… Bonecrusher – true respect for my alarm clock going off at 06:15 on Monday!

It is quite neat to have moved house into the vicinity of my favourite clubs, thus the Monkeys is only a short bike ride away and can now be frequented also on a wet and rather dire Sunday evening. Me and me mate from around the corner came late and the first band was already on stage.

Defy Your Dreams (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 09.10.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Defy Your Dreams (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 09.10.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

OK, that is a tough one now. I simply could dislike them because they are from near Bremen (a much too easy feel for anybody in Hamburg) but i do appreciate bands that go out and play – but them bands also need to appreciate that i need to be able to relate to their sound to like them.

And DYD where anything but my liking.  Why? The sound was „Metalcore“ and everything on stage looked orchestrated and copied from a number of US bands that play in the same way, look the same way and act the same way.

A quick scan of the Internet (damn Internet, never forgets) brings the following quotes:

By the looks of it i am not alone with my gut feel.

They provided the back line for Bonecrusher though, so at least one positive thing. And sure hey suffered the fate of many support acts, 12 people in front of the stage to see them – the rest talking and boozing in the pub.

Next on Bonecrusher, sans Ray though, and they kicked of like this:

From the first song full assault and actually a great sound. Hard hitting, bellowed vocals and quite some great guitar work. Working Class Rock some claim, Oi! some other and the overall they end up in the Street Punk cupboard in most record shops. Whatever you think – go listen and you will see that they have found and nurtured their own style and stick to it.

Bonecrusher (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 09.10.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

The one thing that made it feel somehow different was that it was sans Raybo and thus sans some danger. But maybe that is for the better, the last things i heard (damn Internet, source of all sorts of rumours) was that the 2014 Tour was cancelled as he was in Prison (i’ll take that as truth) and that since then he has gone apeshit on drugs (a whisper said „Crystal Meth“, not sure about that part) and just ain’t no more fit for the band. Or something to that extend.

They interacted well with the audience and singer Michael spend most of the time off stage and in the pit. In addition they blasted through their set as a means to ensure we all get home early, as we all have to work on Monday morning. And true that is and thus real respect to people who come out on a rainy Sunday night.

And whilst at it, they relocated into the pit and left their drummer behind to storm into the encore taking everyone as prisoners with them onto the plank:

Just perfect i’d say – they should have deserved a good 100 folks more (on a Friday evening)! But they where happy and thankful, something that the audience did happily return.

And my alarm clock? Went of at 06:15 in the morning and i switched it back to 08:00 to enjoy some more sleep – work can wait sometimes (and i am not really working class when it comes the role i play in the big corporation that pays the bills). Never mind – a big thanks to Bonecrusher, now make sure you come back in time!

… a jog down memory lane to 1986: Raw Power reloaded and H20 with pure dancing fun!

Now that was supposed to be fun – not only was our old mate Rudi on his (by now almost annual) trip to Europe (Rebellion first, then 2 weeks with his Hamburg Family before returning to his new home and his loved ones in Perth) but it was also the return of Raw Power (though an incarnation far from what i kept memory).

I saw Raw Power in 1986 in Lübeck and they blew us away not only with the 17 year old drummer with the double bass but also with their long hair and their sheer power. Sheer raw power. They made a huge impact on many (and on some in Hamburg) who followed the H/C-Metal fusion style and created band after band with that style.

I remember them for these looks (and the double bass drum):

But first things first, Free Target from Schwerin had the not so encouraging support slot and had loads of space in front of the stage – one of their two vocalists could roam it without being challenged. Somehow sad, as quite a lot of people did show up for this Sunday show.

Free Target (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 14.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Free Target (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 14.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

They had some neat moments, most of them driven by actually 3 people singing and thus providing a degree of variability that many bands can not give (on the vocal side). Interesting concept indeed. They also covered Negative FX but to no avail – the audience for a large portion was not interested in them and blocked the bar and the alleyways in the Monkeys. Sad – they deserve a wee bit more attention. Fact!

Next Raw Power and at the start it felt a wee bit odd: The sounded like a copy of the Raw Power i imagined but i guess that is more a fault on my side (with a 30 year gap in following the adventures of Raw Power). They had a long setlist and went on … to sound better and better (though they somehow killed their stunning hit „We shall overcome“ and took some of the magic away by blasting it).

Thanks to the Internet (damn Internet, never forgets) here it is in all glory in the version recorded on their US Tour.

Raw Power (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 14.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

And they got some people in front of the stage, though both by the looks and by the preference of T-Shirts the vast majority was up for H20 rather. Still, i did like it more and more (though some stupid stuff like a drum solo was thrown in) and at least a number of folks gave them some gentle applause too. In the end i think a good job, though i am forever spoiled by that 1986 setting!

Note that the video was done by Rudi and thus travelled far to down under and then back home to Hamburg, thus it is of slightly differently quality (as the H2O ones too).

Next H2O and now we had a crowd and the crowd went apeshit. And a band that so much more interacted with the audience and got so much in return.

H2O (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 14.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

And they had all the sing-a-long and dancing hit’s with them (as you expect) and generally radiated „fun“ from the stage and into the audience. And let’s be frank, a band that still can pen down a gem of a hit like „#NOTREALLIFE“ after a long hiatus in recording has something special.

And it has great words too:

Famous for no reason
Fake! Credibility
Your image is so far from the streets comment
To act like you know
Past! Made up of lies
Your future is what you choose to disguise!!!!!

I've seen your type way before
This social media
Don't try so hard to be
Something you're not
I've seen your type way before
This social media
You want the world to see
Something you're not
Afraid to portray who you are inside

Walk past me in person
Don't!!! Even say hello
Fantasy your true colours are dull comment
To act like you know
Past!!! Made up of lies
Your future is what you choose to disguise
And I use it too, just not like you
Cos, I know what is true!

(c) H2O / Bridge Nine Records 2015

Although there where some near misses upon people stage diving the tiny elevation of the Monkeys stage (and Rusty reminded them that his guitar neck could make it difficult for them too) they made the impression that returning to smaller stages without security barricades after having played large festivals gives them also a relaxed time.

Rudi did capture two videos, so see for yerself:

Thanks for the moving pictures Rudi!

In summary worth the trip down memory lane and a great night out with a mate that only on rare occasions can make the 20+ hour flight to see a show in Hamburg.

Rudi, Sven, Frosch (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 14.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Rudi, Sven, Frosch (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 14.08.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)


… home alone: whilst everybody pilgrims to Blackpool Total Chaos bulldoze the Monkeys!

The Monkeys phrased it as „Killer rivets night“ which was a wee bit off but it was a setting for some serious streetwise punk rock (and a resort for some who did not do the pilgrimage to Blackpool).

DMF, self proclaimed Hamburg Hate Punk, sneaked into the rooster and made the start into a rather long evening.

Disillusioned Motherfuckers (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 05.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

As ever, they played to a rather small group in front of the stage and rarely some movement within the crowd. It wasn’t polished stuff for sure but it also did not strike any chord with me … go and check out for yerself. Appreciation from the audience was small, but i fear that is the hardship of supporting the support.

Next on Topnovil from far away down under and with a kick-start they had all the elements that DMF missed: Tunes, stage presence, showmanship (in a positive sense) and mu-sick-al abilities – this is how they took the stage:

The damn internet (the one that never forgets) had them down (in a local music website in Australia) as:

Born in 1997 out of the Wollongong punk scene, Topnovil is an authentic fourth generation Aussie punk rock’n’roll band. Heavily influenced by “77” Punk and third generation punk rock bands, you can hear where the lads developed their distinctive Punk Rock sound.

Frank – that reads like an insult to me!

Topnovil (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 05.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

Topnovil got the crowd moving as in singing and dancing and should actually be on a bigger stage as they need room on stage to move around and do little funny stunts with their amplifier cases as platforms. Clever trick indeed!

A great and tight set and with loads off applause (though with some surprising technical issues of a non-working guitar). I guess they need to leave down under to really have success as touring that continent must be a struggle.

With some delay Total Chaos where ready to take the stage next and boy did they surprise me:

From the first chords and into the first song it was like a bulldozer coming upon The Monkeys and pushing the audience forward, forward and then some more. Fun fact: The bass player borrowed the „amplifier case platform“ trick from Topnovil and got himself a prime spot thus (against the rest of the band he needed an uplift as they all towered him).

Total Chaos (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 05.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

I have seen Total Chaos before and did not particular dig them and thus have to admit that i was more then surprised to be engulfed by that wall of sound they delivered from the stage. Tight, fast paced and with a load of energy and commitment.

I think i need to put their early Epitaph records back on the player and re-accustom myself with their newer stuff. And a stark reminder to judge bands by the live performance and not too much by their recorded and released output. On this tour they seem to be just perfect, so go and make sure you get to see them!

And that gave way for the „headliner“ of the night, a quarter past midnight The Casualties took the stage and speeded things up further:

And indeed the crowd took things a bit further too and quite a large dancing pit evolved. The Casualties took no hostages and killed song after songs with high speed street punk. Some even tried to stage dive from the tiny elevation of the stage and should have known better but it was at least a try.

The Casualties (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 05.08.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

Way after 1:00 The Casualties left the stage and invited the audience over to the bar – both the band and the audience soaking in sweat and thirsty for beer.

A stunning show with a surprise winner in Total Chaos. And the Killer Rivets? Little where seen and nobody got hurt.

But still there was a negative déjà-vu: There seems to be a new and annoying dancing style that involves a giant mutant baby punk to ignore the music and just have his eye on pushing people around and slamming his shoulder into those who actually want to dance.

At the Dickies show this resulted in justified pit violence, at the Monkeys i could hear people after the show whispering „… i should have given that bloke a beating, he was just annoying“. If you ask me i will reply „and so shall it happen!“. Same for those who come in the pit with their backpack – don’t you wonder that you are being kicked around! There is fucking wardrobe to place it you cunt!