… Bonecrusher: What you pay for is what you get!

This July is a very busy July for shows in Hamburg, almost every day there is a show worth considering and for me it is about every other day that i plan to attend … much higher frequency than normally for me. On a warm and sunny Friday it was time for Bonecrusher at the Monkeys and for some hope that more people would attend than last time round, where it was a very lonely Sunday.

Support was for The Analogs from Poland and i had no clue about them: Neither that they existed nor how they sound. But that is the good thing if you go out into a club – you get to see something new every once in a while. Just be open for that!

The Analogs (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 20.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

They are around for some time, since 1995 according to a rather funny Wikipedia entry, and they are a recognized Street Punk Legend in Poland. They mu-sick-al style ventures a lot into what i would call rock but never on the boring side. The one item that did stand out was that they like their songs long and complex, i guess none was shorter than 4 minutes.

I captured what felt the longest one, in order to put it here i had to tone down the quality to reduce hosting size. But hear yerself:

They were tight, together and well rehearsed and many people in the audience seemed to dig them (besides their polish fans i noted a couple of locals smiling away and getting some merch after the show).

Next on Bonecrusher, that hard working working class outfit that does not need a lot to be ready: They took the stage, they adjusted little bits and off they took.  Off went also the shirt by one member of the audience, a moment some feared. This time round he annoyed again but got some push back from some of the audience. His own fun did not impact the fun of others that much, still at moments yet again it was at the brink of a non-verbal communication.

Bonecrusher (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 20.07.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Bonecrusher provided a neat and complete set of old and new material and delivered their set as a well oiled engine. Both guitars celebrate a near perfect sound and bass/drums provide the solid pushing backdrop it needs. And Michael takes the front, engages the audience and delivers the message. And what they do not have is even a scent of a gap between „on stage“ and „off stage“.

Just perfect if you ask me. The only item that did make me unhappy was not the shirtless contingent but the fact that despite more people attending compared to last time round it was still more „half empty“ than „half full“. I keep my fingers crossed for the next time and hope that Mike and Co choose weeks off work that – at least in Hamburg – gives them a slot without any competition left or right of that date. They deserve it.

I took a final beer and plundered the merch stall, as Bonecrusher had the perfect item in stock: A Polo Shirt. The friendly lady handed me one labeled as „3XL“ and i complaint that i would not need a tent. She said „honey, it comes out much smaller, that’ll do for you„. Little did i know until next day when i realized it compares to M and my six pack (and my wide shoulders) won’t fit ever.

Mike – that’s the only customer complaint!

… L.A.’s finest in a never ending Rock’n’Roll show: Hamburg loves The Generators!

That was supposed to be a worthy entry into a long weekend (thanks to all the German public holidays in May) and it turned out to be so, though it took some stamina to get there. At least the outlook of The Generators taking residence is what is most likely the most fitting club for them in Hamburg was worth the effort to finish up work on time and get into a relaxed weekend mode.

The Monkeys surprised with the support slots: First off it was two bands and second they were of quite, lets say, complementary style. Kick of was with Death By Horse from sunny Sweden.

Death by Horse (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)
Death by Horse (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)

I did not know what to expect so took my time to listen in. The setting seemed ok, an agile female singer with 3 boys. But from the first song i had an itch, that seemed not to go away. It took some time until i could make out what i did not like and that was the clicking sound of the bass. It did not fit and it sounded too much rock.

They had though one song and one moment that made the whole club listen: It was a really emotional one, presented by Jahna in a very emotional way. And it was about being abused as a little girl. I do not know if it was a personal account but that one did stick (and the audience was taken off foot and afterwards did not dare to applaud – so personal and moving that account was).

Next on RoadRage from fucking nowhere in Limburg. And their sound was initially refreshing – 5 lads with too much hair: Both facial and on their head. They label themselves as „Motor Punk“ (you got to accept that you can learn a new thing every single day) and they pushed forward like a truck.

RoadRage (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)
RoadRage (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018 (c) gehkacken.de 2018)

But soon, too soon actually, it got very boring both for my ears and my eyes. Whilst Death By Horse had something unique (that somehow did not sound good to me) RoadRage sounded so similar to so many bands (and had way too much rock posing). Sorry, not my thingy and like many others (who prefer their hair short) i resorted to the Pub for some more good old Guinness and watching Frankfurt taking Bayern Munich hostage for the German cup (and to see yet another reason to get rid of the video referee).

I was not the only one leaving them early: The drummer of the Generators stood in front of the stage during all of the Death By Horse set and took the same position when RoadRage came one – he also did not stay through the whole set (maybe just because he needed to prep). Nice gesture anyway to see the support bands from near (which i also always try to do, i think any band that endeavors to play a „support slot“ should get some sympathy).

By then it felt a wee bit late but luckily The Generators are a professional touring band so with not too much fuzz they did set themselves up (though Mike had some initial problems with his effect board and the backline … only to realize late that it might be helpful to insert that damn cable into the input jack of the amp). And once they had all things sorted Doug joined them on stage and they kicked off with all the force, all the strength and all the sound that i was missing so far.

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

It has been only two years ago that they played Hamburg but this time they actually had a full new LP with them, so some part of the set was devoted to actually playing new songs. And them new ones fitted into their rooster just perfect, loads of sing-a-long and loads of grins’n’moves from Mike.

Now i felt in business and also the rest of the Monkeys was in front of the stage and enjoying them. And you could also see that they had fun on the stage, it was the last day of their touring in Germany and they only had one more gig in Copenhagen before they would resort home to L.A..

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And whilst it all felt late earlier it was The Generators who made up for time: They did play long and they did add not one, not two but many encores. And then, against all american custom, they came back on stage to do even more. I think they where both in a good mood plus thrilled by the feedback from the Hamburg lot. Here is one of the many attempts of a final encore:

And all of these encore got the crowd going even further, that extra mile that cements the fun emitted down from the stage on the floor in front of the stage. And within that audience one member had utmost fun: Johnny Slash, once bass player for the band, was with them and either was out of his head or just plain boozed: His permanent stage invasions and falling across the monitors did anoy some people though Doug made it clear that there was not yet the need to throw him out. So, to double the fun, we also got him singing. And in the end he just turned out a nice chap with just too much fun and energy that moment …

The Generators (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 19.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

Stunning, just stunning. And worth a reflection: Since Schleprock scammed Warner out of a million dollars for their 1996 Warner LP that combination of Doug and Mike just works like a treat. I did love them prior to that point and have all the Schleprock output on vinyl but that record to many people was just a surprise 10+ points. And now with The Generators they already have 11 Albums out (and over 20 releases in total) and they remain just and amazing outfit.

And with that knowledge i resorted back to a final pint, some more chats and plundering the merch stall. A very worthy show and i bet ya they will be back at the Monkeys soonest: That little gem fits them like a glove.

… when the turnout is friends only: Razors and Spunk Vulcano & The Eruptions on a rather empty night!

In October Dirt Box Disco and Wonk Unit packed the Monkeys and provided utmost fun to the Hamburg lot. The same lot was expected to show up on this lovely Friday, both because it was TGIF and it was Spunk Vulcano and his band (and Spunk is the main force behind all songwriting in DBD i was told).

On top it was the first home appearance for Christane as the stand-in for Erwin with the Razors. But all of that did not lure people down to the Monkeys – i guess it was a mere 75 people who showed up, including some who looked like they had tried the sold out Talco show at the Fabrik 300 meters up the road and did not get a ticket.

First on Razors and with the big burden of Old Erwin still in battle with the big fucking C, something that everybody wishes him well for. Damn fucking C. For him Christiane freed herself up from Gerd duties despite the fact that Gerd had another headlining gig the next day. Was the feel different? Sound wise not but sure thing there where more smiles on stage. And the chorus vocals with a female scent fitted surprisingly well.

Razors (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 23.03.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

The Razors most likely had the better end of the small turnout, as they could claim nearly 100% of the audience as friends. And that is how they took it and did not give in to shorten the set. Whilst all their hit’s provided enough sing-a-long it was again their David Bowie adaption that did send shivers down everyone spine, aptly introduced by Klaus:

And whilst that would have ended the set under normal conditions them Razors had a surprise for Spunk – they had rehearsed a Dirt Box Disco sing-a-long and invited Spunk onto the stage for the encore. And that provided just great fun to all concerned – be it the Razors, be it the lot in front of the stage or be it them Eruptions, who smiled away on the side in front of the stage.

Here it is, in all beauty, as a one time beauty:

That was just perfect and a neat hats off to Dirt Box and Spunk.

Next on Spunk Vulcano, who we all now, and The Eruptions. Them Eruptions looked young and sported more the American way of Punk – both from a visual but also from a sound. So those who feared a DBD-Clone where proven wrong.

It was the same amount of fun in the lyrics (through hard to make out) and it was a different kind of mu-sick-al energy coming down from the stage.

Spunk Vulcano & The Eruptions (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 23.03.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

Still, the lot had fun and even a Spunk clone made it into the audience and kept dancing away. Was it as entertaining as Dirt Box Disco? Mhhh, for me not. And i can not even make out why. But what i do know is that leaving that equation aside this was another case of why live mu-sick is to be preferred: I may not buy their records but sure thing i am going to see them live. And it sounded like this youth, listen up:

Spunk finished just short before midnight, leaving some time to have another one for the road with friends and planning more for the weekend.

And those plans where needed, as there was a triple-crown to win: Next to this show the Saturday awaited the lot with Gerd (pushing a show into their busy stadium schedule to make up for the missed Christmas show) and the option for the tripple crown: The Haermorrhoids and DeeCracks (Viennas finest) would grace the Molotow in an after-midnight show. I counted 6 people (including my humble self) that gave into the urge to win that triple crown!