… out and about: Razors for free (but mind the long train journey)!

I missed the Razors show on the MS Claudia during the week due to the need to finish up with work (as two weeks off and some holidays were ahead of me and me love). I was though happy to the max that there was another occasion to see them: out and about in Wedel and for free. Paired with the fact that my old mate Rudi (now residing in sunny Perth) was still around and in attendance it was a show not to miss.

Getting there was easy (just hop on the S-Bahn at my local station in Altona-Altstadt) but long winded … all the way out to the posh West End, all the way beyond the city limits and actually into Schleswig-Holstein. Luckily the Musikvilla was just opposite the dead end train station, so no further hassle.

I came late and once completed a round of „hi there“ went upstairs to the small room where the bands played … and missed a great set of Es War Mord. Damn!

Es War Mord (Musikvilla Wedel, Hamburg, 25.08.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Es War Mord really got a unique sound and i definitely regret that i did not show up on time. They sport some familiar faces from Berlin and their sound is best described as a dark and mellow E-Moll punk thunderstorm with some good variations on speed and singing style.

I was convinced after the 3 songs i did catch, i will now check out their longplayer „Unter Kannibalen„, please do the same!

Next Hamburgs finest, the Razors. Still with Christiane filling in for Old Erwin, who continues to battle ill health and got a lot of remote love from all around: Everybody was wishing him well!

In front of the stage were about 70 people and as someone mentioned in a side comment „… most of the Krawall 2000 contingent“ (true, it was a well aged audience that just loves the songs and loves the band). And whilst it was largely a Razors following it was not short of support and dancing.

Razors (Musikvilla Wedel, Hamburg, 25.08.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

As ever the Razors paired new songs with their all time classics like this old Stones song (and their own ode towards the fans):

The sound was ok, the lights where not so ok and throughout the set i never got rid of the feeling of speeding, all songs seemed to be with a couple of rounds per minute added – i guess all with that sign above the bar in mind that the last train back into the city was to go at 01:03, something that nobody wanted to miss (as it would have resulted in either paying some hefty taxi far or having to choose the long winded Night Bus – easily more than an hour until you you would smell the city (and we are all city boys’n’girls))

Razors (Musikvilla Wedel, Hamburg, 25.08.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Their songs go far back in time and this one is almost like a signature song – back then i thought of it as a cheap and badly constructed attempt for a sing-a-long but in hindsight (and hindsight comes always easy) that rather cheap style nowadays makes it worthwhile. It ain’t polished, it ain’t for the Radio and it ain’t for Spotify i guess – but it is for us:

Whatever – today and here, 2018, the Razors look back on 40 years of Punk fucking Rock and onto a lot of highs and a fair share of lows. But them and the Hamburg lot are by now glued together and just friends enjoying the music (and a beer or two). As ever, here is my loveliest song:

That bass line, that drum roll – that chorus! That is just the best sing-a-long and fists in the air song and it is one of the classic Hamburg punk 7″. Sure thing there are other hit records like The Buttocks EP’s (fun fact: Buttocks singer Mike was in the audience) but Tommies Gang is the one i would like bands to cover (now that is a great idea for a Razors Tribute Album: Bands providing their own retention of Tommies Gang!).

Fun fact two: The setlist was hand crafted errrr just a copy of the the last show at the Menschenzoo in Hamburg in July.

Razors - Setlist (Musikvilla Wedel, Hamburg, 25.08.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Razors – Setlist (Musikvilla Wedel, Hamburg, 25.08.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

As noted the there was a bit of speeding, so in time for one last beer and the last train the Razors where done and a lot of the Hamburg lot resorted back to something last done 35 years ago: Travelling home on the last train together with parts of the band. Everybody was in a good mood and most where sufficiently loaded (as beer was cheap in Wedel).

... train ride home with parts of the band ( (c) gehkacken.de 2018)
… train ride home with parts of the band ( (c) gehkacken.de 2018)

Great night, loads of fun and the best: I got to see something new and that something new proved to be good. Though i stand by my standards: It is about seeing bands live and on stage, experience them and judge them only on that. And then get their records to support them!

… 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!

… the only thing that matters: Unconditional love and support!

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.

Spit Pink (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)
Spit Pink (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017 (c) gehkacken.de)

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.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

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!

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 30.12.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)

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).

Razors (Grünspan, Hamburg, 19.05.1978) (c) Razors 1978)

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: