This year the run up to the K-Town Hardcore Fest at Ungdomshuset in København gave the Hafenklang the opportunity to host a wide variety of US H/C en route to sunny Denmark. As ever it was on the Thursday prior to the main event and provided Hamburg with a sneak preview of some quality.
It was a pity that from the start (at 21:00) it felt a wee bit empty and i’d bet that if you take out bands and friends then less than a hundred folks showed up. Not sure if it was overkill on shows, ignorance or the fact that some folks from Hamburg rather travel north and see the main event.
Upstairs Exotica from Brooklyn kicked off, two girls and two boys providing a short but crisp set.
I have no reference point for them but i did like the sturdy drums and the angry vocals. Paired with a not too fast wall of sound it was a neat surprise, though limited in their mu-sick-al variation. But as ever, you gotta decide yourself:
Audience reception was good, though i also overheard comments like „so lala“. I did like them, i now need to find out what they are actually singing about.
Next Sem Hastro, with people from Coke Bust and people from Brasil if i understood correctly. And they where quite a surprise – fast forward, well played and some nice variations. I guess all versed musicians.
This was even more my shit, specifically because the bass provided some variations (including killing his own gear and needed a replacement). Would i buy a record? Not sure. Would i listen again to a live set? Always!
Back upstairs it was time for the first surprise on all fronts: Odio from Oakland had not only a distinct visual across all members but also a very very tight wall of sound provided with loads of energy and loads of … movements.
All of their visuals somehow both where fitting but also gave a scent of copies from old punk bands. But hey, that’s their style and what they do they do very well and with some drive. And yes, they like their Discharge i bet ya!
Downstairs next was Glue, eagerly awaited by some of the audience members, who also had a close eye on the vinyl they had with them (though that was rather high priced). Their singer gave the extrovert aggressive shouter and the i think most of their vocals sounded like „Fuck you“, „Fuck this“ and … „Fuck that“.
And, he also acted irresponsible: Not only did he trash glass bottles on the dance floor but he also launched himself into the audience, twisted around and did hit me mate and a girl under the eyes – both now sport a nice black eye for not anticipating it. To me it felt a bit like a show act and thus did destroy some of the rather good feel the music provided.
Breaking glass on the dance floor just to show how „hard“ and „aggressive“ you are is just a laugh for me and something i just dislike.
Upstairs followed the real gem of the evening, Long Knife from Portland. They where the real surprise and they warranted all attention. The singer was roaming the audience and did sing in a high pitched voice and the music was high speed energy in it’s purest essence.
Yes, that was my kind of noise. And served with some precision and great technical capabilities. Wow – i did not expect this though some of my company assured me that the 2nd Long Knife LP is actually a killer one, so that is something that i need to turn to and most likely need to score.
My sensing was that they also got the biggest crowd reaction but that might just being me and how much i liked them betraying the reality.
And, whilst at it, i also need to praise the guitar and the associated sound: Just the right thing, just the right thing.
Finally downstairs the „headliner“ as in Coke Bust, who are well known name on the circuit and who have played Hamburg before, i think eg. last year on MS Hedi. And they where 2 minutes ahead of schedule, something that is rather rare on these occasions. And they kicked off like this:
Yep, that is DC H/C 2017 style and they exactly know what they are doing. I did read somewhere that „ … a song by them longer than a minute is epic in their world“ and that was exactly what the audience did get – short hard blasts!
And as a band they are also pretty tight, all chords are where they should be and the vocals plus backup are to the point. And i’ll guess they are the nearest thing to rage or something to that equivalent.
And even an encore of sorts was in the mix, maybe given they started ahead of schedule. Neat.
6 bands for 12€ – there ain’t no better opportunity to expose yourself to something new. I saw stuff i won’t see again, i saw stuff i will see again and i saw stuff i most likely will drag home on vinyl. And why? Because i dared to come out and check it out!
Next year i hope more people come by and make this not only a mainstay but also a killer success.