… K-Twon wind-down at 200 mph: Hag and Axe Rash

I have been taking camp at the Hafenklang over the last days it feels, 3rd show in 5 days and thus time to wind down. And wind down the theme was, as much as the good tradition of the K-Town warm-up was revived the K-Town wind-down was re-introduced.

And this time round it was two Swedish bands that where known not only for, lets say, outgoing live performance but also for taking no prisoners. As the Hafenklang stated in their own little marketending for the show: „Axe Rash  Hag will shave your head“!

First on Hag and hair length actually was contradicting head shave. Two long haired boys paired with two girls. And off it went, full on aggressive H/C with a maniac singer.

Hag (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 17.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Whilst the eye catching thing was sure Agnes on vocals the ear catching thing was the guitar: A great balance between shredding and a slight metal overcast. And to back that up sturdy and thundering drum and bass gave the backdrop.

I had no immediate comparison in my head and that gives you a hint how good it was. I liked it from the first song, the Swedes in the audience who traveled with the bands liked it and the 30 odd folks that attended the donation only Monday liked it too.

The interlude between the bands was short, chatting with people and watching a rather tiny cruise vessel leaving the harbor.

... next year: K-Town cruise!
… next year: K-Town cruise!

It actually provided a neat idea to maybe do a K-Town cruise – would the MS Hedi be allowed to travel through Elbe, Kiel Canal and the Baltic Sea to CPH?

Next on Axe Rash, where Agnes covers Bass duties. And you got less hair on the two boys, actually no hair but a great Void T-Shirt on the drums. And they kicked off like this:

Bang! I truly believe that bands who play live should make „intros“ (as much as i do believe in stage attire, in this genre most like to no avail) and as such this was a great start!

In your face vocals, aggressive undertone both through mu-sick and vocals and fast forward. Perfect if you ask me. They got the audience moving (both further to the stage and bodily) and they greatly extended their set beyond the 22:00 limit (where normally the table tennis starts).

Axe Rash (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 17.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Great stuff and at least one male person in the audience fell in love with them Swedish Girls on stage. Good luck mate!

As i am a greedy asshole record collector i have way too many records assembled over the years (4.759 as of today). As such some time ago i decided on some baseline rules, one of them is: Only ever buy a new record of a new band if the band has convinced me live. And then buy the record after the show from the band.

#recordcollectorsarepretentiousarseholes
#recordcollectorsarepretentiousarseholes

I took the Hag „Be my filth“ EP and the Axe Rash „S/T“ LP with me when i left the Hafenklang, so it tells you that both bands where convincing. Some of my fellow old Punk Rock connoisseurs who follow my adventures via social media claimed upon examination of the bands that it is just horrible noise.

I’d like to correct them: It is an Inter City Express, with a tuned engine, running at 200 mph through the station where you stand on the platform. And the passengers yell at you through the windows.

I loved that feeling on that Monday at the Hafenklang, it was a perfect wind-down.

… what a perfect debut album: Nasser Hund launch their LP!

Whilst i did get to see the record earlier, the formal record release party for the Nasser Hund debut album sure thing was the day where i was going to buy it. No matter what! The date was long awaited and thus the elderly Punk Rock connoisseurs from Hamburg did pack the Hafenklang upstairs. Yet again one of the „i know everyone in the audience“ evenings.

Fun moment on my short stroll down to the Hafenklang was bumping into the Adolescents, who used the band apartment to stay over before continuing on to their first EU date in Denmark. I tried to encourage them to show up later for Nasser Hund but i think they ran for food and did not make it (at least i did not note them later on).

To warm (and charm) people up Sixteen Again took the support slot. Sixteen Again? What is that? A kiddy band? Nope – Sixteen Again are a long contemplated idea by Helge (of Jam Today fame) to only play … Buzzcocks. And since the sad passing of Pete Shelley this is even more a very valid tribute.

So with the words of Pete here is the outline:

Feeling like I'm almost sixteen again
Layin' 'round doing nothing like all my friends
Play it cool don't get angry count up to ten
Just like I was sixteen again
Everybody gets the lowdown right from the start
Everybody gets the showdown right from the heart
But that's all that's on the menu and life's a la carte
I don't know

Things in life are not played for keeps
If it makes you happy it'll make you weep
And if you want some more practical advice
If you can't think once then don't think twice
'Cause things won't seem so nice
You'll wish you were sixteen again
Oh no

Feeling rather strange when you're sixteen again
Things don't seem the same the past is so plain
This future is our future this time's not a game
This time you're sixteen again

Always on your own when there's nobody else
Asking myself would I be someone else
But after all life's only death's recompense
I don't know

Things in life are not played for keeps
If it makes you happy it'll make you weep
And if you want some more practical advice
If you can't think once then don't think twice
'Cause things won't seem so nice
You'll wish you were sixteen again
Oh no

Look at me here I am for your eyes
Mirrored proof of what you recognize
I know I never will feel quite like you
And I know you won't treat me right till I do
But at least we'll know it's true
That we're sixteen again
Oh no

Feeling rather strange when you're sixteen again
Things don't seem the same the past is so plain
This future is our future this time's not a game
This time you're sixteen again

Always on your own when there's nobody else
Asking myself would I be someone else
But after all life's only death's recompense
I don't know

Look at me here I am for your eyes
Mirrored proof of love's suicide
I know I never will feel quite like you
And I know you won't treat me right till I do
But at least we'll know it's true
That we're sixteen again
Oh no

Sixteen again
Sixteen again

(Pete Shelley © Universal Music Publishing Group)

I guess that one was true for many in the audience, i would be bang right back in 1980 when Stiff Little Fingers played the Markthalle for my 16th birthday.

Sixteen Again (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

And that is Nic, Helge, Ingo and Koshi and they devote themselves to the times of perfect Power-Pop, when love songs did matter for young punk rockers. From the vast œuvre  of the Buzzcocks they made a short but fine selection for their first live appearance.

Sixteen Again - Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.06.2019)
Sixteen Again – Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.06.2019)

You could sense some nervousness on stage and within the audience at the start but with the 3rd song already they had convinced the audience (and themselves). Promises is indeed not an easy song by Messrs Diggle & Shelley to master  but here it comes in all beauty (and remember it dates back to 1978):

If you, like myself, have the urge to sing-a-long, here is your chance:

Ah, loving you is easy, you are on my side
We play the game strictly to our rules
We led the field, a love affair
Which made all other lovers fools

Oh
How can you ever let me down? (how)
How can you ever let me down? (how) 
How can you ever let me down?
These promises are made for us (oh-oh)

We promised that we'd always have time for each other
Whenever I needed you'd be there
We promised to be true, there'd be no other
We promised that for ever we would care

Oh
How can you ever let me down? (how)
How can you ever let me down? (how)
How can you ever let me down?
These promises are made for us (oh-oh)

We had to change
Oh, but you stayed the same
You wouldn't change
Oh, what a shame

'Cause loving you's not easy, you're not on my side
We play a game with two sets of rules
We lead the field in a love affair
Ah, strictly meant for fools

Oh
Why did you ever let me down? (now)
Why did you ever let me down? (now)
Why did you ever let me down?
Those promises were made for us (oh-oh)

You never have any time for me
Whenever I need you, you're not there
You've never been true and it's plain to see
The fact is you never really cared

Oh
Why did you ever let me down? (now)
Why did you ever let me down? (now)
Why did you ever let me down?
Those promises we made for us (oh-oh)

(Steve Diggle / Pete Shelley - © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.)

Deal! And with every song that followed the audience took more and more over the singing, up to the point where Helge noted that he got a line wrong (and the audience right). Perfect entertainment! Let’s hope that this set gives them the confidence to do more – i’d love to see more, i’d love to see them even more outgoing!

For Nasser Hund it left an enthusiastic audience, eager to get them and the songs from their record. And this is how they kicked off:

In my book this is down as a near perfect pop song: Drive, great lyrics with a near perfect rhyme (take „Sie haben ihren Eltern nie verziehen, sie lächeln nur auf Fotografien„) , some great surprising chords and … 2 minutes long. If that ain’t get them radio play, what else would?

And for sure they have more of that quality, like this one on friendship:

Great stuff, hard hitting and every chord, every beat and every hook by the bass in it’s place. You can see that Jan, Kay and Arne all made their peace with mu-sick: They just write and play because they love it. And that emits from both the stage and the record.

Nasser Hund (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

But it is not only short and crisp songs they do, they can also do more complex and longer stuff, just like this one: Nasser Hund play Nasser Hund for you:

They got like 20 songs done with great applause from the audience, who more and more got into the groove, singing and dancing. And generally being joyful (though one attendant choose to be an outsider).

... pure enjoyment in front of the stage!
… pure enjoyment in front of the stage!

And after the 20 songs came encores and a repeat. And as the audience was still not fully satisfied it Arne decided to throw in a song from one of this other ventures (and that gives a full circle back to Sixteen Again, the desire to find love and the start of the evening):

Power-Pop sing-a-long yet again. Class.

I can only urge you dear reader to now go out (or online) to get this record. A great DIY debut LP, perfectly styled and available now!

Nasser Hund - Gute Idee (Loxi Poloxi L-P 001, 2019)
Nasser Hund – Gute Idee (Loxi Poloxi L-P 001, 2019)

If your local record dealer does not have it – taunt him! If you reside off site then check Sounds Of Subterrania or Copasetic Mailorder to get it.

I guess the lot had more fun at the Hafenklang, i had to sneak out and meet some old work mates from London for some chatting and some serious alcohol at my favorite (local) bar. I was home at 03:00 and well loaded but with a broad smile on my face. And by now the record has spun twice on my player (and the 2nd copy i bought is in the mail as a gift to a person outside Hamburg).

Great night, great bands and great friends around me. Can it be any better? Nope, #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic!

… opvarmning til K-Town Hardcore fest: DIY H/C regler!

I was happy as a fuck that the K-Town warm-up tradition this year was revived in a bigger setting, with bands from both Americas (North and South) and bands from the grim North (Sweden and Finland) making a short detour via sunny Hamburg en-route to the K-Town H/C Fest at Ungdomshuset in K-Town.

K-Town warm-up (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.06.2019)
K-Town warm-up (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.06.2019)

The Hafenklang was able to use both stages, so that even with 6 Bands it should be a swift changeover and not too much waiting time between the fun.

Downstairs Abuso from Bogota kicked off the proceeding. The poster dubbed them UK82 but i guess that was even correct on some of the songs…

Great that both string workers did sing, though they did not move a lot. But energy came down from the stage but unfortunately due to an early start to an rather empty main room.

Abuso (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They had little interaction with the audience but seemed to take what they do serious. My thingy? No quite but check them out for yerself.

Upstairs Machine Gun continued with much more modern sounds from much more north in the Americas:

I am not sure if the label Straight H/C Punk was a fitting one but they added speed, speed and … speed. Great fast guitar and a solid back line.

Machine Gun (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They got something and on top the best dressed person in the audience and on stage, here he was drumming and sporting a Huvudtvätt T-Shirt. Great Philly Hardcore and a short but very crisp set.

Downstairs the southern part of the Americas continued, Amenazas took the main stage and emptied their weapons onto the audience, leaving bullets on stage…

... bullet belt galore!
… bullet belt galore!

… ups, there went my fantasy astray. They pushed their Noisy D-Beat Galore up on the audience and they did that very convincingly. The powerful singer remained in the pit and occasionally was joined by the bass.

They claim „Nuestro ruido es Memoria“ (Our noise is memory) and what does stick is both the energetic singing and the guitar, that actually provides the noisy soundscapes.

Amenazas (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Yet again not my thingy buth thanks to the short and powerful bursts absolutely worthwhile.

Loose Nukes continued upstairs and they where the secret stars, at least by some friends of mine and some people who where going to go to K-Town on the weekend. So let’s check them out:

On bass the best dressed person in the audience and on stage again, redressed to sport a Swart Framtid T-Shirt. Not sure on what budget these guys travel but if he continues to sport 3-4 cool bands every day he must have a large back pack!

Loose Nukes (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

He got some competition though from his guitar player, a Social Unrest T-Shirt for sure is also quality. The where fast (boy where they fast) and the singer provided high pitch singing (without the little chances to make out lyrics). Chatting to him after the show he seemed a cool bloke and well into strange Japanese H/C like me mate Frosch: They traded tales on said mu-sick for hours…

Go and check them out, my friends did not lie! It was dubbed HC Punk-as-Fuck and that may well be the right thing:

By now the Hafenklang was filled a wee bit better but far from packed, which actually is a low moment: There most likely will not be another setting like this within the year, with a great variety of DIY Hardcore. Really sad that so few actually did go for it.

Fredag Den 13:e continued downstairs and from the first visuals and the first chords i knew i was up for something different:

ScandiCrustPunk from sunny Gothenburg, capital of the beautiful Västra Götaland County. Yet a new label for my mu-sick-al cupboard. They not only came with full control on they instruments and a near perfect sound but also … with hair. Plenty of hair. And then facial hair (note: if you are regular reader than you know that this results normally into downgrading).

Fredag Den 13:e (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

For my humble self that hair paired with a metal undertow of the sound was both offending and perfect fit in one go. What they do they do extremely well and their sound – like or not – was indeed pushing the audience (and by now the floor was well filled) like nothing else this evening.

Would i buy a record of them? Nope. Would i see them again: Yes. Would i go an extra mile to see them – most likely not. But here and now, it worked for me (much to my surprise). For my accompanying friends it was too much of a metal experience.

Back upstairs and against the running order a wee bit late some Helsingforce took the stage (after battling on the drive with their battered little car taking 4 guys and equipment to Hamburg):

Rest In Piss hail from Helsinki, capital of the reigning Hockey World Champion. The poster for the show had them down as Hardcore Punk’n’Roll and from all the style nicks handed down via that poster it was the one most off. To me there was not H/C at all.

Rest In Poss (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.06.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

To much hair again and guitars strapped a little bit high to the waist. But sound wise they mimic’ed them Swedes: Very professional use of the instruments and very tight together. And given that it should have had a wee bit of dirty rock’n’roll sleaze it was just a wee bit too nice, to polished. Their 2015 EP sounds much more dirty!

And whoops – 6 bands done with only little breaks in between. Perfect setting and a great kaleidoscope into current DIY H/C. It is most likely time that i do a pilgrimage to K-Town Hardcore Fest. Some of this years line up you can check out here:

For this Thursday evening it was the best thing to happen – no more but also no less. Now make an effort for 2020 Hamburg!