… a small K-Town warm-up with a small turnout!

Over the last years the K-Town Warm-up was quite a sizeable effort at the Hafenklang, this year it was cut back to a small and intimate setting. Though when i arrived at the Hafenklang i had the initial fear that i was going to be surprised by a large something, given the huge nightliner in front of the doors…

K-Town Shuttle?
K-Town Shuttle?

But that was wrong – it was going to be two bands only and it was going to be empty. Not sure if it was the competition (Lillingtons in Bremen, Beatsticks at the Rote Flora and a few other items) or just the unknown bands.

But unknown is the trigger, at least for me. How can i judge what music to listen to or what records to buy if i do not check out new bands? First on where Idiota Civilizzato from Berlin (and some other places) and they came just in time for the show.

Idiota Civilizzato (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.06.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

They sound like great US inspired Italian Hardcore from the mid-80s and they do sound almost perfect in that vein. Push, drive, speed and dual guitars. The vocals must have been in Italian, as i could not make out any theme. And they pushed their set in a stoic manner towards the rather empty space in front of them.

Besides Project Youth there where about 15 paying customers and that does not really drive enthusiasm but i have to give credit to them – they where relentless. How did it sound? Listen up youth:

Next on Project Youth from Istanbul (Turkey) and i think so far i have not yet seen a band from Byzantium so i was very interested to see and hear. It was a wee bit a surprise (and in hindsight not really) to get to see and hear a band that was fully engulfed into 80s UK punk.

Project Youth (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.06.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And their sound indeed was more Punk Rock than H/C, had some melodies and their singer tried to be a wee bit of an entertainer, an art really lost on the few people this night. They where pretty much like a well oiled engine, pushing out their songs and mixing English and Turkish language. And they did engage a bit more with the audience.

Their sound is pretty much summed up with this Blitz cover, i guess their finest moment that night.

As for Idiota Civilizzato they would have benefited from a few more people, a bit more enthusiasm in front of the stage and generally „more“ (of everything). I think in a different setting they will be well received, lets see if they make it back to Hamburg on a different occasion.

As you lot where not there, check out both bands on Bandcamp:

I went home not really satisfied (though indeed with some new mu-sick-al experience) and sincerely hope that next year K-Town Warm-Up at the Hafenklang is again a bigger variety and a bigger exposure for bands travelling to DK.

And the real thing over this weekend was in København!

… not lagging behind at all: Hysterese are most likely an advanced system producing chords!

The Hafenklang has a good routine to fill the empty void after the weekend, they allow for small shows on a Monday with a donation only door price. Sometimes they get pennies (literally) – sometime they get big bucks (to be shared with the band). What they always get is the surprise of the number of people (and the surprise of the various types of people who just can’t fathom that donation means donation of their choice) and the surprise of what the band puts in.

On this hot Hamburg evening it was the return of Hysterese, who are around since 2011 but have not been back to Hamburg since 2016. And i saw them only once in 2014 but was forever glued onto their sound. And given the sunny weather, that fact that the Hafenklang is just a short stroll down the street and given that i faced two weeks off from work it was sure a booked show. And a big surprise that actually plenty of folks made way to see them: It wasn’t packed but it was well attended, so hopefully a good share for the band.

Hysterese (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

Over the years they got their sound perfected and also put a unique visual identity onto the stage: Guitar left & right, Bass center and with the back to the audience. And – as a professional musican in the audience noted – driven by a precision drummer. That topped with large amps provided the perfect setup for a good bulldozing and that is what Hysterese did:

Burst of high energy punk with both feet down into both H/C, Punk and scents of pop. And sure thing the added bonus of dual guitars and dual male/female vocals, that is such a positive addition to sound that i’d wish more bands would dare to try that (no, i won’t stop preaching the added value of the female contingent on stage).

They barraged through a short set (i’d recon 12 songs) with most songs clocking in above 2 minutes and well below 3 minutes, so in the range of the perfect pop song. They did not interact with the audience a lot, they concentrated on the sweaty task of pushing our chord after chord.

Hysterese (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

I am fixed in my brain on certain songs, they trigger a little spark that goes off and tells me „…listen up mate, this is a perfect song!„. Hysterese are one of the few German bands that have set that spark off, it is their – at least to my account – top hit from their first album:

And sure thing that little beauty came right down from the stage, full power and with brilliant guitar play. Listen up youth and sing-a-long:

i can't see 
i can't breathe 
start to eat 
strengthens me 

headlocked when i come round 
that's such an awkward pressure 
forced to some trojan properties 

i can move 
brightens up 
now i'm full 
ate you up

credits : Hysterese, released July 20, 2013 - all rights reserved

Done, sold, just fucking great. As ever, i wonder how they would grace if they are paired with something bigger on a bigger stage. They got the capability, they got the chords and they got the beauty to assemble it all well.

The internet (damn internet, never forgets) praises their new record just like this:

These fellas are quite known not only in Europe (but also) worldwide. They released and worked together with labels like Search For Fame, Kidnap, Sabotage or Taken By Surprise. 

Their new third s/t album is a little step out of the long portland-music-shadow into the world of popy tunes. But stop: its still Hysterese, their own twin singing of Helen and Mortitz, shouting their lines like gunfire at each other, their superb guitar-melodies, the stakkato riffing and their precise, machine-like drumming. 

On their new record, you may find between all these Hysterese trademarks some tiny tiny sparkling pop-diamonds, which suits 'em good. If you dig the sadness of The Wipers, the explosivness of old Descendents records and the hits and melodies of your fav Ramones songs, i guess you will dig this little piece of Punk Rock as well.

And to that extend here is one beauty from said record, recorded at Rama Studio – no overdubs – 100% Live one take! Get it on!

Did i note i am sold on them? And because i nowadays tend to buy records only at shows and ideally from the band i took the „all three LP’s for 35€“ offer and threw away the download code – these beauties are to be put under the needle rather!

And next time round? Next time round i expect me mate Thomas to donate more (he was noted down in the big book of generous moods) and i expect even more people to show up – Hysterese are worth it.


… 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.