The Gentse Feesten is a 10 day long ferocious feast that celebrates everything I love about Ghent: sweaty gigs, cheerful people, a touch of cheeky theatre and heavy partying that wipe out all the good manners your mommy once taught you. On the last day of this blowout I saw It It Anita play at the Kinky Star. I don't know if there's actually a girl named Anita linked to this band but if so: she should be proud.
It It Anita played Sunday at midnight, on the same stage their Liège-collegues Cocaine Piss closed down the joint later that evening (or rather, early that morning). There seems to be something in the 4000-air that produces heavy noise-making bands with a peculiar love of driving an audience wild and I love it. And although everyone in the Kinky Star that night was affected by sleep depriviation, livers were loudly screaming for rest and the Vlasmarkt had a smell that can only be accurately described in a Dickens novel, it didn't hold It It Anita back to play a winner of a set. But what else did you expect of a band wearing Fristi hats?
The foursome played unforgivable noise-rock with pounding drums and hardcore-style double vocals. Or as my friend next to me, who at that moment hadn't slept in 48 hours and had a hard time focusing his eyes on one point, screamed: "These guys make Sonic Youth sound like pussies!" I personally love how they do their set-up on stage: the two singers facing each other and the drums not hidden away somewhere in the back but all four musicians taking equal space on stage. These aren't performers doing a show, they are a band. And that's not the only barrier they like to show the finger: towards the end of the set It It Anita moves their instruments into the audience, including them into their set.
That same audience might not remember the rest of the evening they had at the Vlasmarkt, where the last party of the Gentse Feesten lasted hours after the sun went up, but I bet they will remember that moment It It Anita played drums on the terrace.