… 30 years sweat aged hardcore beef: Sick Of It All don’t boot their fans off the stage (they butt them off)!

Now the start into the evening was … suboptimal. FCSP loosing at home and me mate Dirk, who runs booking at the Knust, confirmed that with two support bands SOIA will be hitting stage at 22:30 sharp, as such there was little hope to catch The Yum-Yums (who graced the Monkeys over in All-to-nah) as Sam confirmed they will hit stage over there in the same time frame.

Why can’t my favorite clubs not sync stage times how me, myself and I need it? Damn!

Die Heart (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Die Heart (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

First on Die Heart from Hamburg and from the start i was not able to relate to their sound. Too much grooowling, too much bam-bam. Sorry, not my thingy.

Next on Gone to Waste from Dortmund. And they kicked off like this:

Arrgghhh – in my world this is posing in an offending way. And metal core that i wholeheartedly dislike. From first chord to last. Where Die Heart at least where within city limits (mu-sick-aly) Gone to Waste where suburban. Boy did they suck to me (and those around me actually). That said, quite a number of folks in the audience seemed to take a rather positive look on them. Not my thing, by some length of rope!

Gone to Waste (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Gone to Waste (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

Puh, that (paired with the home loss of the FCSP) now did set a low mark for what was to come next. Sick Of It All, 30 years and going strong. I do not know how many times they played Hamburg but i think i saw them now for like the 11th time? Really sad that i do not run a show diary!

And SOIA took the stage, the Knust and the audience like this:

Let’s celebrate that we don’t give a fuck! You could feel that they came off a two week break in touring and had re-energized. To the maximum! From the first song all the way throughout the set they where just like i have them in my head for such a long time: Humble, nimble, full of energy and unpretentious. Or, in more simple terms, just class. NYHC Masterclass!

Sick Of It All (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)
Sick Of It All (Knust, Hamburg 29.04.2016 (c) gehkacken.de)

And following that start me and me mates did shelf all ideas of somehow leaving early and hoping over to The Yum-Yums (who would have deserved our presence). But we smelled we were up the the best Sick Of It All show in quite some time (the last 2nd best was down under the Große Freiheit, on a lonely Thursday evening, with only 150 people attending) and we were not disappointed. Not the slightest.

Yep – Hit songs paired with age old shit from the beginning. By now we definitely knew we would be up to something special: Hit after hit and from any period of the bands vast Œuvre. Oh boy – what a joy!

And that was handsome Lou commandeering the audience and guess what – everybody followed without thinking. The sold out Knust was full of eager fans and eager „oldschool“ fans.  At least when Lou asked only one was brave enough to hold up his hand and state „this is my first SOIA show„. Ups – where have you been lately my friend?

Sick Of It All (Knust Hamburg, 29.04.2016) (c) gehkacken.de)

By the pace of it we also by now knew we where up to a new record, at the end we though the tallied some 40 songs they played (though it might be memory and enthusiasm played a trick on us there). But it was just the perfect show. Gosh, that i’d ever say that…what have SOIA put into my drink?

In the underground, integrity lies within
In the underground, the image doesn't mean a thing
When the substance lack, plain for all to see
If the deal is right then respect is where it should be
It should be, it should be, it should be, right

There ain’t no lack of hits with Sick Of It All and hell yeah, most of them are sung full throttle by the audience. Ain’t live shows exactly for that?

Brother, I'll always look out for you
If I feel it back
Sister, we'll brave the outside world
Off the beaten track

When it's us vs. them
You can always count on me
When it's us vs. them
It's a global unity

Open the extended family
The family is growing fast
Friendship will transcend the borders
The world is shrinking fast

They have co-defined a genre and they have authored the right behaviors and they keep putting them forward to the troops. Though at the show they might preach to converted it is something to be done. Continuously. And as „us all“ does not have the time to do it there are other people who get funded by us to do it. Guess who that is?

It is not everyday that you see a band making that statement (and that ain’t the ill-fated ska joke) on stage but here it is all so true. So thanks already Lou, Pete, Craig and Armand. My money and support you will always have, also for the next 30 years (then i am well over 80 and not sure if i can still blast SOIA in the retirement home, let’s hope the best).

Was that all? No, that ain’t all! Thanks to some bloke in the audience (Craig suggest he was the obvious drunken polish guy) we where also up for something that will put the Mighty Mighty BossTones (and their enlist Ben Carr) at shame most likely: The official „GoGo Night at Knust, Edition 2016“ was on:

Already earlier that guy graced the stage with some dancing and pony riding, now he went full throttle. And where the stage hand from the Sick Of It All crew did not succeed (and got a bad bad middle finger though at least not licked on) Hamburg’s own Hardcore Osteopath came to rescue and butted the guy off stage and into a nice flight home. Well done Thomas, well done. Trust you gave the guy some stretches afterwards. We laughed our ass off!

And that was Sick Of It All, 30 years anniversary, in Hamburg. A masterclass in NYHC – no more, no less. In a perfect setting. Thanks Dirk for making it happen, making me forget the home loss and not needing to hurry over to The Yum-Yums (who would have deserved it and – by what i heard – also gave a great show).

Live mu-sick. Love it!

… in love since 1992, not only with Sick Of It All!

1992 is a precious year for my humble self, it is the year i met my (to be) wife. Whilst that is the best that ever happened to me there are other moments of falling in love too – 1992 was also the year i saw a young NYHC band for the first time … Sick Of It All! They have been a constant love (as much as me to-be wife) since then and, one of these magic win-win situations, me love aka me wife also digs Sick Of It All and can be seen quite often sporting a SIOA T-Shirt. They belong to a few number of bands where at least i try to see every show in Hamburg and luckily they are still around and going strong.

This time round they came as headliner for the „Persistence 2015“ Tour, for my licking a rather strange and marketing driven setting of 7 bands crossing left and right the hardcore genre. As i can not stand festivals normally and sure not a show that starts at 18:00 on a Friday we choose to let go the inital bands – sorry Broken Teeth (Manchester HC), All For Nothing (Rotterdamn Hardcore), Turnstile (Baltimore/DC HC) and Rykers (Kassel HC) as over 50 you do not have the stamina anymore for such a long trip…

Thanks to the god order on running order we arrived to the last chords of Rykers and squeezed us into a backed and wet venure – sold out and average age „young“. But hey, thats a matter of fact.

Walls Of Jericho (Große Freiheit 36, 17.01.2015  (c) gehkacken.de)
Walls Of Jericho (Große Freiheit 36, 17.01.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

First on for us thus was Walls Of Jericho (from Detroit), i’d say Metalcore and a friendly girl on vocals that impressed with dog-barking voice and power-lifting biceps. Not my favorite type of musick but what they do they do well.

Ignite (Große Freiheit 36, 17.01.2015  (c) gehkacken.de)
Ignite (Große Freiheit 36, 17.01.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next Ignite (from OC County) and by and large they are disappointing – i think i now why i did let go all of their records since 1995. Again, it is what they like and they seem to give their energy into it but sound wise it is not what i dig. Some of the faster and harder songs in good chords remind of Dag Nasty, but that is later Dag Nasty and even that is too soft for me.

Sick Of It All (Große Freiheit 36, 17.01.2015  (c) gehkacken.de)
Sick Of It All (Große Freiheit 36, 17.01.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

And that did lead to the headliner. From NYC. Last time they played this place (2 years ago?) they did not sell enough tickets and where thrown into the cellar (the place below the big hall is called „Kaiserkeller“) where we and about 150 people enjoyed them close, F2F and on a small stage in best club atmosphere. Very joyful, very oldschool and almost 2 hours of fun.

What can i say – they played for an hour, they made a nice tour through their Œuvre and they gave the kids old and new stuff with excellent sound and stage setting. Their recipe is simple: Unpretentious and Integer. I guess that is what they still follow, be on a big stage as a headliner, be it on a side stage at Wacken or be it on a small stage in a small country in Europe. And, frank, the kids dig it and i dig it. But i will feel more home if the next show is a smaller setting, less bands and maybe less people.

But you can not have everything to your liking,  so i am a happy bunny as i got to marry the girl i felt in love with in 1992. And was never disappointed!