… 2017 in numbers

I have been attending more shows in 2017 than in 2016 (but i saw less bands thanks to missing Get!Lost!Fest! this year). And my home place now seems to be Monkeys, compared to Hafenklang the year before. And guess what: Live mu-sick is just great, i indeed love it!

My attendance to shows in 2017...
My attendance to shows in 2017…

And I have been reading more in 2017 than in 2016. 89 pages on average per day and in total 73 books. And yes i damn i love it!

My time spent reading in 2017...
My time spent reading in 2017…

Looking forward to 2018 and more live mu-sick and more pages to swallow!

my loveliest vinyl, part 48

7 Seconds - New Wind (Better Youth Organisation BYO 014 / Postive Force Records 08, 1986)
7 Seconds – New Wind (Better Youth Organisation BYO 014 / Postive Force Records 08, 1986)

Whilst having time off over year end i had ample time of listening to records and somehow stumbled across this. Actually i had Second Wind from DC on the player (and their actually quite cool „Security“ 12″ – a short lived post Minor Threat thingy with Bert Queiroz and Steve Hansgen) and then it struck me that 7 Seconds had their own „New Wind“ LP and that i always thought of as totally underrated (and back in those days many many selfish folks – who most likely nowadays sell insurance – took the piss out of them because of the slight deviation from early H/C).

7 Seconds even over here made it big early on: Their first 7″ on Alternative Tentacles („Skins, Brains & Guts„) put them on the map and was available thanks to AT, then „Committed for Life“ and the BYO LP’s firmly put them next to eg. Black Flag, Descendents and others. On top MRR was full of praise for the Reno H/C scene plus they had great songs – sold. Once their 1985 effort „Walk together, Rock together“ included „99 Red Ballons“ from Nena we were not only sold but hooked. Big time.

And then came „New Wind“ and that changed the picture slightly. But first the verdict:

1977 – naaa, but straight outta CA H/C, with some scents i smelled on „I don’t want to grow up“ by the Descendents and some other non H/C references!
published by a cool label – their own „Positive Force Records“ with help by the Better Youth Organisation, can’t get any cooler!
found in a cool shop – Konneckschen, where else!
catching sound – thats a twisted one – i loved it back then but latter set put it aside because of both their move into other territories and the really bad recording production job!
the lyrics – Back then considered great and still today even considered greater. It is about love, it is about change and you can not make out if they mean a personal thing or their tie with the H/C scene – really clever stuff that stands the test of time!

What really stuns me today (and that is 2018, so more than 30 years later) is how bad the record has been done sound wise. I have no clue about recording, mixing, producing and mastering but somehow and against what i am used nowadays it just sounds not good. Just image this would have been recorded and produced today, say by Ms. Stephenson and Egerton at the Blaasting Room – i guess it would be GOLD material. Easily. It was recorded at Radio Tokyo (where Stephen Egerton had his first recording work and plenty of LA Punk stuff was done) and at Inner Ear Studios in DC (with Don Zientara on the knobs) but somehow they where not able to bring the beauty of the songs home.

And even worse (or add more salt to Kevin Seconds wounds) the record just came years to early. If that would have come out early 1990s in the hight of the US Punk frenzy and would have had major label money and recording professionalism behind it would have been a massive hit on both college radio and in selling records. I am damn sure.

But hey, sometimes you have the right idea, the right stuff and somehow the times where not up for it. And this is what had hit 7 Seconds. And worst – they even where unhappy with the cover as Shawn Stern of BYO fame recalls:

Shawn Stern on New Wind Cover
Shawn Stern on New Wind Cover

… and on top many people taunted them as U2 wanna-be’s and for years they where like a persona non-grata and also i for myself decided not to buy any more records (that only changed recently, as their newest stuff is firm back in H/C territory).

I think in essence this is the pre-Pop Punk Record that everybody stole from later. It is a gem, even though the bad recording/production job. It is here to stay and i will not listen to it so much more.

When it comes to loveliest song on the record i am split – and the songs actually split over the two recording sessions (Grown Apart was recorded at Inner Ear, Expect to Change at Radio Tokyo) – but listen up youth:

It's hard to tell just how I feel, exactly what do I say,
These feelings from within for now, they just get in my way,
It seems that lately for some reason, we've been torn apart,
A bond so strong at one point, has it been blown away,

I'm gonna say this now and I won't hold back, 
Have our hearts grown apart, do we still have a chance?
Do we still have those hopes?

And then I feel like giving in, forgetting what's been said,
Pretend like things are just the way, they were when we were young,
With those new friends, acquaintances, will they be there for good?
To share emotions we have shared, in friendship, brotherhood

I'm gonna say this now and won't hold back, 
Have our hearts grown apart, have we broken on sight
Do we still have those hopes and dreams?

And then I feel like giving in, forgetting what's been said,
Pretend like things are just the way, they were when we were young,
With new friends, acquaintances, will they be there for good?
It's their emotions we have shared, in friendship, brotherhood

I'm gonna say this now and won't hold back, 
Have our hearts grown apart, have we broken on time
Do we still have those hopes?

It's all nothing for everything

(C) 1985, 1986 POSITIVE FORCE MUSIC 

 

I keep thinking each and every day.
Have I really made a difference, have I made things change?
In all these years of "growing up," and "standing strong,"
Has it made a single dent with all that is so wrong?

But if I haven't done a thing for world affairs,
At least I know I try and I'll show that I care.
'Cause it's me that has to make an effort,
Or what can I expect to change.
That's where it starts, in myself,
Not just shifting all the blame.

And as I'm growin' older, I can see the changes.
Yet history ain't history at all it seems,
I try to keep my head held high, eyes open wide,
And growing keeps me learning, yeah it keeps me free.

But if I haven't done a thing for world affairs,
At least I know I try and I'll show that I care.
'Cause it's me that has to make an effort,
Or what can I expect to change.
That's where it starts, in myself,
Not just shifting all the blame.

What have you got, What have you got to think that time will stop for you? 
What have you got, What have you got?
Your time, expect to change!

(C) 1985, 1986 POSITIVE FORCE MUSIC 

A wholeheartedly FANX to 7 Seconds for this one mate!

… the only thing that matters: Unconditional love and support!

For a change this year me and me love stayed in good old Hamburg for the year end and thus i was faced with a dilemma: Sure i was due to attend the annual „Burn down the Baum“ Class of 1979 Party at the Knust but one of the greatest Ramonescore bands, The Manges from sunny Italy, where also to play Hamburg.

So what to do? Thanks to mindful promoters the stage time for The Manges down at the cellar of the Molotow was set to 01:10 of the 31st, so assuming that the Razors would finish around the midnight mark would make a swift change of venue possible. From where i sit, that was a plan! It came at the cost of dropping the after show party (and the associated hangover next day) but still it was good plan.

It started early and the Knust was facing another sold out „Burn down the Baum„, Version 11.0 actually.  And as ever it was one of the „Know 50% of the audience by name and know the other 50% by sight“ nights that had you say „Moin“ to an endless number of good folks – from near and even from out of town.

First off where Spit Pink from Recklinghausen, a young band that thanks to the Razors got the big stage. They sure where limited by the audience rather saying hello outside the big hall and, as far as i am concerned, they where also guilty of getting people to eye & ear them and move back out again.

Spit Pink (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)
Spit Pink (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)

I have to admit that i did not dig them, too much Rock infused Punk and without a real hook. So after a couple of songs i strolled back out for more talk (talk is cheap, you know) and did not really continue to listen. Me mater Peter later mentioned on one song „Hey, they now sound like Ideal from Berlin“ and someone replied „That was an Ideal cover„. I think that nails it for me, i saw Ideal 1981 at the Logo in Hamburg and they where nice but too much Rock – full circle back.

Next on The Outcasts from sunny Belfast, a band that is up there in the Top 10 of 1978/1979 Punk forever. And a band that the Blackpool Pilgrims continue to praise as „they still have it„. Whenever they played Hamburg before i missed them so it was the first time for me to see the current version and make me own judgement.

The Outcasts (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

And that judgement is all positive and mainly that is positive because they do not try to play 1979’s sound as a 1:1 copy today but they have taken the freedom to both turn their sound more modern but also give some of the songs a slight spin to another style. And that makes it worthwhile!

What is odd though is that many of their songs back then where under some sort of Teen Theme and thus make you smile when grown up men in best pensioner age trash out „I don’t wanna be no adult„:

They where good fun and they also gave the audience a wide spread of their recordings, including their Rockabilly area. And they included an excellent Rudi cover (and thus another teenage angst song).

The Outcasts (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

It was sure thing not „Hit or Miss„, it was Hit on Hit and presented with today’s energy and speed. And when at the end it came to one of their best sing-a-longs they had won the hearts and lungs of the Hamburg lot and their got the crowd singing (and many can still relate to the line „you better start running because the cops are comming„):

Someone mentioned before the show that the big stage of the Knust and the 450 folks in the audience is what they deserve, i tend to agree with that. If i had a wish to come true than someone would throw a Belfast Tour and give us SLF, Undertones, Outcasts, Rudi and Protex at the Markthalle. Damn, that’ll be a fun night.

And just because it is this time of the year: Here are the mighty mighty Outcasts at their height live at the Ulster Hall, Belfast. 24 April 1980:

Do i have to mention that i was and continue to be sold on The Outcasts?

And that gave way to Hamburgs oldest and finest, the Razors are now 40 years in and without a doubt they are a mighty force again. Nevermind the ups, the downs and the times of breaking up of sorts. They are here and they want to enjoy the time with the lot.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

And thanks to the excellent sound system and capable hands of the Knust they sounded better than ever and even old trashers like „Madhouse Meeting“ sound so much better today than ever before:

It is thanks to the Razors that so many old friends get together and chat, enjoy and booze and if that tradition ever stops than plenty of folks will miss that feeling of unity, that little spark that ignited in 1979 in Hamburg and is still carried around by so many, no matter what they do today. Just splendid!

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

But where is light, there is also dark. And times have come darker for one and plenty of folks in the audience knew that one is on a hard battle with the big fucking C. So between songs they gave him support by cheering his name and when it came to „Heroes“ at the end of the set for many the biggest hero was up there on stage.

That and some encores finished set and at the end the Razors had their friends on stage to give support with a mighty voice:

Because you're young, you're torn between
A world of hate and a world of dreams
So much to lose, so much to gain
So much to fight for, so much to change
You don't look back, you don't look down
You gotta turn everything around!

And being young is a gentle reminder, back in May 1978 the Razors played their first show with Klaus on vocals and some pictures of that made the long distance time travel. Legend has it they only had rehearsed 3 songs and played them all over (because the lot loved them instantaneously).

Razors (Grünspan, Hamburg, 19.05.1978) (c) Razors 1978)

It was a brilliant evening and i would have loved to stay on for cheap talk, cheap frills, cheap beer and not so cheap hits from DJ Schaub but, remember, i had a plan. And plans are there to stick to. So i muffled a quick „bye, see you at the Molotow“ (and got some „you’re nuts“ views) and strolled into home direction, which would take me to the Molotow.

I’d recon that for no other band i would have endeavoured such a double feature but The Manges are just a legend (and Andrea Manges has with The Veterans another high class outfit on the circut) and have never played Hamburg before. I made it just in time to see the support band packing up and realising that the average age of the audience has just dropped by 20+ years compared to the Knust.

At the Knust it was Oldpunks and the Class of 1979, down at the tiny cellar of the Molotow it was Pop Punk 20somethings largely.  Just puuurfect, as puuurfect as The Manges intro with their Hockey classic „Panic at the Ice Rink„:

From the first chord i knew i had choosen the right plan, there is rarely a band of the Ramonescore genre that can light up a tiny dark cellar with their songs as much as The Manges did. And it was not only the mu-sick, it was also the joy that emitted from the stage that did shine like a sun.

The Manges (Molotow, Hamburg, 30.12.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

That sun though must must also shine on The Manges (remember, they are from sunny Italy), so my plea would be to get them back to Hamburg in summer and have them play together with their side-kicks The Veterans on the MS Hedi, down the river Elbe with a gentle glide into the sunset. Oh Boy, that’ll be like on of the best shows to watch out for. Most like that ain’t gonna happen so the 2nd best best thing would be to go down to Bergamo!

I do not even know where to start in my praise for The Manges, it was a perfect set – like 30 songs in 40 minutes, some Ramones cover and always with a smile.

Thanks to The Manges for waiting for me (and the two others that made way from the Knust to the Molotow) and thanks to that plan my hangover on the 31st wasn’t that bad – i was just fuckin‘ tired.

And because that genre is one of the genres i really dig and because it is that time of the year i give you two additional exhibits, both themed after a place definitely worth a visit!

Andrea Manges other band:

And that other band from that other band:

Now go for Easter Island, where the sky is full of light: