Last weekend, on the Saturday to be precise – there had been another epic episode of the best party among all parties taken place! The name? Gifgrond!
This was the sexiest yet most Benelux-kind episode of them all, this didn’t came out of the blue as it was expected with it being number 69 and most performers coming from the area! Of course I had to be there, so I faced the cold weather and got immediately warmed up on the toxic environment as i safely landed inside.
This time I was right on time to mingle around the busy crowd as the first live show went for a very playful start of a wonderful evening. The first set was done by Yankees. Days before I had prepared myself by playing their digital album on repeat to get in that lunacy mood that is needed to fully grasp it all. The music on the recording was one big fun thing, better than listening to any of the Bert and Ernie CD’s that had been sporadically popping up in my youthful years, yet it had a similar freeing vibe!
To me it was already the immediate undisputed highlight of the party! As Yankees was prominently coming across as a very joyful duo that made you feel like you could join in, write songs and play like them two in all their colorful aspects. They really had something that felt really good about them, like some kind of power that would normally be preserved for children, but now had been clearly proven to be some kind of youthful gene that lives on no matter what the age range of the host is. The enthusiasm of Yankees was simply something that worked in a very contagious way, seeing them play and interact with the audience was similar to the happiness a gameshow candidate would probably feel when they are chosen to be a candidate on the show!
When Yankees suddenly got expanded with a third member, things really seemed to speed up the many hearts that had been beating on these party grounds. Inner rumors immediately whispered a feast of recognition, saying that this sudden appearance was nobody less than Paca, who joined in to clearly make our craziest unexpected dreams come true!
Together Yankeespaca made an excellent pact to go down in the history books of pure excellence! They sang, they freaked out, they enjoyed and at the same time we as the audience tried to sing along. Freak out and enjoy at all the possible ways!
It was a very exciting show and a very great live set to mark the date into the history books of epicness.
In between it was DJ Stijn Selecter who played the records. Occupying the sound space until the next live act had been setup for their show of full on entertainment. Now you might think all live acts should be on the wild side of life but no, Simple appareil took the audience by a pleasant surprise to show us that the opposite might also be a very workable truth. The duo sat in the middle of the memorable Gifgrond venue, situated behind all their prominent electric sound devices as if they had been the players of a experimental game of chess, only with one very big and important difference; they worked together and everyone (including the non players) had been the winners!
They also took good use of the red and the white light on the table, making it into a audio – light Show that would feed the minds and the eyes with improvised electronic ambient music, robot crickets and electroacoustic mathematics like no other act would do that night. It was here that enthusiastic audio lovers could stand up close and observe these gifted souls as they created their music, learning the details of their art as if it was a eduction we all needed, but no school would feed its students; only at Gifgrond everyone gets enlightened!
But also for some other members of the audience that didn’t want to learn cause they knew it all it was a perfect time to chill out and do some kind of internal meditation with the music of Simple appareil as a backdrop.
After the calm moment of peace, it was time for the Belgian band Stakattak to release their special energy upon the Gifgrond floor. This was of a totally different kind than the previous bleeps and blobs as this trio came with a solid sounding punk esthetic. They didn’t come across as raw as you thought they might be, but in a way that made them even more socially acceptable for all genders / ages and species that had found themselves on this special Gifgrond episode.
Their music was steady and fresh, making it a easy potpourri of guitar and drum to unleash the muscles for a spontaneous happy dance & probably a nice whiplash generated by the need to head bang like a mad person. Luckily that felt perfectly alright as the vocal front man of the band also came across as one that wasn’t all too afraid of craziness. He walked through the audience as if he just got out of his tent and wildly roared at the audience that seemingly blocked his way. At one point he even used one of the lucky members as a sofa, bending the audience member (still with a beer in his hand!) over for him to lay comfortable on top and screamingly sing his song. He (I believe his name was Nick Defour) wasn’t nasty though, even generously holding the microphone to his living piece of improvised furniture to form some kind of duet! It was a fascinating sight and got everyone all awake and alert.
Than it was time for one of Gifgrond’s favorites artists that came back on popular demand for a show that no fruit stall person on the local market could resist a sponsorship with! This was of course nobody less than the one and only Logosamphia who came to not just steal the show once again but also to support the entire establishment with a blast of energetic energy that would set all legs and arms into a frantic dancing matter!
He played his kiwis, banana and even public’s favorite Courgette like no other true enthusiastic vegetarian maniac would do & seeing and hearing his live show this time I must say that his busy year of gigging in all kind of places (even finding effortlessly fame in grooming the crowds in pop venues that no underground hero would ever had set a lucky foot in!) really seemed to have paid of in their very fruitful ways! Ten years ago he might have been a little shy, masking himself up to bleep freak his art out in the open; but now?! He was like a fish in water, confident, playful , happy, free and more healthier than any shitstorm! Without any difficulty he even managed to serve his take on the challenging ‘take5’ composition (one work legendarily known as the most difficult piece of music to dance upon!) and even surprising himself with the amazing result of getting the entirely packed Gifgrond dancing as if it was the easiest and naturalistic thing in the world!
A tough call for any other live performance to topple, but luckily the one and only DJ stijn selecter was there once more to guide pretty frantic dance floor material through the hard working speaker system. It felt as if this DJ had been the presenter of the evening, filling up the gaps between the acts like a well endowed mixer with a unique collection of records at his fingertips. But here (as last provider of sound of this fascinating night that was the 69th Gifgrond edition) he really lifted all the breaks to go on and on till the early hours of the morning. What a legend!
I went home feeling all warm and glowing, not because of intoxication, but simply because of the excitement that this successful party had provided! The atmosphere had been exceptionally excellent, the music all over the place – and the vibes? Out of this world! Can’t wait for next Gifgrond on the 30th of March!
All credits for the photographs in this report go to Frank Janssens.
Also Love to T and Linda Pinda for bringing extra Eyes and ears..