Out of the approximately 75 people at the Monkeys the evening before a large contingent also had tickets for Gerd, who sold out the Cafe Treibeis just around the corner of the Monkeys in record time. Against their stadium tours this was a small event but it was a „Thank You“ for the called off Christmas show last year.
And Gerd being Gerd spared no cost and efforts to create a home for the lot: Special DIY tickets, a massive stage, new amps and cabinets and a light rig that would have made the Queen Mary II shine. Or glow. A bit. A little bit.
And the Gerd fanatics almost had a premature ejaculation upon spying the set list – within the 39 songs for the two hour set where some new gems: Gerd finally got a settlement with the estate of the late Lemmy and are now allowed to play their signature song G.E.R.D. on #25 (that Lemmy took for a bottle of JD’s in a moment of disunion by Gerd and transformed towards is own ode to that NYC brothers Ramone).
Sharp at 20:00 the Gerd ship took sail towards a packed Treibeis, bulkhead doors where glued shut and no-one was to escape. The proprietors of the Treibeis had stocked enough booze and the lot was yet again in happy mode.
OK, there was some shortcoming: The light somehow malfunctioned and left everything in the dark. Literally. And because the ship took sail in storm mode and everything was shut there was little to no air coming in. And the booze was too cheap and i guess you can imagine what cheap booze does to thirsty, wind and sun withered sailors!
And whilst half way into the harbor a mutiny occurred, some of the shanghaied contingent where actually literate (and could perform computations) and made out that some songs had been skipped. Scandal! Money back! Just before Nessy was keelhauled Gerd took the wind out of the sails of these folks and re-arranged to play the missed ones.
And just within the 2 hour mark they finally made it port side with a song that someone in the know had on his shirt:
And that was a tight landing, the port had to shut down at 22:00 sharp!
Was the lot happy? As you can see below the lot was utmost happy…
That was a worthy effort by Gerd and that they still find the time to check back home during all their global travel is much appreciated.
Next stop of the Gerd world tour is the big stage of the Knust and you can be damn sure that the little S.U.P.P.O.R.T. actually translates to a fucking big surprise. Be there or be square!
For me and 5 others it meant setting sail towards the Molotow in pursuit if the triple crown – more punk fucking rock awaiting us after midnight.
It is quite rare that a rather unknown and local band, though it has been around for ages (but with limited visibility on the international rock circuit), is able to draw the likes of The Undertones, Jam, Small Faces and others as support.
But Gerd, Hamburgs loveliest party machine, is able to call these favours because the mu-sick industry played their dirty tricks on them. Rewind to 1972 and Gerd is alone and broke, his girlfriend Sonja left him behind and all his mates are in prison. But instead of giving in to alcohol he puts all his eggs into one basket and pens the Über-Hit „Born in Hamburg Horn“ followed by more Glamrock hits, only to have them stolen by less gifted (and greedy) rock musicians – from A like Adriano Celentano to Z like Zeppelin, Led. Name one of the big names of the 70s and they have at least one Gerd song in their rooster.
Whilst these suckers went on to enjoy sold-out stadium tours Gerd only got the occasional gigs in dodgy pubs in the lowlands of northern Germany. At least when it came to payment for these Gerd used all their street-smartness and came up with a clever approach: Instead of asking for a share of the door they asked for a share of the drinks turnover (knowing their fan-base was quite addicted to booze). Still, little fame was achieved and Gerd have been struggling ever since (even to the point that all of them have additional bands to play in in order to pay the bills).
Kick off for this eagerly awaited party night was with Perfect Cousins, who actually are 3/4 of Hamburgs old and beloved punk band Napalm: Arne sings, Lui on Bass and Reeder takes the drums. This added with two more capable members gets you the ultimate 1:20 party hits of The Undertones in real.
And, as many folks over years noted, the rather nasal vocals by Arne are a perfect fit (and some even wanted him to join The Undertones upon Fergal calling it a day). A great set, this time well rehearsed and injecting the right fun into the crowd who immediately put on their dancing shoes.
Next on Jam Today, reformed from the ashes of Jam Today – starting the set with some Jam numbers as the traditional 3 piece they soon invited additional members onto the stage: The guy on the keyboard is not really a new add (was trialled some times before) but the 2nd guitar (which comes with great vocals) is brand new. And adds to their ability to try new styles.
Jam Today (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)
Where the Perfect Cousins had an immediate effect on the audience, Jam Today dared to play it on the risky side and branched out into Small Faces, Style Council and classic mod rock like The Chords.
Audience reception was a bit luke-warm though they got their fair share of applause and support. I’ll guess with some further tightening of the set it will be a good one (though different and maybe no longer suited for the 50+ oldpunks just wanting to sing along to his or her hold hits).
And finally that gave the stage to Gerd, who where a wee bit nervous about this show as it was – at least for them – a headlining gig on a large stage. And they where nervous about turnout, as they had their share of gigs with less than 50 guests. So with a bright smile they came on stage and faced the 300+ people in the audience who gave them a large cheer.
A massive 27 song set-list was the outset for the proceedings, almost a full account of all the hits they have written over the last 44 years and that got recording and airplay by another band.
It was like a bam-bam-bam rush through history, sometimes the songs where speeded up a wee bit too much (but i’ll take they simply got carried away by the audience that got going big time). And they even went that far to use additional outfits to complement the songs, just like here in the song that not only got stolen off them but time warped back by Dr. Brown:
And sure thing that was not the end of it, Gerd carefully and tongue-in-check assured that the audience was drunken enough to savour what was to come: The one big hit that Gerd was able to secure for themselves and that is an ode to their beloved hometown:
And whilst at it, booze is booze and Champagne is Champagne – or as they put it:
I've got the money, I've got the place
You've got the figure, you've got the face
Let's get together, the two of us over a glass of champagne
I guess everyone is able to sing along to side one! So let’s go:
By now and deep into the encore (and already late into the night) Gerd had the audience where they wanted it: Fully engaged, singing, dancing and well intoxicated.
And Gerd being the ever cost effective party machine even sparred themselves electronic gadgets for intros and just used their hand clapping to – with a change of tone – move into one of the more dramatic songs:
… finaly finished with this one:
Just perfect! Gerd shows always had the annotation of a party – and this one indeed was one of the raunchiest parties of the year. On top of that Gerd being bold and brave moved it to the Knust and made full use of the bigger stage, the bigger audience and the bigger bar space (and booze storage).
The quest though is what deal did they strike with the Knust – door money or booze money? I think short over 300 people attended and about 2.500 beers plus additional booze was sold. According to the landlord of the Knust a very good number and almost the highest average of beer per person attending they have on record!
And that was followed by a great party in the bar with DJ Chrischan providing sing-a-long and dance-a-long classic hits for the best ager audience.
How did it look like – it looked like this:
For me just a perfect thing – so many friends (though with one mate who battled yet again in hospital still not able to attend), so much good music and such a great party. I was home „early“ in the wee of the morning and still full of energy!
Gerd offered to be back in 25 years, i’ll take them up on the promise! Next on are two more parties for the 50+ best ager crowd at the Knust: HH-Soundtrack 2016 Edition i am able to do (adjusted my work travel to fit), the Razors Burn down the Baum one i need to let go as i am out for a nice leave away from Hamburg over Christmas and New Year. I guess both will now take up the massive challenge that Gerd have thrown!
Me mate Frosch complained upfront: You can not see Gerd more than once a year, they are wearing off to quickly. But on Friday, whilst saying goodbye to BU’s home ground, we agreed to go and watch them at St. Pauli’s Reeperbahn Fan Store despite the fact that the Reeperbahn was full of Turboyouth and other crap that weekend.
My desires where simple, so we and about 30 other oldpunks plus normal tourists got see Gerd and boy did Toni and myself enjoy it: Energy, Fun and some sing-a-long tunes. Nothing better for a Saturday.
And that was a hit later covered by Blondie, followed by another hit that was taken to one-hit-wonder fame by David Dundas:
And a song that Glen Danzig did sneak into the Misfits „Beware“ 12″:
It was quite entertaining to see normal tourists being lured by the sound into the shop and starting to enjoy the hits that made Gerd famous in the 70s and they most likely know from those who stole the songs off them. And they continued to shop for St. Pauli merch too – fun to see!
We finished the night off the Reeperbahn (too busy) and in the pub. And traded stories about „back then“ and fun moments in Hamburg’s musick history until the wee of the morning.
Great night, great band and great friends – and another complaint by me mate Frosch that i did show way too much enjoyment during Gerd’s show. I should rather spend that enjoyment for the next unknown Hardcore band at the Hafenklang. I can’t promise but i’ll do me best mate!
And magic did happen on Sunday: FCSP did an away win! We did our part, Gerd did their part. Priceless!