It would have been Joey Ramones 66th Birthday this year and the Hamburg Ramönes do have a habit of throwing a birthday bash for Joey. This time round it included Flanders 72 from Brasil, a Ramonescore band leaning towards a Green Day sound rather, and it was set upstairs at the Hafenklang.
For me it was a wee bit strange as i only knew two people in the audience and they had the same experience – it was a strange audience, to a certain extend due to many of the regulars being over in Berlin to see Razors supporting Cock Sparrer. Still, it was a strange feeling to be in an audience that seemed to be made up in majority of friends and family of the band (with an average age even above mine).
Flanders 72 kicked off and from the first second they proved to be experienced musicians – right from the start great sound, tight and on the point playing and moving to the music radiating joy. According to me mate Frosch they did the same on a not sold out MS Hedi (a small ship hosting bands for tours through the Hamburg Harbour), a trip & show the day before i did let go in favour of the record release party by the Spitfire Stevens.
Flanders 72 (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.05.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
For a 3 piece they had it all there was needed: Smile, speed and precision. Plus stage personas and some entertainment of the audience („Danke ihr Penner“ sure is a custom greeting in Germany) – all in all a great package driven by a great sound. The main reason for everybody thinking „… that’s Green Day style“ sure are the vocals of Paulinho:
And i’d bet they are huge down there in South-America! Not for a reason most of Brasil and Argentina are Ramones territory, already back in 1996 when i saw Ramones in Buenos Aires that was a stunning thing to see. I’d love to see them though with a proper long set on a slightly bigger stage and getting say 450 people going – that would have been the right thing for them. I do hope though they come back!
Next and with only little changeover the Hamburg Ramönes took the stage. I saw them a couple of years downstairs at the Hafenklang and i was not too impressed. The good think though is that they graduated from being a cover band to playing also own songs. And they have by now 5 records out, though i guess not sold record quantities.
How do they sound? Like this:
Frank – i did struggle with them, specifically when they played Ramones songs: To much mid tempo, to bad drumming and i just did not get along with the vocal style of the singer. The art of covering is a tough one, you need not only play the chords in the correct sequence you also need to hit the groove and the intend – and them Hamburg Ramönes rarely hit it right for me (and my two fellow observers, one of them a professional cover musican).
Hamburg Ramönes (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.05.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
The more they played though the better they sounded and i have to admit that a couple of their own songs had some groove and the vocals did fit – but it was one out of 10 if i dare to judge (and yes, i am a hard judge).
The audience (friends’n’family?) though liked it and ensured a couple of encores. The final encore was sure a hats off to the mighty Ramones and Paulinho of Flanders 72 joined to sing the bubblegum ode:
A strange evening, with heavy rain and thunderstorm outside, and an evening with a clear winner: Flanders 72 played „Green Day style“ but in their own fashion and with both heart and quality. The Hamburg Ramönes did not score for me, though i bet they have their heart in it (i saw a Johnny Ramone signature Mosrite on stage).
Never mind, it was a pretty Friday and i was home all wet (but not too late). And as always mu-sick is enjoyed best live!