Dance like Nobody’s Watchingby Roger Young, images by Dain Withani / 20.04.2010
The Willowvale makes anyone look skanky, especially the girls who dressed up hard to try prevent the skank veil falling on them. But that’s what we like about the Willow, that and the long waiting times for quarts that cause conversation with slumming jocks; the manky dog is also always a bonus. SPITMUNKY were late in starting, but it only felt that way because the support acts were DJ’s. It was a mixed crowd, some DnB kids (you can tell because Jungle listeners tend to dress like they dance, slightly off step), some Goldfish fans and some guys who knew that SPITMUNKY tend, for some reason to attract a ridiculous amount of hot girls.
They come on in a barrage, Ewok free and irreverent, Liam and Kobus behind the electronics as intense as guest judges on America’s Next Top Model, but once the crowd explosion for the first track dies down, it becomes apparent that something is wrong, tonight SPITMUNKY sounds a bit anaemic, the boys in the back are rapping hard but we can’t hear them. The crowd doesn’t seem to notice, Ewok is skilfully keeping them going, with those definitively Durban lyrical references, but as hard as he is pumping it the Spitmonks keep trading glances, swapping mics, trying to sort it out.
Typically SPITMUNKY sound a bit like mid Beastie Boys beat meet late nineties rave, crossed with a smattering of drum and bass and a tongue in cheek nature. Tonight they sound like Ad Rock rapping over a premix of “Walk this Way” without the Aerosmith bits. But they play through and Ewok’s ability to get the “make some noise” element of modern hip hop to not seem hollow keeps everyone going. The music is still there on some levels and the fervour in the crowd and the energy of Ewok keeps the missing loops and bits unnoticeable to most, who are just there to party at whatever cost, but slowly it takes its toll first on stage and then in the crowd as it thins from lack of low end bass and sparkly bits.
It’s a bit disappointing for an album launch, if you had come to hear the music specifically, but the SPITMUNKY boys turn it into a party anyway, they’re good to the crowd and don’t pull any petulant shit, after a bit of fiddling they come back on and even though the crowd has diminished they finish it off loud and true.
I can’t tell you really what SPITMUNKY sound like right now but the amazing thing about the album launch was their refusal to give up and the fact that the crowd still went crazy despite the odds, I just don’t know if it that’s a compliment to them or a massive diss to the crowd.