Don’t say we’re not eclectic here at FRONT. So far on this Alphabet Tour I’ve been to see punks, metallers and pop stars – and now it’s time for a dose of ravey hip-hop madness. It’s Die Antwoord… and it’s going to be off the bonk.
Who: Die Antwoord
When: 22 June, 2013
Where: Brixton O2 Academy, London
Beer: Pint of Carlsberg for £4.30
Average age: 26
Cost of a t-shirt: N/A (didn’t see one)
Best bit: ENTER THE FUCKING NINJA
Worst bit: Waiting around for a millennia before they came on stage.
Music is best when it splits opinion. Recently NME gave Tom Odell’s latest album a 0/10 rating, which is harsh but at least it caused a reaction – there’s an emotional connection there, albeit a negative one. Zero is far more exciting than 5/10. I’d much rather listen to something shit than something average just to see what all the fuss is about. And even though Tom’s dad rang up NME to complain about the review it will probably work in his favour in the long run – not everyone will hate it, surely?
But this isn’t about Tom Odell, it’s about a much bigger band who have divided music fans since they went viral on the YouTubez back in 2010. The South African rave/rap/future-fucking crossover troupe Die Antwoord are either the best or worst band in the world – depending on your viewpoint. No-one is on the fence about these guys and I’m firmly on the I <3 DIE ANTWOORD 4EVA LOLZ side. And from the sold-out crowd at Brixton Academy tonight, it looks like I’m not alone.
The thousands of hippies, hipsters and bizarro music fans are left waiting in the darkness with ambient music failing to climax for over half an hour before DJ Hi-Tek, Yo-Landi Vis$$er and Ninja bounce on stage in their fluorescent orange tracksuits looking like radioactive cans of Tango for just over an hour of one of the most entertaining bands I’ve seen this year. From the massive screen at the back projecting images of crudely drawn cocks and snippets of music videos to the on stage dancers – this pisses on Cirque Du Soleil.
After a couple of rave party bangers it’s straight into the furiously fun Fatty Boom Boom. Yo-Landi throws herself around the stage like she’s being controlled by a masochistic puppet master that continues during Pitbull Terrier and Evil Boy – this comes complete with an inflatable Casper The Friendly Ghost holding his mammoth monstercock – no ectoplasm, though.
The intense take-all-your-drugs-now I Fink U Freeky sends the hyperactive crowd into overdrive and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen people AT THE BACK of the room jumping just as much as those down front. Bona fide bonkerstown territory.
Ending the set by crouching silently at the front of the stage in individual spotlights for what feels like ages, it must be over right? OH HELL NO! As encores go, Enter The Ninja is up there with “Here, drink my booze and have loads of my money” on the fun scale. If you’re not losing your shit then your soul must be devoid of excitement and you probably enjoy the sound of beige paint drying. Brixton is on fire and rave is alive and kicking the glowsticking fuck out of everyone. 5/10 this is not.
Next up is E for Earthless.
Watch me lose my shit in 140 characters or less over on Twitter HERE.