Where are they now? A curious question popular with nostalgic masses, provoking the inevitable – a reunion.
To this day, many have resurrected their former selves, effectively deciding to kill off the legend. Even some of the most obscure of these legends return for a pleasant haunt. In many cases, however, it is sadly a travesty – appearing after decades of absence from public spotlight, it can get quite disappointing to watch a bunch of respectfully aging men and/or women, once again brought together for their own memories re-lived and milking their past glory.
The mutual experience of reunion being as pleasant as it brings back also the good old bittersweet reasons due which the split occured back in the day. The media continue to provoke the endless hunger – by maintaining the image of long-gone big ones, their omnipresence either in the flesh or in terms of an influence. VH1’s “Bands Reunited” series probably brings out the worst of it – sensationally hunting down members of groups they choose to target for a one-time reunion spot – an act of unscrupulous intrution of certain people’s privacy, resulting in partial talking into, then a period of thinkover and finally, consent by those they asked to participate. Of course, it’s the money issue – makes one wonder how much each of these bands were offered just for a one night stand? Mark Stewart once provided a fascinatingly eerie line, screaming “we are all prostitutes, we’ll do anything for a price”. Today, The Pop Group join the reunion bandwagon. Not that it’s entirely a bad trip – some of these reunions are welcome and happen to shake off the ungrateful label of cashing in. The Pop Group’s spirit is forever carved in society affairs and Mark Stewart being the face of the oppressed, regardless of his past and present groups’ line ups, maintains his presence and the spirit of fighting injustice with his amazing trademark shriek. I guess, even despite their “capitulation” signing of being “prostitutes”, The Pop Group do make a certain point of reminding that nothing really changed – among other things, in the music business itself. It’s still business, music is of no relevance; it might change individual perception of the world around but it doesn’t change the world. For that – according to Dave Ball of Soft Cell (also reunited) – you have to be either a politician or a terrorist. So, where in the world are Claudine Caule and Gemini Forque now? And how do they fit into all this?
The two sad girls once sharing their tragedy and love of music, resulting in some of the most beautiful soundscape one wishes to hear and carry forever in his/her heart.
Deux Filles were a mystery duo, brought together due their intimate sadness caused by a painful loss; both, Gemini and Claudine met during their pilgrimage visit to Lourdes, when they were teenagers. During their stay, Claudine’s mother suddenly died of lung collapse, while Gemini’s parents suffered a grisly car accident to which her mother died while her father ended up being paralysed. Brought together by this undescribably disturbing set of circumstances, they started expressing mutual sadness through beautifully crafted instrumental music, with prevailing shades of grey, enveiled in sadness and melancholy. Although this move lit a spark at the end of a dark tunnel, resulting in critical acclaim and concert performances, after only two albums – “Silence & Wisdom” and “Double Happiness”, each released within a year from eachother during 1982-83 period – Deux Filles once again vanished into complete obscurity. The rumour had it, they went for a trip to Algeria, after which mysteriously as they appeared, Gemini and Claudine vanished without trace somewhere in North Africa around 1984. Various stories on their disappearance were made and forged – including the black scenario of abduction and murder (even planned disappearance, according to various official channels), but no such story was ever fully confirmed. At one point, supposedly a mysterious letter appeared – written by Claudine – saying, the pair journeyed to India on a spiritual quest, only to meet with further hardships.
What’s left from Deux Filles is the legacy of two beautiful records and a deserved cult following. Since their mysterious disappearance it been almost 30 years now and their fans are still expecting to hear from the two in all good faith. As if by some miraculous hand, during 2012, an initiative by BDFDHQ was brought on schedule – they are organising a search party in Algeria, to find Gemini and Claudine and form a reunion. At the same time, at the end of this year, a vinyl re-release of their masterpiece debut album “Silence & Wisdom” is to be released on Black Moss label.
Awaiting a possible – if viable – reunion, we can only hope Deux Filles found their peace and (double) happiness and that they overcame the horrific shock experienced at the time of their innocent youth. Life experience no matter how hard and sad is to learn from and if this reunion is to be true, it will definitely make one of those very few exceptions where music and conceptual wit wipes away the cliches and predictability of what is one such reunion expected to sound like. Deux Filles were as enigmatic, remain a mystery, and without doubt they might return just as full of surprises.