… 30 years sweat aged hardcore beef: Sick Of It All don’t boot their fans off the stage (they butt them off)!

Now the start into the evening was … suboptimal. FCSP loosing at home and me mate Dirk, who runs booking at the Knust, confirmed that with two support bands SOIA will be hitting stage at 22:30 sharp, as such there was little hope to catch The Yum-Yums (who graced the Monkeys over in All-to-nah) as Sam confirmed they will hit stage over there in the same time frame.

Why can’t my favorite clubs not sync stage times how me, myself and I need it? Damn!

Die Heart (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Die Heart (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

First on Die Heart from Hamburg and from the start i was not able to relate to their sound. Too much grooowling, too much bam-bam. Sorry, not my thingy.

Next on Gone to Waste from Dortmund. And they kicked off like this:

Arrgghhh – in my world this is posing in an offending way. And metal core that i wholeheartedly dislike. From first chord to last. Where Die Heart at least where within city limits (mu-sick-aly) Gone to Waste where suburban. Boy did they suck to me (and those around me actually). That said, quite a number of folks in the audience seemed to take a rather positive look on them. Not my thing, by some length of rope!

Gone to Waste (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Gone to Waste (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

Puh, that (paired with the home loss of the FCSP) now did set a low mark for what was to come next. Sick Of It All, 30 years and going strong. I do not know how many times they played Hamburg but i think i saw them now for like the 11th time? Really sad that i do not run a show diary!

And SOIA took the stage, the Knust and the audience like this:

Let’s celebrate that we don’t give a fuck! You could feel that they came off a two week break in touring and had re-energized. To the maximum! From the first song all the way throughout the set they where just like i have them in my head for such a long time: Humble, nimble, full of energy and unpretentious. Or, in more simple terms, just class. NYHC Masterclass!

Sick Of It All (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Sick Of It All (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

And following that start me and me mates did shelf all ideas of somehow leaving early and hoping over to The Yum-Yums (who would have deserved our presence). But we smelled we were up the the best Sick Of It All show in quite some time (the last 2nd best was down under the Große Freiheit, on a lonely Thursday evening, with only 150 people attending) and we were not disappointed. Not the slightest.

Yep – Hit songs paired with age old shit from the beginning. By now we definitely knew we would be up to something special: Hit after hit and from any period of the bands vast Œuvre. Oh boy – what a joy!

And that was handsome Lou commandeering the audience and guess what – everybody followed without thinking. The sold out Knust was full of eager fans and eager „oldschool“ fans.  At least when Lou asked only one was brave enough to hold up his hand and state „this is my first SOIA show„. Ups – where have you been lately my friend?

Sick Of It All (Knust Hamburg, 29.04.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

By the pace of it we also by now knew we where up to a new record, at the end we though the tallied some 40 songs they played (though it might be memory and enthusiasm played a trick on us there). But it was just the perfect show. Gosh, that i’d ever say that…what have SOIA put into my drink?

In the underground, integrity lies within
In the underground, the image doesn't mean a thing
When the substance lack, plain for all to see
If the deal is right then respect is where it should be
It should be, it should be, it should be, right

There ain’t no lack of hits with Sick Of It All and hell yeah, most of them are sung full throttle by the audience. Ain’t live shows exactly for that?

Brother, I'll always look out for you
If I feel it back
Sister, we'll brave the outside world
Off the beaten track

When it's us vs. them
You can always count on me
When it's us vs. them
It's a global unity

Open the extended family
The family is growing fast
Friendship will transcend the borders
The world is shrinking fast

They have co-defined a genre and they have authored the right behaviors and they keep putting them forward to the troops. Though at the show they might preach to converted it is something to be done. Continuously. And as „us all“ does not have the time to do it there are other people who get funded by us to do it. Guess who that is?

It is not everyday that you see a band making that statement (and that ain’t the ill-fated ska joke) on stage but here it is all so true. So thanks already Lou, Pete, Craig and Armand. My money and support you will always have, also for the next 30 years (then i am well over 80 and not sure if i can still blast SOIA in the retirement home, let’s hope the best).

Was that all? No, that ain’t all! Thanks to some bloke in the audience (Craig suggest he was the obvious drunken polish guy) we where also up for something that will put the Mighty Mighty BossTones (and their enlist Ben Carr) at shame most likely: The official „GoGo Night at Knust, Edition 2016“ was on:

Already earlier that guy graced the stage with some dancing and pony riding, now he went full throttle. And where the stage hand from the Sick Of It All crew did not succeed (and got a bad bad middle finger though at least not licked on) Hamburg’s own Hardcore Osteopath came to rescue and butted the guy off stage and into a nice flight home. Well done Thomas, well done. Trust you gave the guy some stretches afterwards. We laughed our ass off!

And that was Sick Of It All, 30 years anniversary, in Hamburg. A masterclass in NYHC – no more, no less. In a perfect setting. Thanks Dirk for making it happen, making me forget the home loss and not needing to hurry over to The Yum-Yums (who would have deserved it and – by what i heard – also gave a great show).

Live mu-sick. Love it!

… a classic night already: HH-Soundtrack edition 2015 – unpretentious punk fucking rock!

Oh boy, that was a show! First set to celebrate the release of the long awaited and 32 years overdue Platzangst record it turned into just a different show because Platzangst could neither play nor was their record finished. Then C³I needed to call it off due to serious health problem (all the best Arne!) so that the rooster somehow came about by luck.

What took the stage instead: A new version of the reformed Channel Rats, transporting both their 1980s punk into these days plus new songs. Kein Hass Da, Hamburgs very special Bad Brains in German cover band. The Crimes, also reformed and with Kent Nielsen (Master of the Ukulele). And, to round it off, Sheep on A Tree watered everyone’s mouth.

Channel Rats (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Channel Rats (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Kick off was with the Channel Rats and their new backline (drums, bass) gave them the much needed drive. A great set of new and old songs played with some rigor and, as Bodo stated, „what used to be 3:00 songs now turned into 2:20 blasts“.

They have added some more stage appearance and seem more comfortable on stage. If they continue down that path and keep the pace then actually they are well back on the map.

Channel Rats (Knust, Hamburg 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

See them blasting through „Geisterstunde“ as the encore (and Bodo wanking the axe big time):

Next on where Kein Hass Da, the cover band that really ain’t a cover band. They took good mu-sick (Bad Brains) and gave it a great new meaning – new words in German. And just in case you know how different a word flow in German to English is you also then know how difficult it is to actually make that work!

Kein Hass Da (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Kein Hass Da (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Karl was the ever talkative front man and the band recreating the best of the Bad Brains sound (including the odd reggae tune). Fond memories on my side to that infamous Bad Brains show on 20.05.1983 in Bremen that had endless fights between Hamburg and Bremen punks.

At the Knust and with relaxed oldpunks on stage and in front of the stage there was no risk of those atrocities and Karl could even roam the audience…

Kein Hass Da (Knust, Hamburg 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Whatever you feel about „covering“ you might want to re-think upon experiencing them live – the sheer joy by which they transform something old into something new and meaningful is just great. Go see:

Just great! By now the Knust should have been … let’s say at least „half full“ but i think it was not. There is space for i guess 450+ people and i would guess not more than 100something where around.

Next The Crimes, yet again something into a different direction – we had Punk Rock (Channel Rats), Hardcore (Kein Hass Da) and with The Crimes we now get a dose of Garage Punk. Hamburg can be versatile, against all predictions!

The Crimes (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Crimes (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

They got an A+ for stage appearance (all dressed in black with suits) but somehow Kent as the singer felt like „not fitting“. I imagine their raunchy garage punk paired with a manic singer who fronts (in all sense of that word) but i got bass and guitar standing front and Kent remaining more to the back in the middle.

The Crimes (Knust, Hamburg 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

So for me and some others it was the „dull“ moment of the day respective night but who am i to ask for all bands of such a setting to be 100% fits for my rather single minded liking? Make your own choice, here is The Crime live and loud:

I think by now it was way after 1:00 in the night and the audience has gotten „thinner“, „lighter“ or „scarce“ – it was just too fuckin‘ late!

On came the Sheep on A Tree and what did they do? They waited for the sound man, they waited for the lights to go off and then they took it on:

Singing, songwriting and stage presence – paired with the ability to actually play the songs in perfect tune: That makes a great band and an even greater live band.

That’s the classic hit from the first Schmuddelkinder Compilation from 1993 – no dust and no smell on it! Classic! Followed suit with they Hamburg hymn from the same record.

Just lovely and so many memories.And that was that other undertone that Friday at the Knust: The loving memory towards those off sick and those gone forever. Every single band made and effort into that direction and me and others in the audience

Sheep on A Tree (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Sheep on A Tree (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

And as a 25+ years vehicle sure Sheep on A Tree have had their fair share of ups’n’down but that does not stop them to make it just a great show with loads of energy!

Sheep on A Tree (Knust, Hamburg 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

And for myself i got carried away and taped more songs, including their final encore „Walfänger“ (a song by Hake’s other vehicle „Art of Tin Toys“) that finished as late as 02:15 in the night (and with most of the audience already gone, unfortunately).

First their ode to Diane:

Next they went crazy:

And the final final effort with Heiko joining on stage:

Wow – just stunning! And a long evening with good friends ended late but in hope that this will be repeated on an annual basis – just like the after Christmas show by The Razors at the same location. Great people, great bands and a long evening!

nb: Extra bonus – i have vinyl records from all bands (even a Channel Rats / R.A.F.Gier split signed by Stickel!) but from Kein Hass Da. Who is brave enough and dares a release now?

… theres a harmony in me head!

11th of March 1979: The Buzzcocks graced Hamburg for the first time. And this year both remaining original members Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley will celebrate their 60th birthday so there was no doubt that the Hamburg Oldpunks would be there to give them a hats off in 2015, 36 years later!

Cyanide Pills (Knust, 06.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Cyanide Pills (Knust, 06.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

The support stint was for the ultra cool and retro Cyanide Pills from Leeds and the Buzzcocks confirmed stardom rumors („…Champagne mandatory„) by pushing them and their gear to the front and by limiting their stage time. Odd. But the Pills made the best of the small space that was left. It did though take away some of the energy and moves on stage and that transpired through on the music. I liked them, they where tight, cool moves and cool non-punk white leather jackets. Class!

Next on the Buzzcocks. Almost 40 years in existence. And still going strong.

They kicked off with Boredom and i had some doubts if this was really going to be quality time – the sound was not really good and they where not together. I do not think that they practiced allot prior to their tour kicking off in Hamburg. But from then on it went better, sound was tuned and they got into it.

Fun was that though the average age of the audience was near 49 there where still some younger people in the audience, predominantly female. And even a full family was there and the daughter (i’d say 16 by age) was dressed in a Buzzcocks T-shirt and did sing all old songs, i guessed influenced by their parents. Good parenting by the way!

Buzzcocks (Knust, 06.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de )
Buzzcocks (Knust, 06.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de )

Somehow the packed (and sold out) show had an icehockey setting: First 20 mins old songs and slowly getting into it, 2nd 20 mins new songs and the audience cooling down (but the band gettin‘ tighter and tighter) and then the final 3rd 20 mins with all these songs that can only be described as timeless beauties. And by now the band was at it, played even hidden gems like Autonomy and Harmony in my head (and in that one Steve Diggle managed the audience like it was his private army, which indeed it was).

A short sip on Steve’s stage bottle of Champagne (mandatory perk) and off they where after 60 mins plus 3 songs encore. What did stick? Pete’s beard and belly. Steve’s Army and that he looked sober. And the backline (drum’n’bass) that was lacking some of the groove that should be injected into the timeless beauties that are indeed the Buzzocks love songs.

But finishing early is most likely an age thing and thus i was home early (where me sick wife needed to let go the show).

Still, quality time indeed. So hats off to both bands!