Q&A :: Duckpond – Tokyo Sing Song launch
October 15th 2013
In an underground rabbit hole somewhere along King St, there’s a vending machine selling underwear, a Hello Kitty infested toilet and a whole lot of alfoil.
Gin is poured into lemonade cans and covered with Nerds or straight sugar and there are edamame beans everywhere. A man dressed in plastic strips and twerks to Miley Cyrus after a woman in black leather and a giant cardboard vagina-headpiece does a raunchy ACDC cover. The highlight? A tiny hidden disco under the stairs, completely covered in foil.
This is Tokyo Sing Song and it’s Sydney’s new, late-night drinking hole. The venue hosts monthly curators who bring art, lights and performances to keep things weird. The opening month’s artist in residence, or in this case in pyjamas, is Duckpond, the legend responsible for making punters at Big Day Out’s Lilypad feel like they had acid in their beer.
Jessica Hamilton went along to the launch, consumed a lot of sugar and chatted with Duckpond about jammies, bunnies and exploding vans.
JH :: I’ve heard about bunny cafes in Tokyo, but this is something else. What kind of bunnies do you find in an inside-out, upside down, late-night basement in King St?
Duckpond :: There’s a tiny gap between Tokyo and King Street bunnies. The Tokyo bunnies are Kawaii, neat and tidy and all tucked up in bed at sensible time, like about 7.30pm. King street bunnies fantastical nocturnal creatures, who love to play and explore new adventures.
From lighting to jammies, you’ve had a pretty diverse career. Has there been a highlight?
In 2007 we were plotting to join the Surry Hills Festival with a guerrilla mobile sound system in an “ice cream van” that Ken West had funded to do the early days after we changed from Lilypad to Lilyworld areas at the Big Day Out.
We were experiencing mechanical difficulties with the van. It kept stalling and even though we only had to travel 300 yards down Devonshire street, Jeremy and I couldn’t leave the lock up garage without a big electrical battery to jump start the van again in the middle of the traffic gridlock at the festival. Typically, we couldn’t find a park and had to drive around the block and after a few dodgy stalls we dropped in to an auto electrician who did his best to get us on our way again.
Driving up the hill of Cleveland Street as it crosses Regent Street, the van was rapidly losing power, to the point that I had the pedal to the metal and only doing 5 miles an hour. Just as we reached the side of the festival in full swing in mid-afternoon, the engine literally exploded in a massive cloud of blue smoke to the astonishment of all and sundry. After we wiped the tears of sadness and disbelief from our eyes, we rang the tow truck service who arrived to tow the poor dilapidated van back to it’s resting place 500 metres away.
If Duckpond designed underwear to sell in a vending machine, what would they look like?
Duckpond designed underpants would feature a gusseted “double-bum” to protect against haemorrhoids on frosty winter mornings, together with a pouch for panadeine forte and a spot for a street directory so you can always find your way home way home.