… them ladies love them Kids!

My last visit to live mu-sick did throw me into 12 days of Covid isolation until i finally came out “negative”, though not really with difficult symptoms thanks to being fully vaccinated and having had my booster shot on top.

To cheer me up once allowed out again The Kids from Belgium (Belgium, Bloody Belgium) where in town. They are a beast of a party machine, playing a simple recipe of Punk’n’Roll ever since they came about in 1976 and putting out two killer records full of juvenile & catchy sing-a-long songs (deeply grounded in Rock) in 1978.

The pairing was perfect, kick-off was with Küken who defined their little niche very much in a similar way: Deconstructed and simple, though driven hard. And unique twin vocals. For them it was pretty much also a return back to stage and hopefully touring, so lets hope that they can be back at it with the success they deserve.

Küken (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.04.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They still do what they do without too much interaction with the audience but it is the beauty of the sound that indeed speaks for itself. They even have songs with subtle & clever variations and bridges. I am still convinced that they have dug deep and uncovered gold.

I rekon i do not need to be asked for supporting statements (Küken are one of the tightest outfits i have ever seen) but i do hope that they get some bigger chances.

And whilst down at the wishing well i’d love them to take on songs from other bands (and other times) and strip them down to their style. Actually, whilst thinking, they should cover a full album. I guess i got to win in the lottery and make them advances. Whilst i try to achieve that you got to check out their output!

Without too much fuzz The Kids set themselves up and about 120 good people where eager to see them. And from the start it was the female contingent in the audience that went singing and dancing, something that was clearly visible. And indeed their simple Punk’n’Roll, nicely speeded up vs. 1978, goes direct into the legs.

I bet you them ladies love them Kids!

From the original Kids only Ludo Mariam is left, the brothers De Haes have been replaced with other gifted musicians quite some time ago. But from the first song there is loads of sing-a-long (Yes, young people know these songs from 1978), broad smiles and all-around happiness in the audience.

The Kids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.04.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They vary nicely between their short smashers from way back and a bit more complicated songs, they even turn to songs that are a wee bit slower and complex. But overall it was all up there in happy-land for most of the audience.

They are a bit more talkative than Küken without giving away too much. And the more they played, the more they smiled also on stage, getting into the groove and loving it.

As encore you almost all the time get a little nod from The Kids, so here is “If The Kids are united”. They also covered a Ramones song but here i need to agree with my mate Marcel (who scooted over from Amsterdamned to see this show – and a few more in Hamburg): You should not cover an early Ramones song, you got to try to cover a late one!

Never mind that ill choice of cover, with this nice sing-a-long them Kids ended a great show with two great bands. If you want their stuff go here!

Happiness on my end and with most of the folks around me. I was also able to pick up my season ticket for the Hafenklang, so i am now well prepared (vaccinated, boostered, recovered) for more shows in 2022. Bring them on!

On the way uphill for my train home i came around the back of the Hafenklang and saw these leftovers in the rain… sad view!

Trash, go pick it up, don’t throw your love away (New York Dolls)

… listen to friends and you do get to see surprises (even at odd places)!

As i don’t want to be bogged down in only historic mu-sick i tend to listen to advice when it comes to discovering new stuff. My pal Nickel did sing hymns of praise for Christmas so i checked them out on Bandcamp. I did like what i heard and i did like what i read:

Everything was better in the old the days. Everything but CHRISTMAS, whom became more unstoppable from year to year. While other bands pop up and quickly burn again, CHRISTMAS have decided to simply survive all assholes.

Sold. And as Rudi (of Meine Schuppen fame) graced Hamburg with his presence and was looking for some entertainment too there was even more company.

It was early and it was at a place that i would normally not touch with a bargepole, bang on the Hans-Albers Platz and where the restless youth goes to “make party” (a term that evades me anyway). Never mind, we decided to go commando, ie. jump in, listen, drop back out quickly and leave the Reeperbahn for good.

First on where Drunken Swallows from Oldenburg in Holstein and they got the … pain of playing an empty place with about 15 of their friends/fans. Plus some who where there for Christmas.

Drunken Swallows (Drafthouse, Hamburg, 25.03.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Those who give this shit a regular read know that i do give any band a chance to convince me, unfortunately Drunken Swallows did not. Too much mid-tempo Rock. Too much – for my liking – professional run down of a set. And the worst: As an encore they put out an abysmal version of a Ramones song. Puh, that was a tough one to stand. I wish them good luck but they will not find me in front of their stages.

During the short switchover even more abysmal Rock was played on the PA, even louder than the band did play. Boy, where was I?

Luckily Christmas came quick and they immediately took ownership of the place. Those yearning for deutschsprachigen Rock where driven out, the few that wanted sleaze, speed and wanted it in your face stayed on (i guess another 15 odd folks).

Christmas (Drafthouse, Hamburg, 25.03.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

What did we get? The little Brother of the Bronx Singer on Vocals. A small but energetic Drummer. A wizard on the Guitar and a young madman on Bass. And without large pedal boards and other nonsense they unleashed short but precise killer songs like “You Bore Me”:

Yep, that is what i need to cheer me up though it happened simply at the wrong place, wrong time and in the wrong context. I hope sometime in the near future they can come back to eg. the Hafenklang and get paired with some out of country H/C. And then they deserve 100+ folks, if not a packed house.

Setlist (c) gehkacken.de 2022

I needed to look at the setlist, as with every new song they played a yearn for Vinyl was created within me – so i had to make sure i pick records that featured these songs.

But they also can do more complex, longer songs. “Good Times, High Fives” is also from their 2018 effort with the cool name “Scum As You Are”. And you can see how much joy they actually had on stage and how that is being emitted down into the void in front of the stage.

And whilst they pressed ahead the striking difference between Drunken Swallows (a horse cart passing by outside) and Christmas (a JR-Maglev Shinkansen at 600 KM/H passing through your living room) became so apparent.

I have no clue where the have hidden from my view so far, but there is no looking back – one more down on my “they convinced me live” list. And all of the poses they did throw, they all came natural and fitted into the song – you could see that eventually this band is on the cruise for quite some time.

Christmas (Drafthouse, Hamburg, 25.03.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Well done lads, as a mate pointed out on the spot: “That was international quality“. And right he was. Nickel also pointed out that he had seen the singer before, over in Blackpool, when he was filling in on European dates for Reagan Youth. Noted Matthias, noted.

A band that sells these beauties as merch … can not be bad.

I took home two records, both with Raymond Pettibon memorial covers. They sported hand made covers, each a large booklet, a CD and a download code. One was white, the other black. My #recordcollectorsarepretentiousarseholes self was happy as a fuck.

Some more chatting with the band and off we went, through way to many youngsters crowding the street and looking for enjoyment. A quick hop into the S-Bahn and like 42 years back i parted with Rudi and Frosch in Barmbek.

Whatever it takes, please all take the effort to allow yourself inspiration from friends when it comes to discover new stuff. I did and i did hit jackpot.

… the return of Snuff as the return of normal?

Oh Boy, it has been a while – actually pre-wave 4 and wave 5 of Covid i guess – that me and me mates enjoyed a more or less unconstrained (though 2G+) show. The Hafenklang waited long to reopen the flood gates for show but now is back at it, though still not filling the place to 100% of the capacity.

Kick-off was with The Rumperts, from Austria, and it was somehow strange. I expected 3 females and one male singing (at least that is what i saw checking upon them prior to the show) and i got 3 males and one female operating the guitar (through a cool tube powered Laney amplifier). I did not really get what happened there and frank wasn’t bothered to check after the show …

The Rumperts (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.03.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

… as they did not really get into my mu-sick-al universe: Too much mid-tempo, too many expected sounds and somehow sounding way too … indifferent to my ears. They did have some small sections that worked well (and where uptempo) but they also had moments where i (and some folks around me) where just shaking heads (especially when they literally slaughtered Nervous Breakdown by Black Flag). I am happy to give them a 2nd chance but then please let it be the girls with the singer.

Without a great deal of delay Snuff came on and surprised some in the audience with the full brass section to the left of the stage. I wasn’t surprised – i was rather eager! And this is how Duncan forced his troops into combat:

Just perfect. Back where they took a break i’d say. And all of the drive that unfortunately i missed with The Rumperts, also all of that umpfff, sing-a-long feeling and sugar coating from the brass section. And that drive into the legs of the audience that visibly go most of the people moving, either big time in front of the stage and less around the pit.

Snuff kept tempo and did drive through new stuff and selected old stuff (always accompanied by a some form of on-stage banter around “buuuhhh, boring old stuff”). They had as much joy on stage as the folks in front of the stage.

Snuff (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 13.03.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Looking at the setlist the first item to note was that it was too short. Actually way too short. Me and me mates traded like 20 more songs that should be there plus a couple of songs we individually would love to see. Riebe pointedly remarked: “A Snuff show without Do Nothing is not a Snuff show” but that maybe was taking the discussion too far.

Also sans brass they kept the pace and the beauty of the mu-sick. Within the audience where some Swedish Exchange students by chance (apparently they stumbled across the club and took their chances to see live music in a seedy punk place).

Their in no way or form conforming outfits (see the young lad in the white sweater at the start of the song on stage) and their non standard behavior on the dance floor where actually a welcome break from the uniform styles normally attending these shows.

The longer (the still short) show went the happier people in front of the stage got. Live music, only constrained by an own decision on keeping a mask inside, with friends and dancing … it felt a wee bit like the return of normal.

Great show, great return by Snuff, scored a nice shirt from Riebe and had a couple of beers with friends. Whilst Covid numbers still go up in Germany i do hope that finally we get back on track with some form of normal.

A regular pattern of shows. Please. #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic