I was convinced that it was a spoof. As if there’d be a genre called Donk. Everything is wrong about the video. The knowing subtitles over subtle Northern Accents. The presenter’s slight grin when he’s chatting to folk. The funnily named shops. Everything. There’s no way I’m falling for a prank like that. It reminds me heavily of the episode of Brass Eye where they whang on about Cake (the made up drug). And all the characters and the interviews look like they could be setups or clever edits.
So the I popped out and went round to Curtis’ house and showed it to him. And he (and his son Max) both went “oh yeah, Put a Donk on it”. So much for the fake thing then. And once again I’m behind the curve.
Here are the real Blackout Crew with their real hit Put A Donk On It. With a real 4 million views on YouTube. Holy crap!
So at this point it becomes clear that Donk is no joke. And the donkumentary (sorry) is also no joke. So I watch part 2, and part 3 and part 4 and part 5. Back to back. Mouth agape. Unable to pick my jaw up off the trackpad. It’s fucking incredible. So many amazing moments. So many brilliant lines. So many stunning characters. The films do have a touch of that Vice maggy sneeriness (to be honest, you’d really struggle not to given some of the situations). Having said that it’s a bloody amazing bit of documentary footage and well worth the 20 minutes or so it’d take to watch the whole lot.
It’s an amazing tour of an incredible, almost unbelievable scene that’s rooted in a chunk of the North of England. Although there’s undoubtedly Donk mutations elsewhere. To be honest it’s pretty close to a lot of the hard-dance scene in a lot of ways – fashion, sound, people, drugs. Trakky-wearing gurners with glo-sticks have always existed at ‘that’ end of dance music. But you can’t ignore Donk – it’s just got such an awesome name.
Interesting dress code mutations too…
There’s a full article about it in Vice Land. Which, if you can’t be bothered to watch the videos (shame on you) is a decent summary of what goes on in the video series. But nothing can quite deliver the faces of Donk quite like seeing them moving and gurning – with blue WKD stained tongues :-p
What smacked me between the eyes is really how naive I am to things that go on outside London and Brighton. Sure I’ve been to ‘hard dance’ things and danced amongst the day-glo-mong-puppets in my time. And tried in vain to keep up with music that’s twice as fast as my heart. But it’s always been a passing toe-in-the-water at a festival or something like that. I’ve never been and lived the Donk.
I sit in endless meetings where people pretend to understand ‘the young people’. But they only really view it through a really tiny window. A window where the view extends just outside the central line. So the best you’ll get is someone who’s really bloody ‘on it’ because they went to a Dubstep night, once, for 10 minutes, until they felt a bit sick. Or someone will drop Dizzee Rascal, yet again, into a presentation, because it’s a shorthand for urban and street (but not too urban and street).
One day I want to see Donk in a segmentation. Please let it happen. Please. Fuck it. I might even take my next Keynote presentation and ‘Put Some Donk on it’.
Want to hear a bit more Donk?
Here’s what happens when you Put Some Donk on the Ting Tings.
And don’t worry all you London-based marketing agencies – Dizzee’s been Donked too. Imagine that – it’s a north-south Donk mash-up. Stick that in your presso and feel the client Kudos.
This is where my Donk journey ended for today. If you want to carry on there’s plenty of Donk out there, just get searching.
After a week in the northwest immersed in donk culture, it was impossible to deny that it’s the bottom-feeder of the already bottomed-out dance-music food chain. It’s parochial, drug-centred, racist, sexist and violent, and that’s what makes it so, well, special. For all its flaws, donk perfectly mirrors the generation of kids and the society that created it: totally and hopelessly fucked, in every sense of the word.
But there’s something else in there too. Sure it’s built around escapism and getting fucked out of your mind on pills and cheap booze. And it’s pretty much the soundtrack to getting the living pulp kicked out of you. But at least they’re making something that’s theirs. Doing something together. Sharing in a scene that they own. Something they love.
Oh crap. I can feel it coming on. A silent-flash-Donk-rave at Doncaster Station. Life is for sharing after all.
There was the mighty Weekender! An awesome extended rave chronicle / pop promo from back in 1992. I always thought Flowered Up were a little bit pony, but this makes up for every slightly lame track they ever put out.
I’m sure I’ve got this on VHS tape somewhere. Absolutely classic. Feels a wee bit cringeworthy and a tiny bit naive in spots, but overall pretty surprising how well it’s aged, considering.
Split into 2 parts because, at over 13 minutes, it’s too long for YouTube.
Well that’s not strictly true. But I was looking at my stats when I noticed some unfamiliar activity…
That’s not strictly true either. But I did get some traffic from this lovely blog http://whythatsdelightful.wordpress.com/ which is written by Graham Linehan which was a name that I recognised. And it of course because he’s the writer of Father Ted and the IT Crowd amongst other things.
It’s an inbound link that made me feel cool. Maybe that’s a bit sad. But it’s true.
Graham’s blog is nice and has lots of funny stuff in it (as you might expect). It’s where I found this…
I got a lovely note suggesting that I might enjoy this product. And that I could indulge my love of floating heads…
Also in the package was a Kodak Zi6 HD video camera. It’s a small, lightweight cheap thing that can make videos and take photos. It’s incredibly simple to use. Takes AA batteries and standard SD cards and has a built in flip-out USB connector.
It’s by far the simplest way of getting bits of video into a computer I’ve ever come across (short of using an inbuilt webcam). And because it doesn’t look like a video camera people don’t start playing up to it (or geting shy and nervy) in the normal way. And the quality is totally decent enough for online use. Especially in good-ish light.
I’ll post some samples in a minute so you can see the video quality. But I really wanted to talk about the blogger outreach part of it.
The package was sent to me by a lovely guy called Mike Laurie (we used to work together years and years ago at Oven Digital) – he’s a regular commenter on Crackunit and he sends me great links all the time. You should have a look at his blog especially his monster post on viral(s) which I like a lot (he doesn’t seem to have updated in a while though, come on Mike keep it up. Your blog is ace!)
I just thought that there might be an interesting approach wrapped up in this. If you’re doing blogger outreach why not make a few key bloggers your distributors of the blog schwag? Rather than trying to identify 50 people to send something to why not pick 5 people and give them 10 things each to distribute to 10 people that they know / like / respect. Cuts down your work and makes sure that the approach / messaging is relevant to the recipient. I guess it’s like viral schwag.
Just a thought like.
I don’t think that’s what happened here though, Mike works for a company called JPMH who appear to be running this ‘outreach’ activity.