… DOWNSTROKES galore: The triumphant return of the Clowns!

I was working in sunny Kyiv during the week but made it clear to my boss that i had to be home in time on Thursday, as the mighty Clowns would be back in town (he had no clue what i was talking about). Still, a risky undertaking, as only indirect flights would get me back and Lufthansa these days is not 100% trustworthy to be one time, always.

I made it just about, arriving at the Hafenklang only to be taunted to not have ticket #1 (an anal fixation of my humble self) and to the sound of the support already playing.

Playing towards a well filled but not packed house where The Gotobeds from Pittsburgh, PA from the US of A. 4 guys and loads of … Indie sounds rather than hardcore punk. Wild guitars and stomping rhythms.

The Gotobeds  (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.11.2019)

In good moments they created a neat swirl of guitar work, in rather dull moments it was typical (and to my dumb ears boring) indie rock sound – something that i tend to avoid. But i did not leave for chats and beer outside, as they at least had some good mu-sick-al moments. But not my thingy and paired with the Clowns maybe a shot too wide.

After a swift makeover it was then time for the Clowns, all the way from Down Under, to take the stage:

Bang! High energy rock’n’roll i’d say in a very modern setup. And little space for boring sounds as much as there was little space to gather your breath. They took off exactly where they left it back in August last year, on a hot and sweaty night at the Hafenklang.

Clowns (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.11.2019)

I am not sure about how many people they did draw this time round but they would not care – they seem to dig Hamburg and the Hafenklang and they gave the impression they love playing here. They fucked up the tour plan though, once done on stage they would have to pack up and drive to Belgium to catch the early ferry to England, they had to achieve a load-in time in London at 15:00 next day.

Hanny made a point of the fact that this would mean her missing breakfast, the most important meal of the day. She thus declared the audience to be her breakfast already tonight, something that was echoed by the lot…

Yep, thats full on fun right down from the stage into the audience. Someone in the know (as a guitar player) after the show made a point of how great the endless barrage of downstrokes was. Others just expressed pure appreciation of having been bulldozed completely.

Clowns (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 14.11.2019)

For me it was just outright fun, after a long work week abroad it injected the right amount of energy back into my body. Recharging that was and for me that works best with #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic! And just for me they finished off their set with an encore, giving me (and nobody else for sure) my loveliest song:

I’VE WOKEN UP IN GUTTER
TURNING SHADES
OF YELLOW, BLACK AND BLUE
THE ONLY THING KEEPING MYSELF ALIVE
IS A MEMORY OF YOU
TAKE THIS IOU
PROMISE THAT I’LL DO
A LITTLE BETTER NEXT TIME

I’VE GOT MY SELF IN A DOWNWARD SPIRAL
AND THERE’S NOTHING YOU CAN DO
THE ONLY SUBSTANCE IN YOUR LIFE
IS A BIT OF SUBSTANCE OF ABUSE
SELF DIAGNOSING
SELF PRESCRIPTING
SELF DESTRUCTING
PICKLE

from Lucid Again, released May 12, 2017
(c) all rights reserved

Thats „Pickle“ if you are not in sync with their mu-sick-al output and it sums them Clowns up like no other song. I am happy to repeat my judgement from last year:

Oh boy, that got everything in the mix – literally. And that is why i got a ticket for them in the first place: They throw hardcore, trash, metal, psychedelic guitars and some scent of pop into a happy sunny mix and push it down from the stage with relentless energy.

Nuthin to add, just the complaint that many of the regulars going to shows with me did let this opportunity pass by – i don’t understand why. Is it the amount of hair on stage? Is the fact that they are – without fitting really – on Fat Wreck? Or is the metal connection on them fending you off? Trust me – they are just class and are a guarantee for a powerful evening.

I hope they did catch the ferry (in fact by the date writing this i know it), i did catch a free ride to my new home in the suburbs with a mate who already resides there.

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