… a neat entry into a joyfull power pop weekend: Litterbug and Cyanide Pills upstairs!

A rainy Thursday evening is actually the least best day for a crowded show, specifically if there is other entertainment in town too. Crowds where either drawn to the Fabrik (to see MC50 and Wayne Kramer) or to the MS Hedi (to see Nothington) … or upstairs to the Hafenklang in order to get ears ready for more serious power pop with the Undertones on Friday.

Me and many friends decided for the Hafenklang and whilst initially it felt empty it later was decently filled (though not sold out). First on Jitterbug from sunny Blackpool (that seaside town up north that is subject to the annual pilgrimage by many of the Hamburg lot).

Litterbug (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 29.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Jitterbug play fast paced punk with some great bass play (and an almost hyperactive bass player) and less great singing. One of me mates noted „the guy on guitar seems to have too much on his plate when he also sings“ but for me it was still on the ok side.

Would i go the extra mile for them? Nope. Did i appreciate their set? Yes indeed, at times their sound had some great speed variations and – as said – some great bass lines. In most of the songs actually the bass did carry the melody, something that only few bands make their unique selling proposition.

What did stand out too was their merchandise, brilliant T-Shirts and a killer T-Shirt for all UK Punk literate collectors:

... one of the greatest T-Shirts recently!
… one of the greatest T-Shirts recently!

#1  Love for 1977, #2 A Tape and – with all tongue in check needed – #3 A Porky Prime Cut (and those who can not relate to that never ever called records from the hey days of Punk in the UK their own). Well done mates, well done!

Without too much hassle the stage was turned over to them Pills . If you don’t know them – here is how they set themselves:

Biography

Born a loser
Alcoholic, substance abuser
Hated, loathed with no fixed abode
Jinxed, given a curse
To never be best, always the worst
A peasant who wants to be king
PHIL PRIVILEGE attempts to sing

Bad tempered, aggressive
music obsessive
Never the banquet
Only the crumbs
CHRIS WRIST bangs the drums

Glassy eyes, greasy skin
Constant depression is a state he’s in
A dirty, nasty rat faced critter
Runt of the litter
SY PINKEYE guitar picker

Petty criminal
Small time crook
Broken home, bad neighbourhood
The human race hates his pretty face
ALARICK ‘THE TRICK’ plucks the bass

Liar, faker, liberty taker
Sleazy vain, a wannabe stud
A rotten piece of Norwegian wood
A drunken lout with insatiable greed
ALEX ARSON strums the lead

A gang of c***s from a desolate land
Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the band….
CYANIDE PILLS

And they stormed into their set like this:

Just perfect: High energy power pop, scent of glam and and undertone of punk. And 5 different stage personas with unique schemes, grins and … sound. I felt victim to them a long time ago and i am always stunned that they are able to re-surprise me. In principle i know what will happen but when it happens i am still stunned.

Cyanide Pills (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 29.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

They blasted song after song, had fun on stage and fun off stage and made a lot of people in the audience smile (and some even to dance). To many outsiders they may look like a degenerated lot but in fact they are there to remind people that music is relevant for quite some time (when repacked every once in a while).

And after blasting through 20something songs they ended the set on another highlight:

Conquered!  Though forever i will put forward the request that actually they do play my loveliest song! Please!

When the lot dissolved after the show it was a lot of „see you tomorrow at Undertones“ and that is exactly what i will do. Just to get more of those 2:00 long power pop pearls!

Bücher, schnell gelesen: Teil 1.358

James Lee Burke - Dunkler Sommer (Heyne Hardcore, 2018)
James Lee Burke – Dunkler Sommer (Heyne Hardcore, 2018)

Gelesen: 21. – 25.11.2018, netto 547 Seiten

Das ist irgendwie die Komplettierung der Holland-Familien Reihe von James Lee Burke: Aaron Holland Broussard ist der Enkel von Hackberry Holland und Fremdes Land und Vater und Sohn sind die Partner zu Dunkler Sommer – und das alles ist dann eine Trilogie.

Das Buch setzt die Zeitreise entlang der Geschichte der Familie Holland fort, im Houston von 1952 trifft Aaron als 17-jähriger Schüler nicht nur auf die Liebe seines Lebens sondern auch auf eine Gesellschaft voller Spaltung: Die Mafia macht ihre Geschäfte, die Cops machen ihre Geschäfte und die Mexikaner machen ihre Geschäfte. Und wer kann, flieht. Wer zwischen Pest und Cholera nicht wählen kann meldet sich freiwillig für den Korea-Krieg (und stirbt da).

Aaron macht alles richtig, weil er ein guter Junge ist. Aber er ist auch Aufrecht und Stur – das wiederum bringt ihm Ärger mit allen ein: Der Mafia, den Copy und den Mexikanern. Ohne zuerst zu wissen warum geht es für ihn in eine Spirale der Gewalt.

Ein sehr ernstes Buch über eine Zeit die gefühlt ewig her ist – würde mich nicht wundern wenn es in den US of A irgendwie heute nicht anderes ist (Ein Land, tief gespalten).

Liebe, Hoffnung und das durchstehen der unausweichlichen Gewalt: Es gibt wohl nichts besseres für einen jungen Menschen als so eine Sozialisation – oder?

Soundtrack dazu: The Frustrators – West of Texas, was sonst?

Und was sagt James Lee Burke?

 

 

… after 27.5 years of stadium tours finally back in Hamburg: Gerd in a Top Of the Pops club show!

It has been a long time that a seminal Rock Band with decades of stadium touring has descended down on Hamburg – only 2nd class acts like Barclay James Harvest , Electric Light Orchestra or Slayer have come down to Hamburg recently respectively are to come. Within that rooster it was an outstanding achievement by the good people of the Knust to get their hand onto Gerd and somehow trick them into a club show.

The show was not only sold-out in record time (tickets basically where traded under the tables via tell tale) but also was setup with two class mates of Gerd (though of smaller rating): Worldlevel and DEVO made the cut for the most open secret club show of all times.

First on Weltnieveau and thus a seasoned touring engine that has been around Hamburg and lesser towns since 1996 or so. They bring all the rock showman ship that you need, starting with proper stage attire (including all wearing proper white showmanship footwear) down to inviting surprise guests onto the stage.

Weltniveau (Knust, Hamburg, 14.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Weltnivau play fast paced rock with great German words and thus have made a fortune across the German speaking parts of northern Germany. And they have songs that many admire, be it about love, be it about no wanting to go home with her or being about the pure essence of life: BIRTH-SCHOOL-WORK-DEATH is their signature song that got everybody to sing-a-long.

How did it sound and look? See for yourself:

Great stuff, they even managed to throw a Gerd cover in (another Gerd original that went to fame on that island yonder with a band from Scotland called Bay City Rollers). They where the local heroes that the big stars want as support: Quick, efficient and getting some early movement into the packed house.

With some amount of changeover (and some installations on stage) the next star guests from Akron err Herne where to take the stage. They where indeed special guests and long traveled ones too. Their setup was not without hick-ups and the whole show was riddled with things that did not work out in the way it should.

DEVO-tion (Knust, Hamburg, 14.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Lights where below perfect, stage layout small and it had all the rock star annotation of the main act being afraid of the support act to steal their fans and put down a much better show. I think Gerd even used some voodoo channeling from their backstage penthouse to bring songs to a spontaneous combustion:

The lot had some high hopes for this but somehow all i spoke to where at least a bit disappointed. They played too many covers (eg. from Gary Newman, Flock of Seagulls) and they bypassed all their early 70s hits. Maybe they get a 2nd chance, a bigger stage and someone who fixes setup and lights. I’d love to see that actually.

And that paved way for the stars, descending down onto the rather small stage of a small club in a small town (at least compared to their more recent stadium tours).

And with all the rock star glamour they kicked in like this:

G.E.R.D. – the song that Lemmy somehow took off them to give it to those brothers in NYC.  And with that they took the lot by storm, from the first mighty chords it was a set piece that would lead to a nice first goal.

Gerd (Knust, Hamburg, 14.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

And Gerd followed up with song after song from their endless rooster of first class party hits.

Did anything go wrong? Nope! Did any chord sit wrong? Never! Where there technical issues (eg. „too hot for the guitar“ like)? No! They just had all the knobs of the amps to 12 and emitted all the routine of a perfect rock show from the stage.

Gerd (Knust, Hamburg, 14.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

There where some in the audience that took note of the recent announcement of Spinal Tap getting back together in 2019 and there was somehow an undercurrent of fear that Gerds prime spot could be challenged.

But lets be frank: with that rooster of hits there is nobody in the whole wide world to succeed in a challenge…

Gerd - Set List (Knust, Hamburg, 24.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Gerd – Set List (Knust, Hamburg, 24.11.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Gerd are the simple message that plain simple rock music is not dead, that rock stars can actually descend down into small clubs and that a successful show includes always a medley.

And Gerd have that medley themed after their little home niche in Hamburg – Hamburg Horn:

And with that all barriers where crushed, all borders where open and the floodgates could no longer hold back the fans (from more visits to the bar and more booze).

Whatever you like for a living, whatever you like for entertainment: If you do not desire to see Gerd than you are a lost case.

Without Gerd large parts of the 70 rock circuit just would not have happened.

Without Gerd there would not have been a reason for the punk revolution.

Without Gerd there would be no need to drive back to Hamburg.

And without Gerd, there would be no stiffening.

You, me – we all love Gerd. Try to be part of that universal love!