… the fate of a rainy Monday: Small turnout but big smiles – young guns with retro party sound and old lads with new unique sound!

Some times rainy Mondays in March can be … dull. Boring. Not really getting you out. But then you realise it’s the Cyanide Pills in town, definitely one of the most powerful retro party machines, supported by Hamburgs C³I, who are coming with a unique sound.

And then you just take the stroll down to the Hafenklang … and realise that a handful of friends did the same but in total only like 38 people turned up. Damn.

Kick-off was on time and at 21:02 C³I took the stage, faced the empty room and … took it like this:

Tough start and the hardship of the support (yet again). But C³I are in it for long enough to force their way through it and got into the groove. If there is one thing than it is indeed their distinct and unique sound that makes people listen – i would not be able to pinpoint what it is but it makes people interested.

C³I (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 20.03.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

The only item that did not work out this time was the sound, the vocals for my liking where too thin. This was specifically bad as some of singing nicely contrasts the hooklines (and maybe that is one of the unique secrets). The more songs they played, the more pleasure it was and the more recognition they got from the few attending. And the finished it off with this one:

C³I – make sure you get their 2017 LP, it is a worthy effort!

Next on them Pills and it is always great to see them take the stage as they for years now have their unique stage personas including their distinct white leather jackets and other looks. You will be able to to identify them anywhere, no matter what. And they kicked off like this:

Back with a bang to Hamburg i’d say with no strings attached. Despite the small turnout they went into it full throttle. And acted out on their stage personas without giving to much of the idea of just acting – they are the real thing indeed.

Frank, they are just one perfect retro-machine with songs so well crafted that you just want to listen, listen and then some more!

Cyanide Pills (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 20.03.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

And they are down to earth and they do listen to their audience. As such words of the recent passing of one of our mates made it to them and they dedicated on song to Toni, in loving memory:

Thanks for that Cyanide Pills that was much appreciated. By now they had people smiling and even some dancing away with broad smiles. And they delivered their set with full energy and then even gave us some more.

And then even another one, as thank you for coming out on a miserable rainy Monday evening.

And within 45 minutes and some overtime they where done. Quick and efficient. I’d wish next time round they come back in summer and on a Friday. And then some serious party business to start.

The real thanks go out for those attending and thus still making it a worthwhile evening, both for the audience and for the bands. And that is what it is about.

… from Whytenshawe 1975 to Hamburg 2017: Them Dogs are still alive!

Slaughter & The Dogs … that is memories, specifically their biggest and epic hit „Where have all the Bootboys gone?“ (thanks to Decca records 1977). But not only that: They hail from Whytenshawe (dubbed „The Skinhead Capital of the North„) and that is not only part of my work history ( i have spend quite some weeks over the years in a bunker like office on Rowlandsway) but also a troubled large council estate („extreme pocket of social deprivation and alienation“ was a line from a non-UK paper).

Rowlandsway House - Office brutalist style (or in defense of the hoodlums)
Rowlandsway House – Office brutalist style (or in defense of the hoodlums)

My memories are not that bad: A tough area with quite some street crime but also friendly people and some nice (though maybe dodgy) pubs.

Nevermind, it was Wednesday and them Dogs made one of their few strolls to Hamburg and it was in my preferred Club downhill so i was on. On too (and providing some of the backline i believe) where the Cock-Ups from Hamburg. They faced the fate of all local support bands – a rather empty space in front of them.

Cock-Ups (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 01.03.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

Did i like the Cock-Ups … mmmmhhh. They had some moments where the sound made sense but by and large it was not really working out for me. The vocals where a quiz (German? English? Polish?) and the sound was too much „bumpy„. Sorry lads! They though did their best and in all fairness the longer they played the better it sounded. One mate mentioned „… are they allowing on stage practise again?“ – sounds harsh but holds some thruth i’d say.

And next Slaugher & The Dogs and they kicked off like this:

Now we where definitely in a different territory: Professional musicians with a style shaped over many years. And let’s be frank: Their early hits like „Cranked up really high“ and „Where have all the Bootboys gone?“ are not representative of their distinct style – i heard someone calling it „Glam Street Punk“ (a new niche as far as i am concerned but who am i?).

Slaughter & The Dogs (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 01.03.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

The setup on stage was by coincidence just like with the Avengers: Vocals and Guitar from the original line up (and that goes back to that infamous 20th of July 1976 when them Dogs where part of that famous bill at the Lesser Free Trade Hall) and younger drum and bass providing the drive.

They did not do a lot of talking but they did their best to keep the audience engaged, had smiles and thank you’s for the audience and – nice gesture – had a song for the the guy in the wheelie. Nice one!

Slaughter & The Dogs (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 01.03.201717) (c) gehkacken.de)

And with their set finished on time the question was would they come back to the stage? I heard a couple of bets and to be honest most of them where wrong – no messenger was needed to get them back and crank another one out (that even got the real oldpunks in attendance to shake off their 60+ year old bones and fists!)

There was one caveat though – it was surprisingly empty down at the Hafenklang. I’d say it was down to weekday, support and the fact that them Dogs continue their style, which emphasises the R in Punk Rock. But that they do quite well and to no surprise some people even took their new LP home – i’d rather took the latest Career Suicide 7″ home that an ever friendly mate got me!

And those others?

.. happy people! ( (c) gehkacken.de)
.. happy people! ( (c) gehkacken.de)

Where either happy or almost happy (up there is happiness, down there are happy sunburned faces of people just back from sunny holidays away from cold Hamburg).

... more (almost) happy people! ( (c) gehkacken.de)
… more (almost) happy people! ( (c) gehkacken.de)

What was missing though was the smile of one absent mate, who unfortunately now is absent forever. Seeing shows with him since early 80s has now come to hard stop, a stop that provided a lot of tears. And thus the biggest hardship was for those attending the show and knowing that they where to attend the funeral next day. We will never forget you mate!