… why i dislike festivals but still attend them selectively: Booze Cruise 2022!

Following the K-Town Warm-Up on Thursday i had two more days of live mu-sick to see, the Booze Cruise Festival had it’s long weekend in Hamburg and good only knows how many bands played at how many locations, most of it on the more softer side of Punk (certainly than K-Town Hardcore Fest material).

As i dislike Festivals it was a no go for me. But selected bands appeared that lured me to it. Once the exact timings where confirmed i charted a plan: Good Riddance on a boat? Tick. Second Youth and Good Riddance at the Hafenklang? Yep. Hysterese, Youth Avoiders and Career Suicide at the Hafenklang? Count me in.

Early on Friday (at least for the working contingent) the MS-Tonne took on the mighty river Elbe, just after a bit of rain (in the western part of town actually heavy rain) passed through. Scenery in the harbor was still nice, there is nothing better than being seaside respectively on the waterside.

Dockside View from the MS Tonne (c) gehkacken.de 2022

Kick off, whilst still moored, was with Tired Radio from Brooklyn, NYC. Self pro-claimed Depression Punk. But whilst Warthog from Brooklyn come at you like a tropical depression that has developed into a hurricane Tired Radion came to me like a wind made by a butterfly.

Tired Radio (MS Tonne, Hamburg, 24.06.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

For my liking the mu-sick was just lame, way too much Rock and frankly when you waste 10 minutes of your 20 minutes set tuning your guitar then … you loose me. Some of me mates said they where shite but i won’t give that rating. To me they where just a void, did not work. Do your own math, if you dare.

I was thus rather looking outward, towards the posh beaches of Hamburgs expensive western end.

Hamburgs Posh West End Beaches (c) gehkacken.de 2022

Luckily the trip was saved by Über You from Zürich, all the energy i missed and all the fun was immediately back on display. Fast paced Punk, a singer with relentless energy and some smart songs. Sight, there is life after death.

Über You (MS Tonne, Hamburg, 24.06.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

Über You shine with multi-vocals throughout every song, nice guitar work and some frantic drumming. And loads of sing-a-long choruses with uuuuoooohhhh and else. What they do they do pretty good and they did not fool around with pointless exercises like … tuning. They rather focused on crowd surfing. Hit them up if you like that idea.

Good Riddance took a wee bit longer to setup but then they where at it quite quickly with a short but crisp set, most of it more on the melodic side. And there was a new guitar player on the rooster, he did not look like Luke Pabich.

Best thing though was to see Chuck Platt back at it, after he had been run over by a car when crossing the street in front of his restaurant (The Crepe Place in Santa Cruz). And being able to come back after being hit with a right ankle break, a left knee injury, a broken collar bone and lacerations to face and hands is quite stunning (and remember hospitals in the US of A are … expensive shit).

They had fun on the non-existing stage and the audience also went some length for singing along, a small slam pit and some extended crowd surfing (always with a slight risk to go over board).

Good Riddance (MS Tonne, Hamburg, 24.06.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

And as all bands who play on a boat in a scenic environment you could spot their eyes going off towards docks, large ships, our expensive opera house and and and. Best was that they played until the MS Tonne was moored again, whilst she made the slow ride into the position she was passing tourists on the landing bridges upper floors (set like beach clubs) who glanced over with open mouths: Loud and wild music and a strange crowd going ape shit. Well done Good Riddance, nice start!

Whilst some left the boat to call it a day, me and two friends took on the Hafenklang to see them again, plus Second Youth from Italy. We even had time whilst strolling over to get a Pizza and some excellent local beer, Überquells World White IPA is also a mainstay in my household.

Checking into a largely empty Hafenklang i decided to let go what was playing and only concentrate on the two bands i wanted to see. First came Second Youth, part UK part Italy. Quite different stage personas.

Second Youth (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.06.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

The singer immediately made an impression when he tap danced (or rather tap stomped) in complete sync with the drums, using the wooden floor of the stage to his sound advantage. On the musical side they where quite pleasant to follow, me mate noted “Told you so, Italian Rancid“. I would not go that far out but they have quite a variety and they play good. Between the songs loads of banter though much of it was lost on the rather small audience downstairs.

Odd point though that they off stage personas seemed to be less in sync with reality, one person who had to deal with them simply called them Wabblers (which is an Austrian slang, go figure yourself). As such you won’t get praise and you won’t get a video, you just get a Wabbler.

Before Good Riddance would come on stage there was time to kill, as none of the other bands did lure me. I enjoyed the weather outside, the scenery and some chats.

When it was time for Good Riddance the Hafenklang was packed (and rightly so). They took the stage like this:

Bang! From 0 to 100 in no time and picking up where they left the boat.

Sure thing the set was longer and it was also feeling faster and more on the H/C blasting side then melodic. See this 1:20 beauty:

I just love it, they are one of the Californian bands from the 90ties that i continue to dig, they yet have to put out a bad record.

The audience had their fun, singing, dancing and sweating, loads of sweating. By the end of the set the floor of the Hafenklang was fully wet – some of it beer, loads of it sweat.

Good Riddance (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 24.06.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They had definitely fun on stage, Chuck took extra fun in moving forward and off position to press his bass against stage fronting folks. And whilst at it, smiling away.

At the end they finished, thanked and many left (because other bands at other places where luring them). We stayed and got a surprise return for another song. Great finish for the Friday, i took the train home smiling.

On Saturday i was much more selective, i did let go the longer boat trip (which included Second Youth and Career Suicide) and came late to the Hafenklang for the three bands i wanted to see.

Hysterese first, downstairs, with a small audience. They seem to have a new bass player and their sound has slightly changed (or better, gradually evolved). It is now somehow lighter, with more beat/strum elements.

Hysterese (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 25.06.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

I guess with that sound they fit better into the rooster than the next two i was going to see. I liked it, as they still make clever songs and get them across well. Same in the audience, a number of folks happily danced throughout the set.

But i a am frank, i was here for faster stuff. And faster i got. This how Youth Avoiders stormed into their set:

Yeeees. I have not seen them live since 2014 but i still follow their releases and i can assure you that their last LP from 2018 is still a banger. Just listen to “World Vison, Wide Opening“, which is a sheer beauty of a song with coolest guitar work.

Total energy down from the stage and towards the audience, i guess some did not know what will hit them. But i hope it did surprise them and they check them out further.

Youth Avoiders (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 25.06.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

For me they where the immediate reason to rediscover French Punk and Hardcore, that i left largely behind at the end of the 80s. But nowadays bands alongside them like Syndrome 81, Sordid Ship, Stalled Minds and and and are bypassing many others from eg. the US of A.

It was a perfect set that rendered both the on-stage contingent and the off-stage contingent almost done. But there was no time to recover, next was Career Suicide upstairs.

Up we hustled and after some problems with the Bass Amp (that somehow where not really solved but never mind, it is Hardcore) Career Suicide took it on like this:

Welcome back 80s Hardcore, Canadian Hardcore specifically. They hail from Toronto, Ontario, though i believe they are now dispersed even around the globe as a band. Still, as often as possible they take tours across long distance – this time it took them from London to Athen, from Palermo to Catania. Off to Berlin, Leipzig and Hamburg and finally to the K-Town Hardcore Fest.

Career Suicide (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 25.06.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

The well packed room had fun, up to and including circle pit attempts. Was the sound perfect? Naah, never mind. Was there energy? Yes Yes Yes. And those in the know (and it was many) could also sing-a-long on selected songs.

For me basically another Jackpot and taking me back to Thursday where i left that very room with a broad smile after having been bulldozed by Warthog. Actually i followed the same protocol: Less beer and more chats, up to and including being introduced by Fab to his mate Jon.

Three days, 12 bands and only two beers. Happy, despite having attended what is listed as a festival.

Sunday i had to recover and spend time with me love, who graciously approved the evenings out.

The complete rooster – way too much for me and the core reason for Festival dislike.

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