Against all odds two years in a row we stayed in Hamburg over Christmas and New Year and as such the traditional Burn down The Baum showcase of the Razors was the best possible occasion to finish off the mu-sick-al year early and with friends from near and far. And far this year stretched from Calgary to Perth, so basically the Razors where able to lure the globe to Hamburg – perfect!
Kick off was by the Fro-Tee Slips up from the grim north, from the place all you yobs with driver licenses keep yer points: Flensburg, as far north as you can get without bliver dansk (though exiled danish lads where in attendance too).
They have been around since 1989 and for a reason i have avoided them all these years. Still, here and now, i was to give them a chance.
The Fro-Tee Slips play fast paced Deutschpunk with some Oh-Oh-Choruses and loads of talking between the songs. Actually the north Germans most like call the singer a Labertasche. But they are funny and they had a number of fans and a number of folks being able to sing along in the audience, so there must be some form of attraction (next to the cheap trick of free booze for the audience).
Did i like them? No, there won’t grow love. Do i appreciate what they do? Yes i do, as with any band going up there and play. Just not my niche. They get an extra bonus though for stage attire, as i prefer bands that wear uniform stage uniforms.
Having surveyed the grim north the lot faced some crazy nutters from down South. Switzerland that was, the country that invented punk („Wer hat’s erfunden? Die Schweizer!„) for the German speaking territories.
And with them we not only got stage attire but also stage personas. And a proper intro song based on the name of the band. And i can only assume that the name of band comes thanks to Peter:
You know those kids they get at school,
they've got a motorbike they think they're cool.
They've got a moped for their sixteenth birthday,
now you can hear them coming from half a mile away.
It's the moped lads, they like to think they're bad,
it's the moped lads, if you hit 'em they'll tell their dads.
They follow the school bus 'cos they think they're next,
they try to impress the girls on the back seat.
They go up the Youth Club and stand outside,
and talk about the bikes they can only just ride.
They're about as hard as a lump of shit,
but they've got two wheels so they think they're it.
They always show off and try to act flash,
but the best thing about 'em is
when they crash.
(Peter & The Test Tube Babies - Moped Lads)
A reference that today will only ever throw a blank face into any 14 year old – for us in our mid-50s it actually means a lot (and a youth reality).
And here they are – from funny Luzern – the Möped Lads!
Great stuff. And great stage personas indeed: On the far left one of the lads who played in Crazy (for me one of the most definite punk bands from CH) sporting a Johnny Moped Commando overall, a nutty singer in the center, another guitar with punk’n’roll outfit and a bass with a heads off to The Clash. And a drummer who got out of his seat for every final chord of a song. Lovely!
How did it sound? It sounded like this:
Maximum energy punk’n’roll with loads of power bulldozing the Knust. For some too simple as a mu-sick-al recipe, for me actually fitting very well the setup of the night.
And they just did not stop or held back, song after song they only ever plowed forward. They also recognized the language barrier and made and effort to explain some of the Swizz words used in the songs. Thanks mates!
Best moment for sure was their adaption of Crazy’s long lost hit „Weisst du noch?„. Just perfect!
Great stuff by some great people (who keep a great scene afloat at the Stedel in Luzern). They got some appreciation from the audience but i have to admit that they deserved even more. I liked them, for many reasons!
That gave way to the Razors, still with Christiane for the off sick Old Erwin (best recovery wishes to him, stay strong!) and in best shape.
They tailored the setlist down a bit and for the occasion, old classics like „Tommys Gang“ needed to make space for some new references like „Razors in the night„.
From the first chord they had the attention of the packed Knust and had the audience enjoying it. Song after song they got the people singing and dancing. Within that they also had some perfect memories all the way back to 1978 – it’s has been a while. It has been 40 fucking years actually!
I watched out for this rather new song – a fully fitting ode to our youth:
And now sing-a-long:
It was in 1977
when some school friends came together
No ideas - searching for beers
No more school - acting like fools
There was a new sound called Punk Rock
Driven by guitars - loud´n ready to shock
That give us the kick to build a band
Hey ho - we were in wonderland
We played for us - it was cool
We had so much fun
Rotten clothes - colored hair
Fuck the rules - we don´t care
1977 - punks entered the scene
1977 - smashed up systems dream
1977 - leather studs and booze
1977 - nothing else to loose
No rules - just beer and dope - we cried out loud
No Future - No Hope
And sing-a-long it was for the encore, the lot was up there on the stage and gave the best they had: Their looks, their voices and their energy.
The best perfect end for the show: There ain’t no boundary between those up there and those down there. Actually more often this years i saw those up there seeing other bands with me from down here. In footie it would be UNITED ON THE TERRACES, i’d say here it is UNITY.
Given my hangover from Friday i kept intake limited and headed off before the raunchy party with DJ Schaub was in full swing (and booze would be added to beer).
If there was an ultimate proof than it came late in 2018 and it came loud, fast and hard. And it hit me with friends and it hit me ears plus it did send me into a neat hangover. So trust me, #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic!
First on Brack from the sunny marshes of Oldenburg in Oldenburg, an area very unkindly left aside by us from the big city. They are around for some time but have not graced Hamburg a lot. When they took the stage i feared the worst, specifically due to the bass itself: It was a copy of Paul McCartneys Höfner Violin Bass and thus not necessarily the coolest equipment for a raunchy hardcore band.
Besides the bass Brack turned out to be a neat surprise as they not only sounded great (though the bass sounded just not rock enough – and i mean the bass not the bass play) but also sported something that made them distinct different and very fitting: The singer had a high pitched voice that at times reminded me of Ozzy and at other times of Paul Mahern (of Zero Boys fame).
And he not only got the voice, he also got the guitar play to make it a worthwhile effort and indeed a pleasant surprise (something you only ever will get if you go out and try bands you do not know). Check them out for yerself.
Next Yard Bomb from Wedel (outside of Hamburg city limits just beyond the posh west end of town) and they have been on a quite long hiatus, as they seem to be a fun side project of the musicians, who all now concentrate on different bands (not for a living but for more fun).
At times it had the feeling of an open rehearsal (including a spliff going around and a crate of beer on stage) but mainly it was kick shit US West Coast Hardcore from a Hamburg West Coast band. Some in the audience noted Black Flag or Circle Jerks in awe and they where not too much off.
Oh boy, they got it. They got it big time. A sturdy drummer, a large and solid bass and a frenzy guitar held up high and tight to the body. And an outgoing singer that wants his smoke, his beer and the ability to wander around in the audience. And songs short, hard and fast. No fancy making around, no fancy chorus-bridge-repeat. And it does not take a lot of words to tell the world to just fuck off.
For me a killer set and one of the reasons that i already had more beer than normally during the show. The other one was me mate Rudi who now resides in sunny Perth but for the first time in like 100 years was back to Hamburg during Christmas and Year End – that was a good reason to have another one. And with him his fresh love from sunny Munich, another reason for a beer. And there where more friends and as such you can guess where it all ended.
Back to Yard Bomb – they lack recorded output but just listen to this killer ode to our trusted friend Milhouse that is tongue in check with some of DC’s greatest:
Not convinced? Really? Sorry mate – either you better go up in smoke or have another beer and try again!
Truly this was the best ever into what some (ok, one) dubbed Hamburgs best live band 2018 and so here is how that outfit kicked off their headlining:
Say hello to The Haermorrhoids, Hamburgs finest Ramonescore band! Whilst the like to stay secretive when portraying themselves …
THE HAERMORRHOIDS are band. They're from Hamburg and they play punk rock. They've formed some years ago and played at cool places with other bands. Their songs are fast and melodic and they kick ass. Don't believe us? Only one way to find out. Go watch THE HAERMORRHOIDS when they're in your area. You might like 'em. One guy's name is Greg.
… they got the message right: You got to check out bands live, as live mu-sick is the best you will ever experience (next to meeting the love of your life). And them Haermorrhoids have been playing a lot recently (up to and including gracing the best punk festival in Europe – Punk Rock Raduno) and they will play even more in 2019.
The Haermorrhoids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
By now they have a large rooster of songs and they bash them out with all the fun, wit and energy it needs. Want more? Here is some:
And as much as Yard Bomb they know that songs that exceed the 02:00 mark may not be seen as hit material (or are way to long for the attention span of the average audience member).
As such they keep their odes of self reflection short. Like this one:
Now try for yerself – sing-a-long:
Left with a bad DNA
I’ve got a bad DNA
So fat and ugly you think i stink
I don't give a damn what people think
You treat me like an animal
You think i am asexual
Left with a bad DNA
I’ve got a bad DNA
I'm not blessed with grace
Have a look into my face
My nasty genes fuck you up
I don't care just shut the fuck up
Shut up, Shut up!
Get the fuck out of my way!
Any questions left? Any reason not to like them? And they finished off with some additional vocals and dancing on stage and i really need to stand by me mate how sees them 2018 Kings. Yes – quite some time that such a great Ramonescore band came from home town. Well done mates!
The Haermorrhoids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 28.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
The only item missing for now is proper vinyl output that i can add to my collection. Their first recording is out as a tape on La Pochette Surprise Records (go an score it!) but i want damn vinyl! Please! Pretty please me!
The bands had fun and beers …
… and the audience had fun and beers too!
For me it ended nicely loaded thanks to Jana buying high octane spirits for me, Rudi and the Hafenklang bar crew. Good thing that the next entertainment for me was one day away – on Sunday the Razors rightfully expected year end worship, so i had one day of recovery. Still, live mu-sick is the reasoning!