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!
For a change this year me and me love stayed in good old Hamburg for the year end and thus i was faced with a dilemma: Sure i was due to attend the annual „Burn down the Baum“ Class of 1979 Party at the Knust but one of the greatest Ramonescore bands, The Manges from sunny Italy, where also to play Hamburg.
So what to do? Thanks to mindful promoters the stage time for The Manges down at the cellar of the Molotow was set to 01:10 of the 31st, so assuming that the Razors would finish around the midnight mark would make a swift change of venue possible. From where i sit, that was a plan! It came at the cost of dropping the after show party (and the associated hangover next day) but still it was good plan.
It started early and the Knust was facing another sold out „Burn down the Baum„, Version 11.0 actually. And as ever it was one of the „Know 50% of the audience by name and know the other 50% by sight“ nights that had you say „Moin“ to an endless number of good folks – from near and even from out of town.
First off where Spit Pink from Recklinghausen, a young band that thanks to the Razors got the big stage. They sure where limited by the audience rather saying hello outside the big hall and, as far as i am concerned, they where also guilty of getting people to eye & ear them and move back out again.
I have to admit that i did not dig them, too much Rock infused Punk and without a real hook. So after a couple of songs i strolled back out for more talk (talk is cheap, you know) and did not really continue to listen. Me mater Peter later mentioned on one song „Hey, they now sound like Ideal from Berlin“ and someone replied „That was an Ideal cover„. I think that nails it for me, i saw Ideal 1981 at the Logo in Hamburg and they where nice but too much Rock – full circle back.
Next on The Outcasts from sunny Belfast, a band that is up there in the Top 10 of 1978/1979 Punk forever. And a band that the Blackpool Pilgrims continue to praise as „they still have it„. Whenever they played Hamburg before i missed them so it was the first time for me to see the current version and make me own judgement.
The Outcasts (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
And that judgement is all positive and mainly that is positive because they do not try to play 1979’s sound as a 1:1 copy today but they have taken the freedom to both turn their sound more modern but also give some of the songs a slight spin to another style. And that makes it worthwhile!
What is odd though is that many of their songs back then where under some sort of Teen Theme and thus make you smile when grown up men in best pensioner age trash out „I don’t wanna be no adult„:
They where good fun and they also gave the audience a wide spread of their recordings, including their Rockabilly area. And they included an excellent Rudi cover (and thus another teenage angst song).
The Outcasts (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
It was sure thing not „Hit or Miss„, it was Hit on Hit and presented with today’s energy and speed. And when at the end it came to one of their best sing-a-longs they had won the hearts and lungs of the Hamburg lot and their got the crowd singing (and many can still relate to the line „you better start running because the cops are comming„):
Someone mentioned before the show that the big stage of the Knust and the 450 folks in the audience is what they deserve, i tend to agree with that. If i had a wish to come true than someone would throw a Belfast Tour and give us SLF, Undertones, Outcasts, Rudi and Protex at the Markthalle. Damn, that’ll be a fun night.
And just because it is this time of the year: Here are the mighty mighty Outcasts at their height live at the Ulster Hall, Belfast. 24 April 1980:
Do i have to mention that i was and continue to be sold on The Outcasts?
And that gave way to Hamburgs oldest and finest, the Razors are now 40 years in and without a doubt they are a mighty force again. Nevermind the ups, the downs and the times of breaking up of sorts. They are here and they want to enjoy the time with the lot.
And thanks to the excellent sound system and capable hands of the Knust they sounded better than ever and even old trashers like „Madhouse Meeting“ sound so much better today than ever before:
It is thanks to the Razors that so many old friends get together and chat, enjoy and booze and if that tradition ever stops than plenty of folks will miss that feeling of unity, that little spark that ignited in 1979 in Hamburg and is still carried around by so many, no matter what they do today. Just splendid!
But where is light, there is also dark. And times have come darker for one and plenty of folks in the audience knew that one is on a hard battle with the big fucking C. So between songs they gave him support by cheering his name and when it came to „Heroes“ at the end of the set for many the biggest hero was up there on stage.
That and some encores finished set and at the end the Razors had their friends on stage to give support with a mighty voice:
Because you're young, you're torn between
A world of hate and a world of dreams
So much to lose, so much to gain
So much to fight for, so much to change
You don't look back, you don't look down
You gotta turn everything around!
And being young is a gentle reminder, back in May 1978 the Razors played their first show with Klaus on vocals and some pictures of that made the long distance time travel. Legend has it they only had rehearsed 3 songs and played them all over (because the lot loved them instantaneously).
It was a brilliant evening and i would have loved to stay on for cheap talk, cheap frills, cheap beer and not so cheap hits from DJ Schaub but, remember, i had a plan. And plans are there to stick to. So i muffled a quick „bye, see you at the Molotow“ (and got some „you’re nuts“ views) and strolled into home direction, which would take me to the Molotow.
I’d recon that for no other band i would have endeavoured such a double feature but The Manges are just a legend (and Andrea Manges has with The Veterans another high class outfit on the circut) and have never played Hamburg before. I made it just in time to see the support band packing up and realising that the average age of the audience has just dropped by 20+ years compared to the Knust.
At the Knust it was Oldpunks and the Class of 1979, down at the tiny cellar of the Molotow it was Pop Punk 20somethings largely. Just puuurfect, as puuurfect as The Manges intro with their Hockey classic „Panic at the Ice Rink„:
From the first chord i knew i had choosen the right plan, there is rarely a band of the Ramonescore genre that can light up a tiny dark cellar with their songs as much as The Manges did. And it was not only the mu-sick, it was also the joy that emitted from the stage that did shine like a sun.
The Manges (Molotow, Hamburg, 30.12.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
That sun though must must also shine on The Manges (remember, they are from sunny Italy), so my plea would be to get them back to Hamburg in summer and have them play together with their side-kicks The Veterans on the MS Hedi, down the river Elbe with a gentle glide into the sunset. Oh Boy, that’ll be like on of the best shows to watch out for. Most like that ain’t gonna happen so the 2nd best best thing would be to go down to Bergamo!
I do not even know where to start in my praise for The Manges, it was a perfect set – like 30 songs in 40 minutes, some Ramones cover and always with a smile.
Thanks to The Manges for waiting for me (and the two others that made way from the Knust to the Molotow) and thanks to that plan my hangover on the 31st wasn’t that bad – i was just fuckin‘ tired.
And because that genre is one of the genres i really dig and because it is that time of the year i give you two additional exhibits, both themed after a place definitely worth a visit!
Andrea Manges other band:
And that other band from that other band:
Now go for Easter Island, where the sky is full of light:
It does not need to be bands from far to make them kids happy, sometimes it can also be some of our towns finest to get people out and into it. What was supposed to be Jam Today and Razors had to be changed to Spitfire Stevens and Razors, as Lui of Jam Today fame had to work abroad and could not make it.
And those Spitfires not only had to appear they also had to appear pretty early, 20:15 was supposed to kick-off time on stage. I thought of this as a perfect Friday as it meant to be able to finish early, get home early, get up early on Saturday and be done with weekend shopping with some good time to prepare for the home game of the magical FC (with an equally early 13:00 kick off, implying to be in the pub opposite the ground at 12:00).
But it was not only early for the Spitfires, it was also somehow early for a good sound. The drums felt a wee bit too loud (actually throughout the show) and for the first couple of songs everything sounded disjointed.
But the more they played, the better they sounded and the better they got together. First it was only the faster songs that sounded great – later it was also the slower parts that created not only sound but also magic. And whilst they got into the groove they also got great appreciation from the audience, though from the stage they where rather silent and nimble.
But a great set nevertheless and i am sure it is not far that we will see underwear being thrown onto the stage and signs „i want a child from you“ are held up. Stars to come, trust my words.
And against that almost headlining the Razors had to claim the stage (and battle the sonic drums) and win back the audience. And winning back they did, digging deep into their almost 40 years of existence and into songs that made not only them famous but the times when they where young.
That love was, is and always will be mutual for the Hamburg lot and that love for punk rock has driven them throughout the years, any troubles and as driven them to subtle but steady change their sound into what is now a mighty force with an up2date sound and not attempting to bridge something from Hamburg 1979 into today.
Even one of my loveliest singles ever they transformed into something meaningful and sounding quite recent. For me it remains one of the greatest sing-a-long hits from Hamburg ever.
So what is it that makes the Razors still hitting it with so much force? My wild guess is that for all of them it ain’t a job and it ain’t a career but for all of them it is the love for the music. That simple.
And that love for the mu-sick makes allows them not to bother about cover songs but just take them and Razor-fy them big time. So in best tradition they take on not only „Because you’re young“ from Cock Sparrer but also „YNWA“ and blend it into a killer closing of the set (despite some minor out of tune guitar).
Whilst Klaus wished everybody a great dancing night and 3 points tomorrow it was the start of all my weekend plans to go astray:
I managed to get home early, i managed to get weekend shopping done early and then stupid me managed to get an LBP (or Lumbago) whilst trying to lift a crate of beer from the trunk of the car. So instead seeing the mighty FC at home i was tied to the sofa and painkillers (and my old mate Christian could take along someone on my season ticket).
And those in the stadium? They had to resort to liquid painkillers, as the our team managed to be down 0:4 at half time and there was not much change in the 2nd half. As someone put it „0:4 equals Beer“ (it rhymes perfectly if you mix German with English).
So, in hindsight, the only good thing this weekend was … them Spitfires and them Razors and the fact that me love if a perfect doctor and nurse. Lovely!