14/1 – 02 ABC
A three piece band, rapping in Afrikaans over techno rave in a sold out venue. It’s exactly as good as it sounds, if not better. And weirder.
Die Antwoord, South African rave-rap band have gone from a free-for-download debut album to a world tour. They now own their own record label Zef Recordz and have had cameos featuring Marilyn Manson, Jack Black and Dita Von Teese in their latest music video ‘Ugly Boy.’ Even by watching their music videos it’s hard to describe what you’re seeing, as vocalists Ninja and Yolandi Visser spit forth their zef lyrics to thumping techno beats courtesy of DJ Hi-Tek. But do they still grab your attention live?
Support act Auntie Flo got the crowd dancing and swaying to a chilled DJ set, relaxed dance and techno tunes to prepare the O2 for the oncoming cataclysmic energy of Die Antwoord. Following a fifteen minute instrumental introduction that only began to mount the anticipation of the audience, the trio finally took to the stage to the (very chant-able) ‘Fok Julle Naaiers.’ None of the band’s frantic punchy style is lost as Ninja leaps across the stage and throws himself into the crowd again and again while Yolandi gets the crowd rapping along: the largest gathering of Glaswegians putting on a South African accent you’ll ever hear.
For all the energy of the performers, the crowd has twice the enthusiasm, every single person on their feet, dancing, jumping and crowd surfing to hits like ‘I Fink U Freeky.’ There’s still the same element of spectacle that defines Die Antwoord on stage – with backing dancers, multiple costume changes and a giant inflatable to accompany an acapella ‘Raging Zef Boner.’ If you want poetic melodies and lyrics that speak to your very heart and soul, Die Antwoord might not be the band for you, but what they are above all is interesting. On stage it is obvious they love performing and the fans are having as much fun as them as Ninja somersaults in the crowd and has to rap at the crowd to get him back onstage.
As they take a bow before a crowd still hungry for more it’s clear that Die Antwoord aren’t just a novelty act, and they certainly aren’t finished taking the world by storm just yet.