… when the support also surprises the main act then it must have been a great show!

As i share my views on shows i attended i never shy away from pointing out items i liked and items i did not like. And there is no preference nor bitterness. What i do like is to get surprises, share surprises and praise surprises.

And this hot Tuesday was to be a show of surprises. The least surprise was that the Avengers used the Blackpool weekend as a lift off for a round of shows in Germany, it was actually expected and much welcome. Also a lesser surprise was to meet Biber, former Knallschoten Bass Player, as he usually attends Avengers shows at the Hafenklang.

A slightly bigger surprise was to meet an old school fellow long out of country, who actually was Punk #4 at my school in early 1979 when i was just about to venture into that mu-sick-al direction. I think he is to blame for my love for Sham 69!

The biggest surprise though was the support act. I never took note of them prior and only got word from friends after the show that they had seen an incarnation earlier (and had been equally surprised back then).

And what did surprise me? It was Reverend Beat-Man & The Underground from sunny Switzerland.

Reverend Beat-Man & The Underground (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 09.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

It has been quite some time that i saw such an enigmatic front man who is able to not only command his troops but also literally confronting the audience in a way that glues eyes towards him. He is quite unique and acts like a real actor in the best positive sense of the word.

And how does their self proclaimed Doom Blues Nasty No-Future-Wave Synth Folk Trash sound? The Doom Blues element of it sounded like this:

Every song sounded different and on every song the Reverend assumed a different persona. I guess his fellow musicians (i understand stolen from other bands. eg. Milan Slick from the Synth-Punk-Duo Entartete Musik on Keyboards, Beatrice Graf from Ester Poly on Drums and Benjamin Glaus from Skinny Jim Tennessee on Guitar) and their respective abilities and background make that possible.

Reverend Beat-Man & The Underground (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 09.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They not only got plenty of applause from the audience ( i guess almost 200) but also had Penelope Houston glued to the side of the stage and taking videos. I guess they surprised her as much as they surprised me.

The are unique, driven by a singular cause (and personality, i take) and they bring back a variation that frankly i sometimes lack on eg. H/C shows. Somehow it felt like being back at the very early 80s when Punk branched out way beyond the original rock rooted Punk Rock.

If you dare, try them out. I won’t dare to buy a record (as i am unsure if the music works for me at home or on the move) but if you dare on that front too than please rely on Sounds Of Subterrania to get their stuff. The owner loves them.

The Reverend and his disciples already made the evening a good one, as such i was in no eagerness for the Avengers actually. A rare feel in the context of support and headliner but to a certain extend if was here exactly for them in the first place.

The Avengers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 09.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

It feels really good to see Penelope and Greg still at it, supported by young guns on Bass and Drums. At the start the drums felt a wee bit loud, as the drummer had a high intensity, and Gregs guitar was way to low on volume. Down the road that got better and we got to enjoy not a 1:1 copy of the 1978 Avengers but got their classic hits (and they only ever produced hits) in a real 20th century fashion.

Here is Corpus Christi and a song that is covered in 2020 by a rock star is testament to that simple fact: Only ever hits!

And yes, Penelope is still a great voice and has aged well. Would she know that some of her 1978 pictures made an everlasting impression on me? I bet she does, as she has been a hell of a good looking punkette back then. And she does well in keeping the Avengers alive and kicking.

The Avengers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 09.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They played for about an hour i guess but game back for some extras, including the all time sing-a-long and mantra: I Believe In Me!

I believe in me
I make my dreams real
I believe in me
I said I believe in me

If there is one 7″ you should get from 1977 US of A then it is the Avengers debut one on Dangerhouse.

To quote an infamous person:

These three songs are the Avengers recording debut. My all time favorite female punk singer, Penelope Houston, fronts the band and is just too great. What a voice filled with feeling she has! You just automatically believe everything she says.

True, so true. The Avengers left behind many happy people, the Reverend left behind many happy people – i can tell you i left happy too. I got what i love most: Live musik i can sing to and live music that surprises me. Paired with meeting people that share an equal vision. Just puuuurfect!

PS: The story of The Avengers is not without tears and one of the sadder element is the story of the original bass player James Clavin Wilsey, who went to fame and from there down to drugs, homelessness and … death. There is a book on this story but to get my hand on it i would have to spend 25$ on postage. Too expensive. Anyone with an idea to get it in Europe cheaper?

Bücher, schnell gelesen: Teil 1.600

S.A. Cosby – Die Rache Der Väter (Ars Vivendi, 2022)

Gelesen: 01. – 08.08.2022 (netto 334 Seiten)

Walter Mosley, ein von mir sehr verehrter Krimi-Autor, hält S.A. Cosby für nichts weniger als die Zukunft des schwarzen Krimi-Genres in den US of A. Das ist mal eine Ansage.

Jetzt habe ich seine ersten beiden Bücher gelesen und ja, Walter Mosley hat recht. Das ist geiler Scheiß! Alles was Blacktop Wasteland so lesenswert gemacht hat finde ich auch hier wieder: Tempo, Härte und “Ein Mann sieht rot”. Ok, hier sind es Zwei Väter die rot sehen. White Trash ist auch wieder dabei, dazu aber noch ein neues Thema – selbst bestimmte Sexualität.

Sag Hallo zu Ike, Kampfnahme Riot, der nach harten Jahren im Knast saubere 15 Jahre hingelegt hat. Sein Frieden ist ihm wichtig. Ike ist schwarz und hält sich so weit es geht von den Cops und Problemen fern.

Sag Hallo zu Buddy Lee, 1A White Trash Gangster. Immer noch mit Kontakten. Immer noch hart drauf.

Was verbindet die beiden? Ihre Söhne Isiah und Derek. Den die beiden haben geheiratet. Sind ein schwules Ehepaar. Was für einen Schwarzen ebenso wie für einen Weißen natürlich eine Vollkatastrophe ist.

Und dann werden Isiah und Derek ermordet und die Cops kümmert das nicht wirklich. Und das setzt dann das ungleiche Paar Ike & Buddy Lee in Bewegung. Und wie ein kleiner Schneeball, der einen ziemlich großen Abhang runterrollt, nehmen die beiden sowohl an Fahrt als auch an … Wirkung auf.

Rache, Rache und nochmal Rache. Beinhart. Und am Ende sind alle, die mit dem Tod ihrer Söhne zu tun hatten, ausradiert. Im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes. Und die Cops können ihnen nichts nachweisen.

Ein famoser Ritt, gnadenlos gut und fast eine US of A Adaption von Kraftidioten (aka In Order Of Disappearance aka Einer Nach Dem Anderen), nur weniger lustig. Denn am Ende geht es darum, das sowohl Ike als auch Buddy Lee erkennen das sie ihre Söhne geliebt haben. Ohne wenn und aber. Ohne das ihre Sexualität auch nur irgendeine Rolle spielt.

Ich bin begeistert! Am besten beide Bücher hintereinander weg lesen. Bäng, Bäng, Bäng.

Soundtrack dazu: Stars & Stripes – We Are The Dying Breed, was sonst?

PS: Das deutsche Cover passt wieder nicht, schade.

S.A. Cosby – Razorblade Tears (Flatiron Books, 2021)

PPS: Und S.A. Cosby so?

… world tourage anyone?

Last time World Tourage (a neat euphemism) stopped in Hannover (2019, actually) there where plenty of folks from Hamburg who took the trip down south to Hannover. This year many where already en-route to Blackpool for Rebellion on the weekend, so the Hamburg contingent was rather small, though i met some surprise connoisseurs.

We took sail rather early from Hamburg on a hot & sweaty day and managed to get down to Hannover without a single traffic issue, on top we found a parking spot just next to the Faust – perfect. We knew that MakeWar would take the stage very early and we also realized once there that due to Holidays, still raging Covid and maybe a zillion other individual issues the show would be far from being sold out.

MakeWar we dropped, we rather had a beer, a bite and a chat in the lovely beer garden of the Faust.

When we decided to head into the Faust i was surprised how empty it felt, my guess would be that roughly 450 people attended (and i guess the Faust can hold ~700). A bit of a let down for the Descendents. Putting it into perspective i would also guess that in Hamburg, if they would have played the Markthalle again, it would have been similarly a feeling of emptyness.

A Wilhelm Scream i only ever saw in context of the Descendents, be it support in Hamburg or a the Open Air Festival in Barcelona, both in 2018. Both times they did not appeal to me at all, thus i decided to give them a full 3rd chance now.

A Wilhelm Scream (Faust, Hannover, 03.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Unfortunately they still do not resonate with me, too much of their sound is up an alley that i just do not savour. Their biggest asset to me is that everyone to the front is actually singing, so they got some nice multi-vocal songs and choruses. Also, after the show, they turned out generally friendly, interested and humble people. But for me it did not help, it is not my mu-sick.

Thanks to the Rock Star setting their equipment was moved off stage quickly and we had an unobstructed view towards Stephens twin Blackstar Amp & Speakers, Bills massive Drums and Karls twin Ampeg Amp & Speakers. If you bring me blindfolded into a club and just show me that setting – i would instantaneously know the Descendents are on.

And what where the on for tonight?

Descendents – Set List (Faust, Hannover, 03.08.2022)

Comparing to the last EU Shows a bit of a mix, a couple of standards where dropped in favor of some new stuff and the whole thing took an upside down makeover. I was eager by now and sharp at 21:20 (+/-) Stephen, Karl, Bill and Milo took the stage.

For the first couple of songs the sound on our end of the stage, just in front of Stephen, was terrible – the guitar almost non-existent. Luckily this was fixed and further down the set it was audible in the right way but by and large i was not happy with the sound. Maybe the lack of audience shifted resonances or whatever, i have seen and heard much better sound in the past.

Descendents (Faust, Hannover, 03.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Still, the lot had fun and also the band was smiling down from the stage. More to the center of the stage, fronting Milo, was actually a large female contingent having extra fun and being protected from the pit by that one pole – a lucky spot indeed.

How did it sound? As i was not happy with the sound i did not bother to take a video but me mate Beno did, so here is the ode to that little girl in pursuit of partying, using sex to get her drugs and alcohol. As she becomes the village bike, everyone gets a ride…

They played a hot SO36 the night before and i had the feeling that they where a bit exhausted. Somehow it came across as rushing through the set though it could also be down to the simple fact that i did sing-a-long to almost all songs and it went by like a fly.

Perfect away game though we came home feeling like having seen a good draw rather than a mighty away win. But as it was over early it meant we could all be in bed like 01:00 and get up at 06:00 for work, which we did.

… the proud, the few aka the crew!

Whilst some in Blackpool did hope that the Descendents would jump in to fill the Bad Religion vacancy short notice it was clear from their rooster that this won’t happen. But good to see them spending more than two weeks in Europe, lets hope that this will be the regular pattern for the future (and lets also hope they continue to alternate between Hannover and home sweet home).

PS: I have smart friends. Some just ask to hand a thanks to the band (which i did to Bill), some bring on some nice gifts. If you want to taste it, get your Descendents coffee brew down below (Click!Bait!).

Thanks Pery, much appreciated!