Die Antwoord, Glasgow Academy, review: Gleeful mix of bad taste and great beats

Revolutionary offensiveness has the hipster crowd dancing frantically

David Pollock
Sunday 18 January 2015 19:51 GMT
Die Antwoord perform at Pinkpop festival in Landgraaf in June 2013
Die Antwoord perform at Pinkpop festival in Landgraaf in June 2013 (AFP/Getty Images)

Try to put out of your mind, if you can, the giant inflatable man towering over us at the side of the stage, his giant inflatable phallus looming out across the audience. We know it’s hard (pun intended), but the music being played somewhere below this happy-looking cartoon character is more sophisticated in its crassness, even as South African rap-rave trio gleefully play up to the bad taste of their semi-fabricated “zef” subculture like true 21st-century pop stars.

Singer Yolandi Visser struts on the podium in towering metallic heels, swinging her white-blond hair extensions, her voice an insolent squeak, while tattooed rapper Ninja is stripped to the waist, his confrontational bark peppered with the occasional abrasive “bitch” and “pussy”. Alongside them two female dancers pose in Pussy Riot masks and stylised hoodies, while DJ Hi-Tek pumps out a punishing dose of great beats with a foot in mid-Nineties techno.

The capacity hipster audience dance frantically to signature tracks like “Pitbull Terrier”, “Rich Bitch” and “Happy Go Sucky Fucky”, gleefully joining in with that last track’s animated “fuck your rules” coda. In the context of much of Western pop culture at the moment, their offensiveness is revolutionary.

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