Spank RockSpank Rock’s “YoYoYoYoYo” is the one of the filthiest, finest most fun albums of this or any year, and the Barfly is suitably bursting at the seams. Guest list liggers, and industry insiders swelled the numbers to the point where having taken up position right at the front… I wasn’t moving even if I wanted to. Sam writing for Caught in the crossfire claimed it was “one of the worst crowds I’ve ever seen in my life – It was like standing in Madame Tussauds, with people seemingly only there to gain scene points for seeing a much touted band at a small venue”.

On their labels forum theres since been much griping about the venue. More than one person was “crushed… unable to move, couldn’t see anything… thought i was gonna pass out”, while others simply gave up and went home. A crying shame, as despite a serious case of jet lag Spank Rock tore the place up.

Amanduh Blank MC Spank Rock (Naeem Juwan) declared that it was going to be a mad night as they were as “drunk as shit”. An insane transatlantic schedule must have fried their brains too, having played Cargo on Friday flown back to the States to support Gnarls Barkley on Sunday, and now (Tuesday) London again.

Mad electro throbs signal the arrival of “Backyard Betty (Quicktime)“. Naeem prowls the stage, splitting his attention between the audience, and the distraction of a gaggle of ladies he’s invited up to sit at the side. “Rick Rubin” and “What It Look Like” follow in rapid succession as producers XXXchange and Chris Rockswell lay down a foundation of speaker blowing bass and nintendo bleeps for Spank Rock to playfully rhyme over:

“Ass-shaking competition champ, ooh that pussy gets damp, pump that– pump that– pump that amp.”

The lyrics would make Prince blush, but its done with a sense of humour and knowing wink far from the bitches and ho’s of fiddy cent (or perhaps im kidding myself there?). Indeed on the fantastic “Bump” Spank Rock meets his match as Amanduh Blank having sat watching side stage grabs the mic and steals the show with her own deliciously filthy flow. For the rest of the evening the two play off each other, whether clambering on-top of the speakers or Amanduh flashing her knickers at Spank. It is we’re told his birthday!

“tap dat ass, tap dat ass, tap dat ass…”

Better still was to come with the single “Sweet Talk“, starting off with pounding bass and frenzied guitar licks before transforming mid way though into a classic Motown sound, with a hook to die for. Suddenly the stage is crowded as Spank beckons ladies from the audience up to dance, with some blokes joining the fun as well. At the end even the cramped conditions, and industry liggers couldn’t stop the Spank Rock party.

Spank Rock Info:

Website: Spankrock.net / Myspace

Video: SpankRock EPK (QT) / Backyard Betty (QT)

Sweet Talk (YouTube) / Rick Rubin (YouTube)

Listen: Put That Pussy On Me (MP3) / Live on BBC Breezeblock (33Mb)

What It Look Like (snippet)

Buy: YoYoYoYoYo from Amazon or Big Dada

Look: My pics of Barfly gig / Simon Leaks Barfly pics

Mr.Hudson & Sway

With the show going out live on X-fm’s X-posure, there were also three “better than your average support act” slots. First act Mr Hudson & The Library are a winning combination of steel-pan percussion, genius keyboards by a guy with the mother of all afro’s, and a trilby hated lead singer, Ben Hudson . Described slightly unkindly on the Ninjatune forum as “Babybird covering Sting songs” there is perhaps a hint of Sting in Mr Hudson, but only a hint as I keep hitting rewind on Mr.Hudson (and that hasn’t been the case with Mr Tantric for a good few years).

Not only did he play his own set but he also joined Sway for a remix of new single “Products” re-titled by Mr.Hudson as “Everyman for himself“. I suggest getting over to his myspace site immediately to have a listen, its a perfect blend of Sways rap, guitar lines, beats, and then Mr.Hudson comes in with an absolutely killer chorus. If Sway has any sense he’ll rerelease this as the A-side, its too good just to be a i-tunes exclusive. Check it at myspace or buy it on itunes. No really go do it now!

MP3 – Visit myspace for Sway featuring Mr.Hudson – Products (Everyman for himself remix) or buy it on itunes.
Mr.Hudson Barfly pics by Simon Leak here.

Sway himself was on top form, spending as much of his set indulging in banter with the crowd as he did performing tracks. Asking the audience how many of them downloaded illegally, before chastising them as liars when not enough put their hands up. He came on as usual with face covered by Union Jack bandana but he joked that he loved the whole UK, but the Scots didn’t seem to take to his bandana… but he still loves them. Tracks included “Little Derek“, an accapella version of his scene stealing “Harvey Nicks” cameo, and for a raucous encore Pirelli joined him on “Up Your Speed“.

Third support Ye$$ Boss left me with mixed feelings. I started off thinking they were going to be terrible but their mixture of Dizzee Rascal type beats and MC Pitman sounding lyrics were actually very good live. The rhymes were witty,and they certainly had the audience grinning, but listening to the tracks on their site afterwards I have to say its not my thing. They have however well worth seeing live, have just completed a remix for !Forward Russia!, and are tipped for big big things… so what the hell do I know.