… you can’t judge yourself unless you have seen it live: Pears in Hamburg – killer or fail?

Seeing bands live enables me to make final judgement if i do like them or not and that sure thing requires to go out and see bands, sometimes by word of mouth. The Pears from New Orleans are currently traded by some as hot shit and even Mr. Milo Aukerman praised them – so on a hot Sunday evening it was just the right thing to close down the weekend.

Slam Harder (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.07.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Slam Harder (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.07.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

The support slot named themselves after that bloke who runs that other club in Hamburg and they must have thrown an additional letter in not to get sued (or beaten up). And they are from Hannover and their T-Shirts stated “Han. Hardcore”. Outsch.

Nope, i did not dig them. Neither sound (actually specifically sound) nor stage presence. Sorry – in my ears weak copycats with no own ideas (and being old i tend to cast harsh rulings).  Luckily i was not alone with my judgement, so me mate and i left to savour a beer outside, watch them ships and warn the Pears guitarist of the health dangers of smoking (by telling him he would die: he would not believe us though).

No clue how the rest of the audience (less than 50 to much disappointment) liked Slam Harder – we only came back in once the stage had been handed over.

Yep, that is how Pears kicked off. And it provided the intro what the audience would be getting: Some stop start, fast, slow and all of that packed into 2:00 smashers delivered by the very extrovert stage persona of the singer.

Pears (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.07.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

Doing a bit of an Sméagol-crawl from the stage into the audience (and the rathere open space in front of the stage) he even managed to scare off a young lady that came to see the Pears!

Ok, you can see how someone with a Descendents mind could like them and that without even a scent of copycat style. It was no surprise to see a Milo-Tattoo on the guitarist and see at least 5 people with Descendents shirts in the audience.

The one thing though that stood out for me was that whilst they had all of these variations and also from a mu-sick-al style not a singular sound (which on the one side is a positive rating) they also felt somehow undecided or at least instilled that thinking in me (which is the non-positive side of that same coin). In the end that back-and-forth between Hardcore and melodic Punk Rock somehow gave an itchy feeling.

The other odd thing was that it was damn fuckin hot, a rather small audience downstairs (they would have worked better upstairs on the smaller stage and with the smaller room) and a band that seemed exhausted  – thus it never clicked between those on stage and the few in front of the stage.

And that is how the finished, no encore. No more than 40 minutes.

I give them credit and i will try to see them again, if i then still have that itchy feeling than they are not for me – not a fail yet!

And that is indeed why you have to go out and see bands – sometimes it is for that itch!

Bücher, schnell gelesen: Teil 1.187

Ken Bruen - Die Füchsin (Polar Verlag, 2016)
Ken Bruen – Die Füchsin (Polar Verlag, 2016)

Gelesen: 20. – 22.07.2016 netto 166 Seiten plus Nachwort von Alf Meyer.

Ein neues Buch aus der “Detective Sergeant Tom Brant und Chief Inspector James Roberts-Serie” und diesmal fällt das Chaos über die (nicht wirklich) wackere Truppe der Southeast London Police Squad in Form einer Killerin, eigentlich sogar einer Serienkillerin, her.

Die Polizei ein einziges Chaos, die Chefs inkompetent und der eigene Suff liegt den Polizisten näher als alles andere – zumal das Leben einfach schlecht ist. In dieses wohlgefügte Chaos bricht das Böse in Form einer skrupellosen Sirene namens Angie.

Angie kann Männer und Frauen manipulieren und steuern und nutzt dieses um der vertrottelten Polizei Geld abzunehmen. Viel Geld. Und am Ende kackt sie ganz groß ab (was klar war und in eine) und das Geld landet – bei der Polizei, aber anders.

Kurz, prägnant, böse und lustig – ein Ken Bruen eben.

Soundtrack dazu: Anger Management League – Police and Thieves, was sonst?

… back to Hardcore and 1983: M.D.C. vs. D.O.A. ain’t US vs. CA but sure D.O.A. win the penalty shout out!

Now, that somehow was an odd setting: M.D.C. had been on hiatus after 1995 for some time, with small come back tours – but largely disappeared from the radar. D.O.A. conducted their farewell tour in 2013 and Joey did some acoustic follow up but wanted to concentrate on his ambitions to turn politics to the better in his home community.

That said he was not elected in the 2016 by-election for his local district:

Coquitlam-Burke Mountain By-Election 2016
Coquitlam-Burke Mountain By-Election 2016

Tough it was quoted as a success (+8% vs. the previous election for the BC Green Party) but seem to have led him to reconsider how he may marry politics and mu-sick:


And thus a packed Hafenklang awaited old heroes paired with some young guns and – whisper, whisper – a load of rather old songs.

First off where M.D.C. with two old men and two young guns … and indeed they picked up where they left it ca. early 80s: bumpy and hectic hardcore, short and to the point on the lyrics.

From a mu-sick-al perspective sure neither polished nor puuuurfect but hey – that is grass roots punk rock and M.D.C. have been exactly that for of all their existence.

M.D.C. (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 20.07.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

What did strike though was the power that radiated from the songs and the delivery: Simple, honest and true.

And after the show Dave was by no means short to praise Hamburg and say thank you to the audience (which included some who did sing to almost every song) and to step down from the stage to thank a punk in a wheelchair for coming out to the show.

Next on D.O.A. and they took the stage like this:

Yes, indeed D.O.A.: Joey (sturdy frame and 60 years of age) with two young fellows (bearded Canadians with a body like a seal as the bass player pointed out). Extra bonus to the drummer for the Adam & The Ants shirt – he already caught our eyes when we walked up the Hafenklang).

Where M.D.C. pushed out 30something songs in 45 minutes D.O.A. where up for a smaller sample of lengthier old stuff:

D.O.A. - Set List (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 20.07.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
D.O.A. – Set List (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 20.07.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

Some of my favourite songs where omitted on first glance but i did not lodge a complaint, D.O.A. returning to the early 80s was great in itself.

D.O.A. (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 20.07.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

And they took it hard and fast, less melodic than other shows i had seen before.

And they not only hate me, they also told me to fuck myself (as i am employed by a big corporation).

D.O.A. in best style and definitely back in early 80s territory by all counts.  And what seemed a rather short set was just a short set list. They had fun for more, though sweat was already dripping from the ceiling (no surprise given 30+ degrees outside which are indeed rare in Hamburg, down at the harbour).

And to put icing on the cake (or, in D.O.A. terms, to put icing into the rink) they added just another encore with one of the all time faves: “Full Metal Jackoff” was served in a shortened version. Well done. I do prefer the longer version though and with Jello – so here it is:

It is just a class effort that forever will stand the test of time (from “wall street or crack dealer avenue” to “On the Washington D.C. Beltway around and around I go, In a black van with no windows and a chimney puffing smoke”) and deserves it’s 14 minutes!

And with that D.O.A. waved goodbye and resorted to selling merch and chit-chat with the audience. I did the same until i was summoned into a cab for a ride home. Great night, great people around but let’s be frank: Average age of the audience was near 50, only 10 years younger than eg. Dave MDC or Joey DOA. The sheer lack of young folks was very very apparent that night – are M.D.C. and D.O.A. already obscure old farts?

And the politics of Joey? He now nicely combines green politics and music as in D.O.A. and puts out meaningful (as in for his local community) stuff like this: