse Hotel’, just off Latimer Road in Frestonia. The Squat was a landmark in the area at the time and they’d come over to parties. I finally saw them play in early 1981, at the Kilburn National Theatre and it was a mind blowing experience in that I’d never seen a band create such a powerful sound before. What stood out from the normal gigs in those days, when you’d get fans at the stage and a general lack of interest from crowds in the back by bars, etc. This crowd were completely engaged with the band. The Ramones, 999 started their gigs in the same way but the Joke took it to a new level. For me the over-riding feeling that you get from listening to their music is one of time travel, as if its creators have called upon historical research or even past life experiences to paint vivid pictures of empires repeatedly collapsing, new cultures dawning, civilisations falling in their graves and cycles of eternal renewal… the resurrection of nature.

2 DR

What is your background in film-making, what other projects have you been involved with? Can you explain your usual processes when planning a project? 

To date I’ve been a Photographer/cinematography mixed Director, making TV commercials and ads, short films and music orientated programs for Clients and TV networks. My usual process on getting booked for a commission is just to sit down and discuss what they want to achieve. I’d then come up with a plan, setting out the story and then what happens next is pretty much standard for all film makers, story, budgetary limits, shoot production and post. You have a set plan, duration and you know where you’re going. Of course that didn’t happen with the Death and Resurrection Show.

Let’ talk about the initial idea of making a KJ documentary. Was it a long-held ambition, a sudden decision, along process of stalking the band? Or were the band on board from the word go? Was it even their idea? 

As a film maker it was a great story to tell and primarily I liked their music but I’m not sure the rest of the Band even knew I was making this film. ILC Productions began as a film production company set up between Jaz and myself in 1989, a loose agreement to film all of his classical and rock life. Through ILC, we made all the promotional films for his classical works, such as the rearrangements of Symphonic Led Zeppelin’s ‘Kashmir’ and the Doors Concerto, with virtuoso violinist Nigel Kennedy. The second part was to complete a detailed study on the hidden workings of Killing Joke. Jaz would just talk – I’d listen and what became a series of intense, early filming sessions with Jaz in his different reflective states, evolved into The Death and Resurrection Show.

What were you initial aims (and maybe fears) on starting out with the project? 

You don’t start these sorts of films frivolously, without some kind of intention. The storyline is intense by any stretch of the mind. Both the subject matter, a numerical equation to explain the esoteric process of purification and rebirth that Jaz and the Band went through since their inception in 1979. By retracing Jaz’s footsteps over a 30 year period, we painstakingly put together a ribcage structure of completed shots, into an order to make sense of this four dimensional ritual experiment. A big concern was sourcing all the material while living in NZ, as I knew I’d have to find a way to travel, film and cover costs. In the end I was lucky and used other work to cover the basics.

Jaz initially didn’t want the rest of the band in the film and would often tell me that ‘great work is left unfinished…’ so my main fear was of not finishing the project and being left on the Joke’s roadside of destruction, this was a huge concern. After four years of filming the initial conversations with Jaz in far flung places, I realised I need to quantify what it was I was attempting and get the rest of the band involved… Put an end to the paranoia and hearsay, so I rang up Geordie and asked for his blessing as I was concerned the rest of the Band would not be into the idea. Raven was still alive, Youth & Big Paul was still to re-join and eventually my request to make a film was secure.

3 DR

How did you originally see the film working in terms of timescale and content? 

Timescale was always going to be a long haul project, I micro managed what I could and then just let events happen and try to prioritise. The reason this film has taken so long is twofold the initial idea was just immense and secondly the mechanics of the music business. In respects to content I’ve put two films onto the DVD, the main film ‘The Death and Resurrection Show’ and a 35 minute cut down story called ‘Let success be your proof’ – A truly interesting film about Sex Magick, ‘The White Heat’, esoteric numerology, alien intervention, an island called ‘Cythera’, dodecahedron shaped sanctuaries and the synchronistic. The parallels between the two films is there to see. There were many occasions… when I had to check my own sanity at the door, before returning to the story. It became an ever changing process and by the end, faced with a long 13 year project – the party had to stop and it had to finish. The way I look at it now is I’ve been extremely lucky, as a filmmaker to have caught a short glimpse of what it is that the ‘White Heat’ energy can do. I have great respect for this unequivocally real entity, it’s microcosmically beautiful and geometric in all its glorious detail.

In ‘Let success be your proof’. You get what you wish for and without being a tad frivolous I’ll try and explain the content as initially we had the additional character of the Initiate Journalist ‘Jana’. I say initiate as the film’s original draft story was based around a series of immaculate coincidences and a ritual of purification where by the initiate’s un-opened mind is placed into different locations, retracing what it was that Jaz went through. Through Jana’s initial research it is suggested when Coleman fled to Iceland in 1982 from a prophetic world apocalyptic vision, he was misunderstood.

Press cuttings and research leads her to a disturbing but secretive incident in Iceland in 1982 when two women, Vivan Ottis’ Dottir and Sarah Parkinson eventually died after some mystical occult ritual attended by Coleman and Killing Joke band mate Geordie. It becomes clear that the Iceland affair was indeed misunderstood, Iceland or rather the ‘island’ as perceived by the Band had a much deeper significance than just a geophysical reality, it was a thought-form that they charged regularly through ritual catharsis. These rituals opened portals to these worlds. In Jaz’s mind these were powerful archetypes that represented a symbolic sanctuary which from time to time actually became real.

Jaz explained that the Iceland experiment was an attempt at this, where several of the ritual participants found each other on an island outside the current dimensions of time and unfortunately they never quite recovered from the excruciating beauty that they all experienced. Jana contacts the remaining members of the ritual in Iceland to interview and it soon becomes clear that Coleman’s persona reveals him as more than an old rocker – he’s either psychotic or an occult genius… and as Jana would soon experience, the Island certainly exists in a parallel time which was and remains every bit as real as Coleman says it did.

We discover that since 1978, Jaz had kept records in the form of a ‘magickal’ diary. Consequently, after twenty-eight years, the volumes of unpublished work encompassing not just the science of religion but the orchestra, architecture, sacred geometry, geomancy (the science of shaping the land to express its natural properties), permaculture, visions of the future, and so much more. Quite literally a personalised renaissance. This was to become Jaz’s published autobiography in his book ’Letters to Cythera’.

From music to architecture, there appeared to be reoccurring patterns expressed through words, numbers and shapes. Every letter represents a number, every number represents a pattern of growth. Coleman further explains the ritual experiments that where practiced in IONA, GLASTONBURY TOR and NAZCA PERU, where he received a single word followed by a series of writings and numbers. Each word that is uttered in the three holy places are as follows: Iona – ‘icha‘, the numerical value of which is 19, which is Eve, or ‘to show forth’; Glastonbury – ‘hraachmaa‘, the value of which is 256, and means quite literally ‘the spirit of the mother’ (which Sir Laurence Gardner says quite clearly at the Tor); Nazca at the spider the word uttered is ‘tomenga‘, the numerical value of which is 178, its meaning ‘quicksilver’, or the mercurial key to the mysteries. Near the end of the film at the hot-pool on the Island, the gateway is opened again by the repetition of these three words, their combined value being 453, the masque of the madman, harlequin, or fool the key to survival when the gateway to other dimensions appears in the pool’s reflection.

 

Towards the end of winter Jana is still in Prague, the coming 30th world tour and the chance to talk with the band drives Jana on. However she is increasingly feeling a sense that something sinister has entered her life and realises that Coleman’s geographical movements over the last 30 years – Cairo, Iona, Glastonbury, Nazca, Peru and finally to an island of the coast of New Zealand hold the key to the Killing Joke enigma. She reaches a block in her investigations as it becomes clear she must leave Prague without a moment to loose and travels to Cairo still completely unaware that motions have been started that she has no control over and that she is already part of what she has been investigating – a master mathematical plan spanning decades, in which chance is carefully arranged – by Coleman.

 

The film was to use more news based archive footage with interviews, current and past Joke EPKs. Increasingly from more Egyptian sources in a CNN styled KJ news breaking stories. Musician, ‘Amir Abdel Magid’ and the noted Music Producer ‘Tarek’, who suggest Coleman is about to consider becoming a muslim convert sets the scene as Jana arrives in Cairo. Coleman instructs Jana to meet and interview a music producer called ‘Sammy’ at her hotel, (Sammy was the original Egyptian sound engineer who worked on the ‘Pandemonium’ Killing Joke recordings), She waits in the hotel bar watching footage on her laptop that shows Coleman’s penchant for mystical grandeur when on a trip to Egypt. Coleman is caught on camera as he explains to the camera that “this is probably the most dangerous time to be at the Pyramids”. Jana talks with Sammy about his experiences when the band were performing an intense spiritualistic ritual in the heart of the Giza pyramid, glimpsed in crackling old film footage, this bizarre and chilling event is still a taboo subject among band members and for Sammy who is haunted by alien eyes that chased him out of the tomb, still today it is an event he will never forget.

 

On the sand dunes above Giza overlooking the great Pyramid she has another “chance” encounter with another of Coleman associates, a Music Producer and Author called ‘Tony Assassin’, who swings swords and speaks of aliens, but whose ideas disturbingly make sense. Jaz explained to us that, You will meet a lithe, active figure, he holds a sword upright in both hands, while in the act of swift walking” – he will expose what is hidden by explaining the significance of ‘the City of the Pyramids’. This, the first communication containing numerology which activates the unconscious mind of the Journalist, while she cries herself to sleep in her hotel room – her second nightmare comes as she is bombarded with eyes in a 3D multi-coloured faceted cosmic game of chess, one that resonates psychedelic colours becoming more frenzied and complex.

5 DR

The Film’s commentary on the Band’s music continues to unfold with various interviews with Jimmy Page, Mike Coles, Guðlaugur Kristinn Óttarsson, Neil Perry, Mat Smith, Dave Grohl as they discuss the Band’s sense of timing, when they play and when it’s ‘right’ to play. With footage of current world events in the Middle East, rioting, human suffering survival and the The 30th Anniversary album promises to be no different. Under this a sense of urgency as Jana arrives in Scotland and the isle of Mull where she meets with a Pub landlord, Franciscan Monk and whose candid prophecies about the end of mankind explains the mysteries of Iona. Coleman’s classical music sets the scene for her epic journey. Arriving by boat to the Isle of Mull, a little confused and looking for directions to the Abbey at Iona she sets out across hills and glens arriving in the Abbey grounds. Entering the Abbey in the middle of a service, she walks to a smaller chapel to the side and finds another ‘letter’ from Coleman. The letter instructs her to walk to the top of ‘Duni’ the highest mound on the island. When she reaches the Stone cairn and collapse on her knees, we see the band playing in slow motion with time-lapse  footage of the isle… the word ‘Icha’ is repeated as the band footage reaches its climax.

 

Onwards to Peru where Jana visits the Nazca lines, again repeating Coleman’s original journey to the ‘Island’ over 25 years ago. She discovers the ‘Spider’ campsite after traveling via Hot air balloon and again at night, in her hotel bed has another nightmare. An explanation of this piece of Coleman’s original journey is left for her in the Camp site in the form of a letter. These contain instructions on how to travel to the ‘Island’. This journey to the ‘island is epic, we see her climb waterfalls, traverses across prehistoric swamps, swims across Lakes and enter caves slowly closing in to the point of origin (Jaz Coleman slowly sinking into the bubbling waters at the Hotpool. True or false it becomes clearer with Coleman’s final explanation of the film, Jana’s journey’s end where she is purified and gives birth to a Star child.  So there it was… the original idea and something we attempted…Er yeah???? Denis Wheatley eat your heart out!, something kept us going… the Da Vinci Code on acid meets Spinal Tap (which I think is a great film by the way…) But can you imagine what a head fuck this was going to be to explain… film and edit? In the end I had to kill off the ‘jana’ character and become the journalist myself. Much easier – hahaha!

6 DR

 

Was there a stage early in the process where you sensed things may not work as planned?

Yes.

The film has a lot of early footage, it’s great to know there is stuff like this in existence. Is there much of an archive of film and other material connected to the band

Yes there’s a lot and after 30 years you’d expect to find a lot. But apart from what I’d already shot on Killing Joke’s ‘Pandemonium’ and ‘Democracy’ tours, rehearsals, and recordings etc… that was it! We had to find the right archive footage to support the storyline & really what began as a process of directed consciousness, became lucky plus some very helpful Gatherers. Brent ‘Hobe’ Abelson (Jaz’s and my mutual friend) and who was my other cameraman. We spent many years and travels, filming all the band performances and Jaz content. Hobe went on tours when I couldn’t, and gradually we built up more archive interviews and footage.

4 DR

There’s a quote from Jimmy Page where he says that through the music, Jaz is either playing with magic, or the magic is playing with him. The supernatural element is very strong throughout, with Big Paul referencing the importance it played in getting the band together. Basically, how important is this to the band?  

I didn’t want to ostracise potential viewers by being glib about the band’s spiritual side so I didn’t go there. Paul talks about his influences but really I only had to let Jaz’s story take that line in the movie. Suggestion is a much more powerful thought process. 

There are a number of testimonies of strange incidents around Jaz and the band, UFO’s lightning strikes, the Reading gig experience. You interviewed the witnesses – how credible do you find these accounts? 

The interviewees all shared their thoughts on what they had seen or experienced. I just put their case forward and a viewer would perhaps ask more searching questions. Did I believe them? Yes. 

These issues are very powerful, did you find yourself getting immersed in them or could you maintain an independent stance as a film-maker? 

I’ve experienced my own issues like this so I can sort of understand but I remained independent as a film-maker and just let the cameras roll. 

Big Paul calls Jaz a “reluctant frontman”; I get what he’s saying in context of the band’s history, but how do you view Jaz as a performer? 

Jaz is a consummate artist that gives his all on stage. I know from the years that I’ve seen Killing Joke perform, he has to call on his guardian and puts on the mask of the Jester to perform. This is what makes this band a stella group, their live gigs are rituals, the musicians and fans in the audience are players in these rituals. 

We all know about the guitar genius of Geordie, but I feel you still do a brilliant job of showing why he is so good. Can you give us your insight of his skills?

Thank you. It wasn’t easy getting Geordie to open up. Timing and just sticking a camera in his face worked and sometimes it didn’t. Geordie’s abilities are immense and really there’s no point in talking about his music and we should just shut the fuck up and listen to it. There’s a quote I really enjoyed after knowing Geordie for all these years… “How can I fly like an Eagle, when I’m surrounded by Turkeys”… fucking brilliant!

How well do you think the film captures the changing dynamics as a result of Raven’s sad passing and reforming of the original line-up?

After the initial shock of Paul’s death there was a sense of outpouring from fans that expressed what the rest of the band were thinking… that the music carries on. Paul’s death and the Band’s resurrection were never in the film’s script. I’d be a fucking arse being glib about this or run a story line that was not true. Paul died and the band reformed all I ever had to do was be respectful.

Jaz has said no one would ever get close enough to the band to write a book, how close did you get and at what cost to you?

Well to be truthful I kind of got in via the back door. Band as a whole are very protective of each other, and their work, however I think most of the time they we’re just ‘oh he’s Jaz’s mate …sort him out’, and we were generally accepted. Probably more importantly they didn’t think anything would come of it. Fuck I know I did …on lots of occasions. 

How far did your view of the band, and/or members of it change for better or worse during the making of the film? 

I have known them all now for over 20 years or so, all of them welcomed me, Jaz and I are close on lots of levels & it’s been an extremely productive and creative relationship. Big Paul is a total gentleman and we’ve really only just meet since his interview. I’ve got no idea what Geordie thinks of the film. Youth makes me laugh. When Raven was still alive, we had mutual friends. My intention was never a tall tale story about the bull-shit, the behind scene partying, etc. I wanted to make a film that was about a remarkable Band, that’s inspired so many others.

Now the film is complete, is there feeling of satisfaction/pride etc, or has the process left you with other feelings? 

It’s been a herculean effort to finish a project like this and I’m proud I’ve done my job and still standing, if a little wobbly after all these years. If there’s a band to make a music documentary and be proud about it, then these guys are it. I was in London during the BFI screening and I met up with some other film Directors… they just looked aghast when I told them what I’d achieved. Probably didn’t believe it… but the film’s not an urban myth…anymore! And crucially there’s not another band like them or film like this…and it’s unlikely there ever will be.

Peter Plum Cairo Footage22

Where do you think KJ fit in the story of popular music and how well do you feel that is reflected in the film?

The band are a collective of immensely talented individuals that are constantly adapting their music. The guiding power that they produce is in itself produced by the respect they have for a higher energy source that guides us all. I made this film for both my own humour & also to pay homage to the band and their fiercely loyal fan base. If you’re not a KJ fan then don’t worry… this film ticks all the boxes. It’s got the entertainment factor, a huge soundtrack, a mad bio-pic of a fascinating, quirky, perhaps manic personality that becomes more believable by the minute. Then there’s the huge potential when you’ve got other musicians quoting this band as the ‘blue-print’ for all bands. Without doubt Killing Joke have influenced a lot of people so I hope anyone who is interested in rock music, the merciless tenacity of the industry, and this band’s uniqueness is going to get this film. But fundamentally its all true which makes it an interesting feature film to produce & contemplate, but I hope it carries the impression that the film’s unique documentary approach, hits without overloading people who don’t care with artistic concepts, Occult or Ritual Magick.

 What do you think the future holds, for KJ and for your future projects?

We have exceeded all of our planetary boundaries and we have psychopaths at the helm of our sinking ship, armed to the teeth. They will fight to the bitter end. Nowhere on the planet do I see a political party planning for the collapse of society and our biosphere. Perhaps… a new party called ‘the extinction Party’ I have an activist friend whose considering this… But when it happens we’ll go into collapse leader-less, with thousands of nuclear weapons on a hair trigger. If we face a future where the growth economy grows itself to death, which seems to be the most likely scenario, then building up local resilience and self-sufficiency now will prove to be time and energy well spent.

“Earth sinks in the sea, the sun burns black,

Cast down from heaven are the hot stars,

Fumes reek, into flames burst,

The sky itself is scorched with fire.

I see Earth rising a second time,

Out of the foam, fair and green;

Down from the fells, fish to capture,

Wings the eagle; waters flow.”

(Völuspá-The Song of the Sybil)

Future film plans… hmmm, there’s a few plans… I’d definitely do another music film but it would have to be a fucking amazing story and a band I respected… AND crucially their management who were totally supportive and knew what they were doing… I had to laugh when Youth said to me at a particularly low point in production, ‘that the business is full of thieves and scoundrels’, the Show certainly had it’s fair share and for my own sanity, after a period of cleansing and re appraising of my priorities… I’m setting up an organic farm 900 meters above sea-level just off the Great Divide Range in Queensland. It’s important to plan for what’s going to come and food production is going to be important.

In terms of the Band, I would imagine that the Joke will continue until they drop.

Thanks to Shaun for use of photographs from his collection.

In order they are – The Apocalypse Hotel;  Jaz Coleman; Jaz preparing for ritual; Shaun holding the original picture of the ‘spider’ camp with Jaz in the distance revisiting the actual site; the original advert for bassist and guitarist and Jaz driving up to the Pyramids.

Enjoy Shaun’s favourite Killing Joke track

To watch the film trailer for The Death and Resurrection Show go here. For further details and to buy the DVD go here

All words by Dave Jennings. More from Dave can be found at his Louder Than War author’s archive. He is also on Twitter as @blackfoxwrexham


 

OCTOBER 2015

THE GUARDIAN FILM REVIEW

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The Death and Resurrection Show – Satan, Killing Joke and Paxman

By Mike McCCahill

Shaun Pettigrew’s exhaustive account of Killing Joke’s four-decade career is really a fans-only job, although it gradually loosens the cloak of mystique drawn around this band’s shoulders. Possibly spooked by frontman Jaz Coleman’s thousand-yard stare, Pettigrew takes his subjects’ dabbling in the darker arts seriously, devoting entire sidebars to runes and numerology. (Less serious: guest witness Peter Hook, who shrugs off such Kerrang!-friendly Satanism with the priceless: “I’m from Salford. Why would the devil scare me?”) Between wobbly VHS footage of continental music shows and spinning NME headlines, Pettigrew uncovers ample evidence of erratic personalities, yet he’s equally attuned to fluctuations in their scowling sound – the initial DIY flourishes, the artful lacquer of their mid-80s chartbusters, the harder edge regained once the spotlight moved elsewhere. Throughout, Coleman remains fascinatingly idiosyncratic, whether recording inside pyramids or going head-to-head with Paxman; given the Joke’s longevity, you have to concede that whoever he’s been worshipping, it’s worked.


OCTOBER 2015

Total Film Review

The Death and Resurrection Show; 4 stars

By Kevin Harley

A 150 minute rock doc may seem indulgent, but Shaun Pettigrew’s riotous study of punk seer/egomaniac Jaz Coleman warrants longhaul treatment. Covering 35 years of Coleman’s punk metallers Killing Joke, Pettigrew focuses mainly on the many lives of Jaz, a shape shifting dreamer with occult tendencies whose triumphs leave critics stupefied. The result plays like a rock-doc reimagined by Dennis Wheatley. Clearly a fan, Pettigrew assembles his deluge of archive material and interviews (Jimmy Page, Dave Grohl…) diligently: even Coleman’s mum weighs in.


OCTOBER 2015

Louder Than War Review

 

Killing Joke : The Death and Resurrection Show : film review

By Rob Haynes

“Patterns I’m finding, as pain and joy and sorrow mingle”

– Adorations, Killing Joke (1986)

Like all truly great bands, Killing Joke don’t just have great songs, great albums, and a definitive sound, they have their own mythology. From the dark hints of occult rituals cementing the band at their origins, to the chaos that surrounded their collapse and rejuvenation during the whole Iceland episode, there are things about Killing Joke that have taken on the feel of creation myths told around a campfire at night. If they aren’t true, perhaps we’d all rather not know.

The result of ten years of filming backed with a wealth of archive footage, ‘The Death and Resurrection Show’ is film-maker Shaun Pettigrew’s exhaustive (and presumably exhausting) attempt to cast aside the curtain of pagan mystery which surrounds this most apocalyptic of bands, and provide a band history, both musical and magickal. And if you’re here strictly for the facts and figures, be warned – at the film’s outset it declares itself as based on Jaz Coleman’s dense, labyrinthine ‘Letters From Cythera’ book.

But a documentary this nevertheless is, and there’s perhaps a danger of de-mystification, that having these tales of great renown explained may render them ordinary and unexceptional – however, it says much for the band that this isn’t the case. For example, the legendary exodus to Iceland as the band fractured following the release of Revelations in 1982 turns out to be an appropriate cauldron of weirdness. Jaz’s mum kicks things off with a suitably down-to-earth perspective (“We made him a birthday cake and he disappeared”), Big Paul and Youth offer their (still) bewildered takes on the subject, before Jaz and Geordie and a collection of Icelandic associates relate stories of interpreting Aleister Crowley and levitating on glaciers. And there you go – like a scientific explanation of the fog that shrouds the mountains, everything has been explained, and yet still nothing is clear.

As the chronology moves along the years, wild ideas and fantastical anecdotes ping about like atoms in an explosion – out-of-body experiences onstage at the Reading Hexagon, haunting apparitions and dreams while recording in the Great Pyramid of Giza, Dave Grohl managing a wide grin while physically holding Jaz back from aggressively haranguing a bewildered fan on the street.

And of course, what a soundtrack! Anthems of great, thudding menace and ecstacy, the perfect backdrop to the unfolding personalities on the screen. There’s lots of great live footage, although technical musical insights are far outnumbered by mystical ones.

An impressive array of commentators are assembled – each member of the original band talk at length, Jaz’s mum settles round her kitchen table to offer recollections (calmly observing at one point that her son thinks too much and “verges on paranoia”), while there’s also a great coven of occult associates, from the band’s astrologer to various fellow seekers after mystical insight.

From an earthbound point of view, producer Chris Kinsey and Malicious Damage owner Mike Coles offer the best insights into the nuts and bolts of the band machine. If you want to know how Big Paul and Youth felt about leaving and rejoining the band, you’ll get that from the men themselves, but you’ll get plenty more on Jaz’s research into Rosicrucianism and the alternative realities of Universe B. The camera generally focuses on just the singer’s mouth for his interviews – and laughing wildly, he guides the film’s direction, as he has so much of the band. With a running time of over two hours there’s scope to cover an awful lot of ground, and yet also at times the film can seem frustratingly sketchy – part of the price of tackling a band that in all ways possesses serious depths.

At the conclusion you may feel in many ways enlightened, but in many other ways more disorientated than ever. There’s a sense that the larger entity of ‘Killing Joke’ – possibly the entity referred to obliquely by Coleman as the fifth member – is something that it may be best to witness from a safe distance.


FEBRUARY 2015

BFI Southbank Screening Q&A

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Check out the post-screening Q&A with the film’s director/producer Shaun Pettigrew, producer Steve Piper, Jaz Coleman and host Danny Leigh over at the BFI website.


FEBRUARY 2015

The Alternative Music Press Review

 

Review: ‘The Death & Resurrection Show’ (Killing Joke Documentary)

It’s brass monkeys, as they (probably) say, as a February wind tries to shove me off-balance into a passing mobile library. I am snaking through to London’s South Bank, miles from the sacred ground where a band called Killing Joke would have first formed and fought, a million years ago.  I pass pockets of tourists, and fail to find a bin for the banana skin I am carrying.

Entering the BFI building, a wary eye is kept out for Killing Joke’s frontman, Jeremy ‘Jaz’ Coleman, due to participate in a Q&A session after the film. A volcano-throated mystic who has spent nigh-on three decades fronting one of the most influential bands to tour the Earth, Killing Joke have probably made a mark on a band you like and you don’t even know it. Metallica? Check. Tool? Check. Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Prong, Soundgarden? Check.

Oh, and Nirvana’s memorable Come As You Are bassline? Go listen to Killing Joke’s Eighties.

Those who could be here tonight are wandering around the building, easily spotted. I spare a thought for all of those who couldn’t make it, and perhaps the most-missed brother of all: Paul Vincent Raven, Killing Joke’s long-term bass player. In a wondrous example of triumph over tragic, Raven’s untimely death in 2007 was the catalyst for the original line-up to reunite. Faced with their mortality, the force-of-nature alchemical combination was restored.

After a series of reunion concerts, 2010 saw the release of Absolute Dissent. A wide-eyed and abrasive slab of noise, it still touched on moments of beauty, not least The Raven King: the Joke’s musical send-off for their fallen comrade.

Having established their return and reaffirmation, the more musically considered MMXII shot out of the portal in 2012. Still packing enormous sonic punch, the Joke painted with more colours from their musical pallet. Here they kept a watchful eye over the impending collapse of mankind, taking in the magnetic shift of the Earth’s poles, the construction of FEMA internment camps in America, solar flares wrecking Earthly electrical systems, and that old chestnut, the end of the world.

Back in London, it is time to sit and gawp at an admirable attempt to tell the story of this extraordinary outfit: The Death And Resurrection Show. Killing Joke’s circus is in town, as is their ideal of ‘the gathering’, as grown-up punks momentarily take over the bar and seating areas.  There is a great sense of occasion, but on a small, humble scale, where softly-spoken voices of reunited friends are moved to joyous laughter. The time eventually comes for everyone to pile into the screen room, and the usual kerfuffle over seats ensues.

The film itself is a treat, bravely pulling the dimensional veil back and allowing all gathered to spy on fascinating moments in the band’s history, intertwined with illuminating insights from current members, past members, associates and fans – including a pair of nobodies called Dave Grohl and Jimmy Page.

From a burned-down flat in Battersea, to the King’s Chamber in Egypt, to the Island of Iona, through the Basements of Hell in Prague, it’s a rollercoaster ride through the cosmos, laced with fascinating anecdotes and fantastical individuals. There doesn’t appear to have been a square of the planet that the band haven’t touched, or touched upon.

At the centre of it all is Jaz Coleman, the all-seeing eye of the storm. We see the progression of his remarkable life: from angry young school leaver to post-punk keyboardist, student of the theology, cult of personality (to the chagrin of drummer ‘Big’ Paul Ferguson, a figure of quiet dignity and a lingering wisp of fury), scourge of record companies and music journalists (do a search for ‘Jaz Coleman maggots’), eventually becoming something of a modern renaissance figure.

It would be rude not to mention Kevin ‘Geordie’ Walker and Martin ‘Youth’ Glover, a fiercely singular and innovative guitar musician, who provides much of the sonic textural backdrops for Coleman’s acid-spitting roar. Youth meanwhile provides a hippie-tinged foil, bringing a love of dub and dance to the mix and countering the doom-laden heaviness with his own artful spiritualism. The aforementioned Ferguson provides an approach to drumming not before seen in this dimension, described as his rhythms have been “like Garry Glitter on crack”.

The film stays remarkably true to the spirit of Killing Joke, by way of presenting chaos with a driven narrative, a sense of ‘background reins’, as can be detected in the band’s music – just the right amount of wrong, and thus the whole circus never quite collapses.

But thanks to The Death And Resurrection Show, we have further access than before on all the moments (and there are numerous) when the charade almost ground to a halt, from the infamous (and according to Coleman, much-misunderstood) fleeing of the singer to Iceland, to the reputation-buggering Outside the Gate, the magick-tinged battles of ego, and steadfast bassist Paul Raven’s tragic passing.

It is a double-edged sword that the film eventually has to finish, and there is no coverage of the band’s escapades post-Absolute Dissent – understandable, as by the time footage had been tacked-on to the documentary another chapter would have undoubtedly begun – and it is immeasurably tantalising to remember that Killing Joke is alive, well, and still laughing.

A Q&A session takes place afterwards as we collectively gasp for air and attempt to make sense of what has been seen: a story that would have been remarkable as mere fiction, let alone the actual history of a band. Fascinating anecdotes about the film’s troubled genesis are revealed, along with musical recollections from Coleman that tickle the assembled. Jaz is to be found later signing copies of his book, Letters From Cythera: A Ludibrium by Jaz Coleman. He patiently signs everything and poses for everything else. It’s especially surreal to have witnessed The Death And Resurrection Show and see the figure at its centre amicably chatting with those gathered.

After speaking with him on a resonance found in Killing Joke’s music found wanting elsewhere, I stumble out into the night, the air laced with the taste of the Thames. I amble through the glow cast by the now-named Coca-Cola London Eye: another symbol of sheer wrong, as a bloated company steals even more space from your vision to flog you sugary liquid excrement. It’s just the sort of thing Killing Joke would froth and foam over, sonically pummelling you whilst also presenting the facts of the argument, such is their gift. Perhaps it’ll feature on the impending new album.

Walking up the steps to my hotel, a sudden slip sends me careering majestically back down. Luckily, it’s too dark for the Nikon-armed tourists to see me and capture my fall for posterity.

On the hotel step sits a banana peel.

The Joke is alive.


JANUARY 2015

BFI Southbank Special Screening

Well the rumours have been circulating and here’s the official heads up, The Death and Resurrection Show has been invited to show at a special one off screening at the BFI Southbank Cinema 1 next month, love to them and our fine theatrical distributors MusicFilmNetwork for putting it all together, and of course to our crew, interviewees, people behind the scenes and Killing Joke for getting this project this far.

More news on screenings and releases soon!


OCTOBER 2014

In-Edit Festival Reviews

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In his magnificent book on the post-punk period Rip It Up and Start Again, Simon Reynolds dares to sum up Killing Joke’s resounding personality in a single line: “a post-punk version of heavy metal, a death-disco Black Sabbath”. And one can’t help but imagine Jaz Coleman, vociferous alma mater of the legendary English group, spitting fire and spouting Maori curses from his cabin on Great Barrier Island (New Zealand) upon hearing such an efficient and mundane definition of his greatest life project. For this giant ­–scholar and megalomaniac with a shamanic soul– as for his partners, Geordie Walker, “Big” Paul Ferguson, Youth and Paul Raven, Killing Joke’s music is and forever will be sacred. Larger than life. A basic urge, impregnated with mysticism that conjures ancestral spirits while setting the (martial) pace of a collapsing world on the brink of Armageddon. And if anyone thinks we’re exaggerating, they need only hear what they have to say in the documentary The Death and Resurrection Show.

Directed by the photographer and filmmaker Shaun Pettigrew  –like Coleman, a Brit by birth and a Kiwi by adoption– the film was shot between 2003 and 2013, and is based on Letters from Cythera, the book in which Coleman explains his philosophical evolution since 1960, the year of his birth, to 2008, the year in which bassist Paul Raven died. Pettigrew unleashes an overwhelming visual torrent (news footage, strobe and mirror effects, lavish graphics and a dash of time-lapse). And combines it with agile chronological narration of the history of the group, formed in 1978 following a ceremonial ritual and a cryptic ad in Melody Maker magazine, on one hand, and on the other, Coleman’s passionate dissertations about his interest in –deep breath, folks– Aleister Crowley, chaos magick, occultism, hermeticism, the Kabbalah, the Rosicrucian tradition, numerology, all manner of pagan symbols, and in particular, how all this influenced his work with Killing Joke and as a classical music composer (he worked with the Prague Symphony Orchestra and violinist Nigel Kennedy and has composed symphonic covers of The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and recently, Nirvana). And lest we forget, his obsession with the idea of a hidden island in the outer reaches of the world, which, alongside the giant atomic mushroom cloud, serves to open and close the narrative circle of the film.

And so, traveling from London to New Zealand, passing through rituals in the forests of Oxford and the Scottish island of Iona, an escapade to Iceland fleeing nuclear apocalypse, plagued by paranormal experiences, a wild season at the Nazca Lines, a wedding in Morocco and a recording session at the Great Pyramid of Giza (Egypt), two and a half orgiastic hours go by, encapsulating three decades of archive material. And, surprisingly, they turn out to be entertaining even for those that aren’t fans of the band, oscillating between the excitement of adventure films and the tension of a psychological thriller.

In the testimonies section, Jimmy Page, guitarist of Led Zeppelin and self-confessed occultist bows down to the unique sound of Geordie Walker’s semi-acoustic and the band’s ominous presence: “You could cut the atmosphere at their concerts with a knife”. Other revealing commentaries are provided by Peter Hook (bassist of Joy Division and New Order), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), the Maori diva Hinewehi Mohi and Coleman’s mum, Gloria:

“He’s gentle and reflective inside. You wouldn’t know that because of Killing Joke. But inside, he is. He has a deep fear of something and he manifests it in different ways”.

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The Death And Resurrection Show (Killing Joke)

Treachery, occultism, pagan rites, internal feuds, megalomania and the darkest of post-punk music. Jimmy Page, Dave Grohl, Peter Hook and the stars of the Killing Joke saga tell the paranormal and foolhardy story of the band. To die for.  

The story of Killing Joke contains black magic, venerable betrayals, occultism at full pelt, pagan rites, so many internal feuds that it makes The Smiths look like The Brady Bunch, rampant megalomania and the darkest of all post-punk music. This is a deranged and paranormal saga that’s stranger than fiction, and it’s all right here, in almost two frenetic hours of adventures through the twilight of rock’n’roll. Paul Ferguson and Jaz Coleman united by “mutual repulsion” and love of The Occult. It all seems headed for Armageddon: they burn down the house in a ritual, use ceremonial witchcraft live and – alongside Geordie Walker and Youth Glover – transcend into the dimension of irate visionaries. Jaz proclaims, “I’m not a nutcase” on the cover of Sounds, but in 1982 he wound up in an unknown location. They found him in Iceland, believing himself to be Aleister Crowley. The band reunited. Stabbed each other in the back again, more spats, more spells, more of Jaz’ mystic ravings, more numerology, recordings in Giza and Iona, three-day fasts and catatonic trances. Against all odds, they nailed hits like “Love like blood”. Jimmy Page, Dave Grohl, Peter Hook (“They didn’t scare me, I’m from Salford”), band and entourage narrate this astonishing odyssey. To die for. Seriously.

Shaun Pettigrew is a renowned Kiwi photographer who transfers his talents to film with The Death and Resurrection Show. He also directed the short fiction film Horses (2009).


DECEMBER 2013

NEW ZEALAND FILM AWARDS

The Death and Resurrection Show has been nominated in the Nikon Best Self Funded Film category of the Rialto Channel New Zealand Film Awards 2013; cheers!


NOVEMBER 2013

ROKUMENTTI FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW

The Death and Resurrection Show

The Death and Resurrection Show tells the incredible story of post-punk, gothic and industrial rock legend Killing Joke. The band, formed in 1978, is known for occultism, provocations, and visions about the apocalypse, but also for hypnotic rhythms, unholy guitar sounds of Geordie Walker and the manic expressiveness of the band’s mystic vocalist Jaz Coleman. “You have to remember that Killing Joke started as a ritual.”

Killing Joke has always been an experimental group. The experiments haven’t only been restricted to music, as mysticism and occultism have always been a central part of the band. Especially the prophetic lead, Jaz Coleman, has claimed fame through his eccentric actions, such as taking off to Iceland to escape the end of the world just as the band was starting to make a name for themselves. Gigs spiked with psychological manipulation and recording an album at a tomb in the pyramids of Egypt are also within the range of normal for this band.

Killing Joke has had a massive influence on today’s music. Bands from Metallica to Foo Fighters and Faith No More name Killing Joke as their influence. Nirvana is known for “borrowing” the central riff of Come As You Are from this band. Amongst Finnish musicians the crown of the most ardent fanboy goes to Jouni Hynynen, whose group, Kotiteollisuus, was invited to cover Killing Joke in the Absolute respect -tribute album.

The Death and Resurrection Show, the brand new documentary that has its Finnish premiere at Rokumentti is bound to astonish even the most loyal Joke fan. The extent of the archive material and the interviews from different decades take you into the dark center of Killing Joke. This gigantic two-and-a-half-hour movie holds the viewers’ interest for its entire length and draws them to the twisted world of Joke. No self-respecting music fan should miss this. Be a part of the Death and Resurrection Show!


JUNE 2013

BLACKLOG MAGAZINE REVIEW

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The Death and Resurrection Show

The Death and Resurrection Show is the definitive feature film documentary on English post punk industrial band Killing Joke. The story of this enigmatic band is compelling to say the least; a journey spanning several continents, several break-ups, reformations, pyramids, Icelandic glaciers, Nazca lines, symphony orchestras, Aleister Crowley, New Zealand – it is truly an odyssey, laced with as many light moments as there are dark.

New Zealand-based Pettigrew covers all of the bases brilliantly including great candid interviews with a plethora of people involved with the band over the years; Jimmy Page, Peter Hook, Dave Grohl, Shihad’s Tom Larkin and Hinewehi Mohi among them, yet the band’s own interviews and thoughts take ‘candid’ to a new level. Coleman’s role in Mohi singing the New Zealand national anthem in Te Reo at the 1999 Rugby World Cup is indicative of his unswerving vision and ability to make things happen. These days singing the Maori version to start the anthem is the norm, but who knew Coleman was behind it, even fronting the affronted British media to explain why.


JUNE 2013

Off the Tracks Review

OFF THE TRACKS

The Death And Resurrection Show: Killing Joke Documentary

By Simon Sweetman

Wow, ten years in the making and it’s a two and a half hour ride and it’s riveting. The sort of film that fans and non-fans can curl up with and be fascinated by; because you couldn’t invent a better character than Jaz Coleman – the huge ego, the artistic restlessness, the anger – and of course the peripheral characters are a lot of fun too.

So here we have – finally – the Killing Joke story as made for the big screen. But it’s Jaz Coleman’s show, this – just as it’s Jaz Coleman’s band. So we have him doing what he does best – when not shouting out post-punk reverie or rearranging classic rock songs for string sections. Yep, there’s a load of Jaz mouthing off here. And he’s brilliant at it. Some of it sticks too. But it’s hard to know just how much vs. the amount actually flung at the wall.Killing Joke 1

Killing Joke are that rarity in music – they’ve never (really) let their audience down. Thirty plus years now and they’ve delivered the goods. But there’s so much of a story behind that sound.

There is a lot of madness – and possibly something downright evil – lurking beneath (and within) that sound. And it’s all dealt with – the madness, the music: equal measures.

We’re whisked from grimy bars and blood-soaked stages to acrimonious interviews and then to the pyramids in Egypt for a spot of meditation via so many drug happenings, séances and the (in)famous Coleman disappearing acts.

Throw in band-members being fired, some returning to the fold, plenty of anger, far too much booze, changes in direction (including a pop hit) and the musical eccentricities of Jaz Coleman’s ever expanding palette. You just couldn’t make this stuff up.
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The cast of cameo-characters is colourful: Peter Hook, Martin Glover, Geordie, Paul Raven, Jazz Summers, Tom Larkin, Dave Grohl (indie-rock’s answer to Bono when it comes to such documentaries) and Jimmy Page (the best I’ve seen Page; he seems happy, healthy, enthused – probably just pleased the heat is off him for a bit and a much bigger nutter is under the microscope).

Coleman’s interviews take place just an inch or two from his face – we just see and hear this mouth going for it. And boy does he go.

Making sense of this, which, remarkably Pettigrew does, is no mean feat. The film is brilliantly put together, so much incredible footage – new and old – and in fact much as the director makes sense of it his best process has been in standing back and letting the madness happen, being sure to capture what he can. And he’s caught a lot – and shaped it just right.

One of the best music documentaries I’ve seen in years. Hilarious, baffling, brilliant, bonkers. Post-punk’s clown prince of faux-evil darkness won’t disappoint. You have to get to this. It will totally get to you. I already can’t wait to see it again. I just know it’s going to reward repeat viewings.


JUNE 2013

NZ Herald Review

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Jaz Coleman’s Madness and Passion

By Scott Kara

The Death and Resurrection Show is about the turbulent and uncompromising 35-year reign of British post-punk industrial band Killing Joke. But, as with anything Killing Joke, it’s also the Jaz Coleman show. Because the frontman is the band’s self-proclaimed maniacal mouthpiece.

This documentary delves into the passionate, sometimes mad, and often bad mind of the man who has called New Zealand – or more specifically, Cythera, his code name for Great Barrier Island where he has had a “shack” since the mid-80s – home.

The film, made by British-born, New Zealand-based film-maker Shaun Pettigrew, a long-time fan of the band and gatherer of Killing Joke footage and history, has its world premier at Auckland’s Academy Cinema on Wednesday, the day before Killing Joke play their first show in New Zealand at the Studio on K Rd.

The documentary opens with a magical and mysterious shot of Great Barrier before it cranks into the regal grind of Requiem, from the band’s self-titled 1981 debut album, as Coleman recollects the band’s beginnings in London in 1979.

Though the life and times of Coleman is a dominant thread throughout the film, it always comes back to the music.

Coleman formed the band with drummer “Big” Paul Ferguson, guitarist Geordie Walker and bass player Martin “Youth” Glover.

As well as the music, the members were also united by their interest in the occult and the ritualistic and mystical worlds which inspired their music and shaped the confrontational experience and aesthetic of their live shows.

Musically, along with Coleman’s caustic, fearsome vocal delivery, and the aggressive tribal hammering of the rhythm section, it was Walker’s singular guitar sound, played on a semi-acoustic instrument with an eerie haunting heaviness to it, that made Killing Joke so unique.

In the beginning, Walker thought he was the best guitar player in the world, despite only playing in his bedroom before joining Killing Joke.

But, as Coleman remembers: “When he started playing it was like fire from heaven.” That description also sums up Killing Joke’s music.

And it’s quite a canon of work, from the primal hypnotic groove of their self titled album, and songs such as War Dance, through their mainstream, Top of the Pops stage with 1985’s A Love Like Blood, and the latter part of their career which has included a run of four excellent albums from 2003 onwards.

In turn, Killing Joke influenced essential underground bands such as Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, and mainstream rock monsters such as Nirvana (as the documentary points out the riff to Eighties from 1984 is a dead ringer for Come As You Are), Metallica and Foo Fighters.

Though the film is clearly put together by a fan of the band, it’s not sycophantic.

It simply tells the story of the band and of Coleman by pulling together three decades of archive footage, most of it never seen before, and through candid interviews including band members (Youth describes how Coleman can be a “testy threatening dictator”), Coleman’s mum Gloria, Led Zeppelin guitarist and fellow occult fan Jimmy Page (who loved the “menace” of Killing Joke), Dave Grohl (who drummed on their second self-titled album from 2003) and New Zealanders Tom Larkin of Shihad (Coleman produced the band’s debut Churn) and Maori diva and Coleman-collaborator Hinewehi Mohi.

But it’s the way the film gets into Coleman’s complex, questioning, and resolute head where things get more intriguing – and if you don’t follow his thoughts carefully it all becomes rather bamboozling.

This is a man with many sides to him.

There’s his occult and religious beliefs, with outer-body experiences and levitating a common occurrence (such as during a recording session at an Egyptian pyramid).

In the early 80s he disappeared to Iceland, a place he believed offered the best chance of survival if a nuclear war broke out, but he would later find refuge at the opposite end of the Earth on Barrier.

Then there is his classical music pedigree, which has seen him collaborate with, among others, violinist Nigel Kennedy, be composer in residence for the Prague Symphony Orchestra and work with the NZSO and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

But there’s also the fiery, fierce side of Coleman, coming through in his early disdain for the press, which led to moments such as his throwing maggots around the reception area of a magazine he took exception to.

In the film Larkin, who drummed on the band’s 1994 album Pandemonium, tells how Coleman had a special microphone set up so he could yell abuse at them as they recorded.

However, he also has a sensitive and caring side. He joined the debate in defence of Hinewehi Mohi following the fallout from her singing the national anthem in te reo at the 1999 Rugby World Cup in England.

It was an incident that he said led to him getting death threats from “Kiwi rednecks”.

His passion for Maori and New Zealand also emerged last year when TimeOut talked to him about the release of Killing Joke’s 15th album, MXMII.

“Home is a place where, when I hear a Maori voice, the tears well up, and that’s how I know where home is.”

But, and perhaps fittingly, it’s his mum who sums him up best in the film, saying: “He’s gentle and reflective inside. You wouldn’t know that because of Killing Joke. But inside, he is. He has a deep fear of something and he manifests it in different ways.”

 

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