The ‘lip rug’ or ‘dirt squirrel’? The ‘soup strainer’ or ‘mouth brow’? ‘Face lace’ or ‘nose bug’? However you regard the moustache, there is no denying its power during the month of November. ‘Mo Bros’, as the participants are known, grow their facial hair during ‘Movember’ as part of a movement to raise awareness of men’s health issues such as prostate cancer and depression. To celebrate the close of the month of Movember, Cape Town threw a gala party which gave moustachioed gents a chance to dress up and show off the full glory of their lovingly groomed facial art to each other and to their Mo Sistas – the ladies who support them.
Kicking off the evening at the Assembly was DJ Jamie Saint, playing a mix of dance and rock hits, followed by popular melodic rock band aKING. Despite the promise of a rousing rock ‘n’ roll performance, the set was regrettably marred by poor sound engineering. The bass was turned up too high, and although the band’s drum and guitar skills sounded great it was difficult to hear Laudo Liebenberg’s vocals clearly other than – interestingly – in the ladies bathroom. Fortunately for aKING, that small glitch was overcome as the set progressed and the bass levels were adjusted so that, with the lyrics now clearer, the enjoyment of the performance increased exponentially. The song that stood out from the rest was ‘Follow’, a track from the band’s upcoming album Morning After, which bodes well for the forthcoming release.
Warmed up by aKING, the crowd was ready for the moustache showdown. There were prizes for Lame Mo (an encouragement award given to the ‘facially folically challenged’), Team Mo (the team to have the best moustaches and outfit combination), Mo Bro and Mo Sista (best dressed couple), Best Mo in Character, Miss Movember (the Mo Sista judged to be most full of Movember spirit), Ultimate Mo (an award for grooming and styling) and Man of Movember (the ultimate accolade, the man who best embodies Movember).
The participants took to the challenge with glee, with tributes to some instantly recognisable moustached-men such as Super Mario and Freddie Mercury making their debut at the Assembly. Creative personae were also out in full force with ‘Prison Bear’, ‘Dirty Arab Mo’ and ‘Mexican Mo’ proudly displaying their costumes on stage. The ladies were not to be outdone, with ‘Afro Pocahontas’, ‘Prison Guard’ and ‘Princess Peach’ making an appearance in support of their moustachioed counterparts. Judges Jack Parow, DJ Rob Forbes and others mingled with the crowd to select the entries for the shortlist, who were then judged by the crowd’s clapping, shouting and whistling, with Rob Forbes using his fine-tuned hearing to select the winner. The top prize, the 2013 Man of Movember, was awarded to the aptly named ‘Prison Bear’, who flashed his bare torso and styled moustache with pride.
Perma mo’d Jack Parow, complete with signature long-billed leopard-print hat and a cigarette dangling from his lips, strolled onto the stage to greet an excited audience. It was clear that Parow was the big draw for the night, and his hits ‘Dans, Dans, Dans’, ‘Afrikaans is Dood’, ‘Hosh Tokolosh’ and ‘Biscuits and Biltong’ had the crowd dancing with wild abandon. Although numbers thinned considerably after Parow left the stage, the dancing continued as DJs Naaldekoker and Dean Fuel spun their respective sets, playing pulsating electronic and dubstep beats.
The Movember movement is an admirable cause, and certainly deserves the support it gets from the public. At the Assembly last week Mo Bros and Mo Sistas celebrated the cause to the fullest, with enthusiasm and panache, showing that moustaches can be so much more than just facial fur.
The Movember Gala Party took place on 28 November at The Assembly.