By Mira Fey
Photos and video: www.mutantslappers.com
Event: Mutant Slappers & amp; The Planet Bang, Performance Punk
Venue: Grüetli Thêatre, Geneva
Date: 7th December '13
A song with the catchy lyrics “I dream about sex all day long” greeted us when we entered the foggy venue.
Men in skimpy skirts, ripped pantyhose and tight tops, make-up all over their face and wearing long black wigs were dancing next to the bar on the right. It would be called outrageously sexy in any other setting. Clearly, we had left the Geneva of diplomats, bankers, and watchmakers behind us when we stepped into Thêatre Grütli to watch Mutant Slappers & The Planet Bang playing performance punk.
I had no idea what to expect, a friend had invited me the same night, and tired of studying, I more than willingly agreed. He had just told me it was a mix of theatre and music bending gender roles.
Sipping the Genevois beer and staring at the men dancing, I silently sang along to the song. What a great way to start the night after studying what felt like forever! Some of the other people in the audience seemed to share my surprise, but also my joy. Some were more reluctant than others to move to the music. It was the mix one would expect at a performance piece about gender: short-haired women, curly-haired guys, some hippies, and some older people looking serious, but also some male metal fans with long greasy hair, black T-shirts with violent text, and black pants.
After a while, some of the dancing men walked through the crowd and hopped on the stage, starting to play a beat on the drums on top of the song playing over the speakers. It felt like watching a tennis match now, left – band, right – dancers. They grabbed microphones, and when the song ended, Kylie, the only woman in the band, started singing. A rough, energetic voice, powerful. She made her way through the crowd, skinny in her ripped clothes. I was not sure if she was also wearing a wig or just had really crazy black hair.
The next song was sung by József, the last remaining man at the bar, or more accurately, on top of the bar. He was wearing a bikini top, lipstick all over his mouth, and a too-short skirt for the ripped pantyhose. His song was just as sexy as his dance, he could really move his body. “Suck on my titties you nasty bitches! Show a bit of effort you nasty bitches! I wanna see ya moving thouse flabby hipses, I wanna see ya grinding your sexy bitses, I wanna see ya fanny on the ground!” It reminded me of rap songs à la Brooke Candy, but having a man (even a man in a mini skirt) rap about titties, bitches, and fanny while dancing provocatively made you aware of the inherent sexism in female rap videos. It was still really enjoyable and somewhat disturbingly attractive.
The rest of the performance was an amazing mix of styles. Both singers proved to be great dancers, not even seeming to break a sweat while throwing themselves on the floor, twirling to the sound of the guitar, head banging, and just letting go to the music.
Although they are performance artists and professional dancers, they made it look so natural, primal, and effortless.
The audience started to become more and more relaxed too. After a while, the band hopped off the stage down to us, forming a circle at the edge of the stage. They motioned to the audience to also sit down, and so we did, suddenly creating a much more intimate atmosphere.
One of the guitar players, the bass player, and the second guitar player on one drum played a dreamy, floating tune while József, the hot singer/dancer started confessing his sins, or I should say her sins, because he said: “I was pregnant at the age of 14, and I did not even know which of the guys the father was”. He smiled, pretending to be apologetic, but it was a smug smile. They passed the mic around, each confessing their sins. Kylie talked about her days as exotic dancer while lying seductively on a box, stretching her legs in the air.
This soft piece was followed by a crazy punk song, Kylie and József jumping around violently. At this point, the crowd was no longer holding back. Men were dancing to the guitar, one decided to take off his shirt and dance bare chested, another one advanced Kylie. She did not object to him stroking her leg up and down. I noticed an old lady sitting on a chair just in front of the stage, apparently having a disability preventing her from standing for too long, but not from enjoying the show.
The last song was experimental (well, more experimental than the rest of the show in musical terms), these specific guitar sounds mixed with effects, echo and delay, accompanied by Kylie’s moaning. She and József danced beautifully and virtuously, showing their flexibility. The lights became darker and darker until only shadows were visible, and slowly, the music faded away into space. We all cheered, clapped, and some women jumped up and down loudly. It seemed to be their way of asking for an “Encore!”, but the show was over.
I felt extremely happy, free, and comfortable exactly the way I was. When I got home, I googled the artists, and saw that they chose their name after “Slapper”: “A slapper is a woman who has the courage to live her life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good. A Slapper has sex with anyone they want, regardless of religious pressures or social conventions, and to comply with a monogamous life style.” (Translated from French)
Mutant slappers, you really put on a great performance and showed exactly these values of women enjoying sex and living their lives, regardless of conventions. Yea, fuck conventions.