The only thing that makes the passing of time tolerable is the knowledge that there is always a new exciting Gifgrond to attend! The last one happened on the 30th of march and was yet another special night to go down in the books of positive partying! Incredibly enough this was the 70th episode, making Gifgrond into the stable realms of golden oldies that cannot be wiped out as the strongest asset in underground culture.
For this occasion the Gifgrond was collaborating with the Enfant Terrible label who amazed by setting up a great program that attracted an audience more efficiently than moths flying obsessively into a flame. In other words; the floor was packed and the euphoria of all who had the honor to be there could be felt through a mutual communal enthusiasm.
As an independent reporter who enjoys doing the job as truthful and honest as possible, I decided to visit this time in disguise. My face was well known at Gifgrond from my previous visits and I didn’t wanted to be treated like the casual VIP, but for once fully be the eyes and the ears of the night & see how the average visitor would experience the evening of evenings. For this occasion I dressed up indistinguishable as a mouse, sneaked in with a couple of cheese-hired real ones through a series of sneaky holes and ended up in the Gifgrond backstage area. There a unfortunate dramatic event took place, as one of my friendly helpers got instantly killed by Celldöd. A knife instantly squashed through its entire body! May you Rest In Peace little buddy! It was here that I realized that the disguise as a mouse was probably too good & that Gifgrond is and always had been pest free! And that in a way this Celldöd was kinda deadly.
To forget about the loss of my friend and out of fear for possible misunderstandings, I dropped the mouse costume and instead joined the polite crowd on the dance floor. The deejay was already spinning tunes and the vibrant vibrations had been up enough to wipeout the thoughts of the mouse it’s fatal tragedy. It was so busy that it was no problem to get lost in the crowd, not having to fall into the VIP status again or any need to be incognito. I was finally all ears and eyes and with full engagement embracing the impressive live shows done by Celldöd, Radko & Leroy Se Meurt.
It all started with Radko who came across as the great duo that solidly provided a brand of touchy and highly emotional sounding electronic synthwave at this seventieth episode of Gifgrond. Their strong material had a massive dramatic sound to it, so much so that it could easily rip some cold hearted hearts to shreds and turn them into a sea of broken tears. I felt it, but did my best to suck the tears back in to avoid unwanted attention.
The two bearded gentlemen of Radko truly gave themselves in music form, delivering a live show in which every note that they played was enjoyed by themselves as well as the (in secret) sobbing audience. I was wondering if these two individuals where brothers or amazingly good friends, they sure felt like the right yin and yang to pull their strings of music. There are few acts out there who could bring big beats & massive synth sounds and turn them into these kind of emo realms, but Radko had everyone in their solid grip with every melody that they produced. The vocals expressions where as fitting and memorable, like an instrument that cut through the musical core like a well oiled saw sliding through a tree.
After going through a secret stash of tissues to keep the eyes dry and clean, it was time for the murderer of my friend to come and conquer the stage area. Yep, the exciting artist whose coming had been discussed in the many alleyways nearby was there tondo its thing. It has been well known that Celldöd’s music does well in the zones of dimly lid night clubs, but the dark poisonous zone that was Gifgrond felt even better. The highly anticipated artist went for a fine cocktail of stale beats to turn the Gifgrond grounds into some kind of a lugubrious dance hall scene. The music was loud but the audience was seemingly even louder. I blame the enthusiasm and excited rushes that went through the brains of the classy individuals around me. They probably knew Celldöd wouldn’t come out to play for a pickled banana & to see and hear this legend down in the Dutch city of Tilburg on this beautiful cozy Gifgrond location must have been simply overwhelming for most of them.
Celldöd took it up well, delivered the basement kicks of his ambient industrial and even used the microphone in theatric ways not to disappoint his fans. Celldöd might had to kill some of the mice population before his gig, he certainly didn’t deliver the sound of death and decay to the cheerful crowd. At least nobody died or got hurt in the process of this one man band who single handidly provided the right pulse of the crowded evening.
After our trauma inducer it was an two person band that I felt should be recognized as a group of one of the more exciting sounding artists around! It was ‘Leroy Se Meurt’ a project that was absolutely thrilling to see and hear. They delivered an energetic electro set that didn’t need any distorted guitars to sound like an happening of great punk allure. The music was upbeat and cool, catchy with big bass and bleeps that all made sense.
The best thing was the vocals, all expressed like a wild expressive beast that had been on some kind of angry sugar rush of some sort. You could feel the anger through the shouted words, thrown out like a caged animal that swears to escape this facade of prison. It was engaging to watch and hear, especially because the tunes had these pop antics that packed the anger into something enjoyable for all. To me it was (next to Radko) the favorite live act of the evening, although it must be said that seeing Celldöd single handily stabbing that mice with a single blow in the backstage area was a fair follow up!
The evening ended with the return of ET, or to avoid confusion; DJ Enfant Terrible! Who dropped tune after tune on the desks to make it again in a unforgettable event in which time passed by in no time. The lack of sleep was nothing compared by the hearing damage apparent the next day; but hey – it all belongs with the true seventy experience!
Next Gifgrond number 71 will be on the 18th of may! The program is still a mysterious mystery, but rumors go around that nobody less than Madmoizel, Rraouhhh & DJ B’s will be there to spice your life up! Can’t wait!
Special Thanks to Wilfred Slobbe for all the amazing pictures in this report!
Also thanks to Gifgrond for your wonderful vibes, Enfant Terrible, the best audience, the bands, the deejays, Lindapinda for hooking me up with the mouses!