… 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!

… 39 songs for 5€: How Gerd turn Thin Lizzy upside-down!

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.

Ticket Collectors are pretentious arseholes ... #7/85!
Ticket Collectors are pretentious arseholes … #7/85!

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).

Set list collectors are pretentious areseholes ... 39 songs for 5€!
Set list collectors are pretentious areseholes … 39 songs for 5€!

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.

Gerd (Cafe Treibeis, Hamburg, 24.03.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

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…

Gerd fans doing what Gerd fans do: Enjoying the sing-a-long! ( (c) gehkacken.de 2018)
Gerd fans doing what Gerd fans do: Enjoying the sing-a-long! ( (c) gehkacken.de 2018)

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.

Hardticket Collectors are pretentious areseholes ...
Hardticket Collectors are pretentious areseholes …

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.

… GERD, the unstoppable party machine, and the tale of the best agers!

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.

Perfect Cousins (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

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.

Gerd (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

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.

GERD : Set List (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
GERD : Set List (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

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.

Gerd (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

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.

GERD : After-Show Party (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
GERD : After-Show Party (Knust, Hamburg, 26.11.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

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!