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Real Estate Slump

Real Estate Slump

by Andrew Thompson / 04.11.2009

I’m still not sure how I feel about watching the Real Estate Agents live. They’re surely one of South Africa’s largest and most talented musical exports, and I can listen to Markus and Sibot stringing together tunes on my iPod for hours. Which should, really, translate into a sweaty, heaving gig that leaves you embarrassingly jiggling around on the dance floor and shouting for more. And, two years after their last proper gig on South African soil, at the Assembly, nogal, you’d expect nothing less.

But, like many of their previous gigs, the duo missed their mark, and by quite a long way. I mean there was, for a few minutes, something that resembled a heaving mass of people, all tripping around the dance floor uncontrollably under the industrial strobe blasting from above, and initially it was hard not to enjoy the enlarged-black-guy masks the two dudes were sporting in celebration of Halloween. Do you think they were making a political statement about the over-arching whiteness of the crowd?

But all this pent-up energy somehow dissipated when, mid-track, the Assembly was left silent, thanks to a faulty two-pronger. Next to a sweaty 40-year old who honestly thinks he can still shake it, there’s nothing that kills the mood of a live set more than 5 seconds of silence and a flummoxed and frantically fidgeting DJ. But unlike the sweaty 40 year old who thinks he can still shake it, some blame must be distributed between the DJs and the venue. An honest mistake, but an embarrassing one nevertheless.

Real Estate Agents

The duo managed to throw in just enough familiar tracks and samples to keep me and three dozen others on the dance floor, in the hope that the boys were just getting started. But soon even the all-too-familiar tight-jeaned hipsters tripping on something much stronger than the cheap rum and Red Bull started drifting away, until it all kind of teetered out sometime around midnight, and soon the people milling around the foosball table and the bar in the adjacent room began to outnumber those on dance floor.

The other DJs were nice – good tunes floated around before and after the headline acts, but more in an, “oh, nice track” kind of way, rather than a, “must move my body” kind of way. It was just one of those nights that failed to hit its straps – simple as that really, and maybe my expectations were unreasonably high – this might have been exactly what they were aiming for.

Thing is though, there’s almost no such thing as a shit party at Assembly; even a band as ghastly as Tree63, who coincidentally played there last week, would be bearable, provided the Christians let them serve booze; it’s a practically infallible venue. And you’d have to be as lame as a Tree63 fan not to agree that the Real Estate Agents have always had something going for them. But for me, at least, it’ll take a lot to get me to another one of their gigs. Sadly, for the time being it’s probably a better idea to get your fix from their smoking albums and shit-hot ad jingles.

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  1. tara says:

    man oh man. im 26 and i certainly hope that im still dancing like a demon when im 40.

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  2. Andy says:

    To quote Masauko Chipembere, “it don’t matter if you’re black or white but everyone here hates old.”

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  3. Nathan Zeno says:

    To quote some guy in a bar “A fox always smells his own hole”. In my tenuous interpretation I take this to mean, you only notice what you recognise. So therefore AT must at least have one of those traits, either he is 40 or he cannot dance, but no matter, no one is watching.

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  4. AT says:

    Oh, Zeno, you have no idea. What I should have written was, “next to a sweaty 40-year old who honestly thinks he can still shake it, or a drunk AT who actually thinks he can shake it, there’s nothing that kills the mood of a live set more than 5 seconds of silence and a flummoxed and frantically fidgeting DJ.” Either way, I’d rather have a drunk AT dancing next to me than a sweaty 40 year old. Unless it’s Demi Moore.

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  5. Nathan Zeno says:

    Demi Moore? Man, showing your age, isn’t she 50, the correct cougartastic example there would have to be Courtney *vomits* Cox.

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  6. Doctor L. says:

    I think the masks are prints of Spoek Mathambo’s face (see the rainbow kufie).

    If true, nice promotion gimmick. Funny, too.

    It seems like a nice gig: I can imagine myself there, feeling superior and making snarky comments about all the kids trying to be cool and with it, while simultaneously trying to seem more cool and more with it than the kids. I’d also possibly denigrate Cape Town for being ‘so white’ while hanging with my ‘white’ friend and casually putting the band down by saying something like, ‘It’s all Kraftwerk, you know.’


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  7. AT says:

    i thought it might’ve been spoek, but wasn’t prepared to put my white anti-hipster balls on the line for it.

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  8. Doctor L. says:

    Ha Ha Ha.

    Better to err on the side of caution, AT.

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