I accidentally became a Spoek Mathambo fan.
Last summer, my sister and I were briefly semi-illegal immigrants, broke, and living in New York City! In what I will assume was more of an attempt to get alone time versus trying to lift my spirits, my sister told me about a free b-boy showcase at the Lincoln Center. I took the hint, left the house and wandered around the Upper West Side (no gossip girl)
For the life of me, I could not find the B-boys, but I found people setting up for a show in one of the Lincoln Center galleries. I checked out the bill and saw South Africa, that was enough to get me to stay. That’s where I found Spoek Mathambo!
Fast forward to Feb 2012, I found out Spoek was set to play a gig in Boston, down the street from my house, I was THERE. Then I found out his set was at 11:30pm on a Sunday night…I reconsidered, thought rationally, and decided I WAS THERE!
The weekend of the show I was recovering from THAT weekend in New York, now suffering from flu like symptoms, overdosing on dayquil, and barely eating. Somehow I soldiered on, and made it to TT the Bears in Cambridge, to see the man, the myth and legend, up close!
Spoek is signed to Sup-Pop records, a label made famous for signing Nirvana in the late 80s. Well, like his earlier label mates, Mr Mathambo injects a new awakening into the music world. His music has been coined as Afro-Futuristic, but in my opinion we can drop the hyphen and just call it futuristic. He’s music is fresh, a true by-product of his multiple influences and galavanting across the globe. I love the fact that you cannot box him into a genre!
I traded in an outdoors show in NYC for a more intimate venue. TT’s is a great place to go if you love your concerts small, personable, and a place to meet people.
The show was great high energy fun. The room mixed by age, race, and variation of drug influences, people were captured by the music. Some danced the night away, some stood mesmirized, and others listened intently, soaking up the lyrics, drums, synthesizers, keyboards and technologically generated beats. I did a little of all three. He played songs from his older collections, like the more popular “Mshini Wam” and “Put Some Red on it”. During his set he also inter-weaved songs from his latest CD “Father Creeper” including the slick new “Let Them Talk” – if you haven’t heard the song or seen the video let me do you a favor:
By the look on the crowds face, they were pleased by the show. Damn, I was more than pleased by the show, I even forgot that earlier that day I could hardly stand on my own.
Just before the show, I had the pleasure of meeting Nthato “Spoek Mathambo”. He’s a cool chilled out dude, and remains modest even though he doesn’t have to. After our encounter, I can tell why he does as well as he does, why his music is as eclectic as it is, and I know he will continue to catapult into musical awesomeness.