… L.A.’s finest in a never ending Rock’n’Roll show: Hamburg loves The Generators!

That was supposed to be a worthy entry into a long weekend (thanks to all the German public holidays in May) and it turned out to be so, though it took some stamina to get there. At least the outlook of The Generators taking residence is what is most likely the most fitting club for them in Hamburg was worth the effort to finish up work on time and get into a relaxed weekend mode.

The Monkeys surprised with the support slots: First off it was two bands and second they were of quite, lets say, complementary style. Kick of was with Death By Horse from sunny Sweden.

Death by Horse (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)
Death by Horse (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)

I did not know what to expect so took my time to listen in. The setting seemed ok, an agile female singer with 3 boys. But from the first song i had an itch, that seemed not to go away. It took some time until i could make out what i did not like and that was the clicking sound of the bass. It did not fit and it sounded too much rock.

They had though one song and one moment that made the whole club listen: It was a really emotional one, presented by Jahna in a very emotional way. And it was about being abused as a little girl. I do not know if it was a personal account but that one did stick (and the audience was taken off foot and afterwards did not dare to applaud – so personal and moving that account was).

Next on RoadRage from fucking nowhere in Limburg. And their sound was initially refreshing – 5 lads with too much hair: Both facial and on their head. They label themselves as „Motor Punk“ (you got to accept that you can learn a new thing every single day) and they pushed forward like a truck.

RoadRage (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)
RoadRage (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)

But soon, too soon actually, it got very boring both for my ears and my eyes. Whilst Death By Horse had something unique (that somehow did not sound good to me) RoadRage sounded so similar to so many bands (and had way too much rock posing). Sorry, not my thingy and like many others (who prefer their hair short) i resorted to the Pub for some more good old Guinness and watching Frankfurt taking Bayern Munich hostage for the German cup (and to see yet another reason to get rid of the video referee).

I was not the only one leaving them early: The drummer of the Generators stood in front of the stage during all of the Death By Horse set and took the same position when RoadRage came one – he also did not stay through the whole set (maybe just because he needed to prep). Nice gesture anyway to see the support bands from near (which i also always try to do, i think any band that endeavors to play a „support slot“ should get some sympathy).

By then it felt a wee bit late but luckily The Generators are a professional touring band so with not too much fuzz they did set themselves up (though Mike had some initial problems with his effect board and the backline … only to realize late that it might be helpful to insert that damn cable into the input jack of the amp). And once they had all things sorted Doug joined them on stage and they kicked off with all the force, all the strength and all the sound that i was missing so far.

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

It has been only two years ago that they played Hamburg but this time they actually had a full new LP with them, so some part of the set was devoted to actually playing new songs. And them new ones fitted into their rooster just perfect, loads of sing-a-long and loads of grins’n’moves from Mike.

Now i felt in business and also the rest of the Monkeys was in front of the stage and enjoying them. And you could also see that they had fun on the stage, it was the last day of their touring in Germany and they only had one more gig in Copenhagen before they would resort home to L.A..

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And whilst it all felt late earlier it was The Generators who made up for time: They did play long and they did add not one, not two but many encores. And then, against all american custom, they came back on stage to do even more. I think they where both in a good mood plus thrilled by the feedback from the Hamburg lot. Here is one of the many attempts of a final encore:

And all of these encore got the crowd going even further, that extra mile that cements the fun emitted down from the stage on the floor in front of the stage. And within that audience one member had utmost fun: Johnny Slash, once bass player for the band, was with them and either was out of his head or just plain boozed: His permanent stage invasions and falling across the monitors did anoy some people though Doug made it clear that there was not yet the need to throw him out. So, to double the fun, we also got him singing. And in the end he just turned out a nice chap with just too much fun and energy that moment …

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

Stunning, just stunning. And worth a reflection: Since Schleprock scammed Warner out of a million dollars for their 1996 Warner LP that combination of Doug and Mike just works like a treat. I did love them prior to that point and have all the Schleprock output on vinyl but that record to many people was just a surprise 10+ points. And now with The Generators they already have 11 Albums out (and over 20 releases in total) and they remain just and amazing outfit.

And with that knowledge i resorted back to a final pint, some more chats and plundering the merch stall. A very worthy show and i bet ya they will be back at the Monkeys soonest: That little gem fits them like a glove.

Bücher, schnell gelesen: Teil 1.320

Stuart Bailie - Trouble Songs (Bloomfield Press, 2018)
Stuart Bailie – Trouble Songs (Bloomfield Press, 2018)

Gelesen: 08. – 13.05.2018, netto 261 Seiten

Punk Rock auf Nordirland, besser aus Belfast, war durch Zufall immer ganz oben auf meiner Liste. Stiff Little Finger, The Outcasts, Rudi, Protex … und noch viele mehr. Zuerst waren das alle „englische“ Bands, dann irgendwann habe ich verstanden wo die eigentlich herkommen (und habe im Fernsehen immer mal wieder die Bürgerkriegszustände in Nordirland und speziell in Belfast wahrgenommen).

Dennoch blieb das ganze irgendwie im Nebel und weit weit weg. Einzig Songs wie Wasted Life (die wahrscheinlich beste B-Seite einer Single ever) gaben einem ein direktes Gefühl für die Wut, den Frust und die Sorgen der Kids in Belfast. Bis heute kann ich diesen Song mitsingen und die Energie die er ausstrahlt ist einfach gigantisch.

Und genau darum geht es in diesem Buch (über Kickstarter finanziert): Das Aufkommen von Rock Mu-sick im zutiefst christlich geprägten Irland und in Nordirland und der Übergang zu Punk Rock (und später anderen Stilen). Stuart Bailie war selber mittendrin:

ACME MUSIC (front left: Stuart Bailie)
ACME MUSIC (front left: Stuart Bailie)

In seiner kleinen Band hatte er den kleinen Bruder von einem von Rudi mit dabei, aber sie erreichten nie irgendeinen Erfolg. Aber er hat alles direkt miterlebt und die Zeit von 1977 an nimmt dann auch den zentralen Teil des Buches ein.

Ich kenne inzwischen die Troubles (ein grässlicher Euphemismus) ganz gut, da ich die Bücher von Adrian McKinty, Sam Millar (von ihm passt hier „On The Brinks“ perfekt) und anderen verschlinge. Und dort kommt der harte Teil des Lebens in einem Bürgerkrieg ganz gut rüber. Und auch, dass viele der Parteien eigentlich nie ein Interesse hatten ihn zu beenden, da sich damit sehr viel Geld verdienen ließ (und lässt).

Irishtimes on "Trouble Songs"
Irishtimes on „Trouble Songs“

Was Stuart durch viele Details und viel Oral History herausarbeitet ist für einen aufmerksamen Übersetzter der Songs von zB SLF nicht überraschend – aber in seiner Klarheit und Vollständigkeit kommt es hier einfach perfekt rüber:

Musik (erst Rock Musik, dann Punk Rock) erlaubte uns als jugendlichen kleine Fluchten. Für die jungen und älteren Kids in Belfast und Nordirland war es dagegen die große Flucht und der Ansporn sich anders zu entscheiden. Dort war die Musik Überredungskünstler, Agitator und Friedensstifter. Klingt extrem hochtrabend aber stimmt.

Spannend auch, welche Bands eine Rolle spielten: Das Bananarama da auch eine Rolle spielten und diese eine Überschneidung mit SLF hatte – wow, die Welt ist ein Dorf.

Ein klasse Buch, voller Gewalt und voll mit Gründen ihr nicht nachzugeben bzw. nachzugehen. Danke Stuart!

Soundtrack dazu: Stiff Little Fingers – Alternative Ulster, was sonst?

PS: Das Titelfoto zeigt Dr. Feelgood vor einem typischen Pub in Belfast. Sie erinnern sich wie folgt daran:

Dr. Feelgood in Belfast 1978 ( (c) Chalkie Davies)
Dr. Feelgood in Belfast 1978 ( (c) Chalkie Davies)

PPS: Der Author stellt das Buch so vor…

Mehr zum Buch gibt es hier!

PPPS: Greedy Book Collectors are pretentious arseholes …

I put money forward and got a fitting dedication from the author ...
I put money forward and got a fitting dedication from the author …

… it must be a great power pop show when them girls are dancing!

Jeff Burke (of The Marked Men and The Reds fame) is not only relentless when it comes to playing but also song-writing, collaborating and helping other to record their music. He is also relentless when it comes to do things quick end efficient. And thats why i like to watch him setup, tune and play. Forever.

Kick off at the Molotow on a warm evening though was with Hamburgs finest, at least according to a singular acclaim by one of me mates, The Dutts. He claims they are currently the best thing in Hamburg though i would have some doubts. I’d recon they are at least very active currently and make sure they are heard.

The internet (damn internet, never forgets) has them down as:

Equipped with a Sean Wood-like, gloomy, denouncing throat, border-cracking guitar, an unstoppable rolling bass, precise and pulse-strengthening drums, The Dutts are the maximum charge of atropine against the simplicity and clichés of our small universe. 
The Dutts (Molotow, Hamburg,09.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And funnily that is exactly what you get: A sturdy bass, yet again played by a lovely female contingent, a metronome like drum player, pushy guitars and a voice that you either love (some) or hate (few). And hows does it sound? It’s sounds and looks exactly like this:

I like them but i would not necessarily go the extra mile for them (eg. to Bergamo for Punk Rock Raduno – that would require The Windowsills plus The Veterans). But they have some neat edges that make them actually worthwhile plus they definitely have humor. And a local fan base in numbers. I guess i will see them soon again, looking forward.

With a quick changeover it was time for Bad Sports (one of my secret favorites), who initially where quite nervous as they faced a complete empty Moltow. They had to be persuaded that just a little noise would be enough to bring the lot back from the fresh air of the backyard into the main room – and quickly that happened.

Bad Sports (Molotow, Hamburg,09.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

They started off with something that almost did tear my ear – for my liking the guitar had way too much of a metal sound. I am not an expert on these matters but somehow that – at least for me – took some of the groove away. During the set that was corrected and they sounded so much more fitting. And, as a start, they got the first people moving.

And that lead towards Radioactivity, with was Jeff Burke plus Bad Sports with changed strings. And they kicked off, efficient and quick, like this:

And from that moment onward there where a lot of happy people in the now packed Moltow. And specifically there where a lot of happy ladies in the front row, some of the frantically dancing throughout the whole set. A nice change in audience look and feel and stark reminder on what type of mu-sick is being played: (Power) Pop Music like in Popular Music.

Radioactivity (Molotow, Hamburg,09.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And as ever, efficient and quick, Jeff did not talk to the audience nor introduced a song but only ever let his music be the message. And that message was well received and got quite some cheers and movement. Just puuuurrrfect as i’d like to say.

Way to early (though with an encore) Radioactivity finished up around midnight and the lot reverted to plundering the merch stall. From the 100 singles in red vinyl done for the tour exclusively some stayed right there with me and me mates.

And as it was a warm May Wednesday evening leading up to a a public holiday next day plenty of people stayed on having some more beers and chatting away. Lovely, that is how it should be: Popular live music and some drinks and chats with friends.