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Waiting on Spoek

by Thando Sangqu / Images by Mack Magagane / 12.12.2012

I looked around the place and realised that the centre of Johannesburg is gentrification’s latest victim. The cool kids who usually hang in the burbs have descended on Braamfontein, bringing their own cliques and trying to find that good ol’ sense of belonging. The Puma Social Club provides the backdrop, Spoek Mathambo and his new album, the night’s entertainment. “It’s too larney…” said the kid who’d just made the trip from Sandton and parked his Audi hatch down the street. Puma, like many brands before, have decided to provide the platform to party. And what’s to hate in a brand paying to showcase quality local artists every Friday for mahala?

Dirty Paraffin added something new, labelled “nu-age kwaito’. The crowd loved them, and they loved the crowd right back. It’s that strong connection that allowed for them to bring a performance that perhaps won’t qualify as memorable, but it sure resonated with the crowd.

Then it was Spoek Mathambo’s turn, the launch peformance of his new album Future Sounds of Mzansi. Now Spoek’s a really offbeat artist and it’s straight up awkward to listen to him sometimes. Everyone’s trying to figure out what he’s trying to do and what they should do in response. But Spoek Mathambo loves an uncomfortable environment and gets a few laughs with his song ‘Punani’. And while there’s nothing really incredible about the set he plays or what he does on stage, but just like Dirty Paraffin, he brings this nu-age future sound shit, and it’s what the crowd wants and he knows how to work it, so ultimately that’s what makes his performance well above the average. But shit really hits next level when Okmalumkoolkat comes back on stage again for the song ‘Skorokoro’ and finally the lyrics finally begin to make sense!

We were left prancing around waiting to see what else was in store. But beyond the ping pong, the foosball and the free flowing beers there was nothing. And that’s alright.

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*All images © Mack Magagane.

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