… when the support also surprises the main act then it must have been a great show!

As i share my views on shows i attended i never shy away from pointing out items i liked and items i did not like. And there is no preference nor bitterness. What i do like is to get surprises, share surprises and praise surprises.

And this hot Tuesday was to be a show of surprises. The least surprise was that the Avengers used the Blackpool weekend as a lift off for a round of shows in Germany, it was actually expected and much welcome. Also a lesser surprise was to meet Biber, former Knallschoten Bass Player, as he usually attends Avengers shows at the Hafenklang.

A slightly bigger surprise was to meet an old school fellow long out of country, who actually was Punk #4 at my school in early 1979 when i was just about to venture into that mu-sick-al direction. I think he is to blame for my love for Sham 69!

The biggest surprise though was the support act. I never took note of them prior and only got word from friends after the show that they had seen an incarnation earlier (and had been equally surprised back then).

And what did surprise me? It was Reverend Beat-Man & The Underground from sunny Switzerland.

Reverend Beat-Man & The Underground (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 09.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

It has been quite some time that i saw such an enigmatic front man who is able to not only command his troops but also literally confronting the audience in a way that glues eyes towards him. He is quite unique and acts like a real actor in the best positive sense of the word.

And how does their self proclaimed Doom Blues Nasty No-Future-Wave Synth Folk Trash sound? The Doom Blues element of it sounded like this:

Every song sounded different and on every song the Reverend assumed a different persona. I guess his fellow musicians (i understand stolen from other bands. eg. Milan Slick from the Synth-Punk-Duo Entartete Musik on Keyboards, Beatrice Graf from Ester Poly on Drums and Benjamin Glaus from Skinny Jim Tennessee on Guitar) and their respective abilities and background make that possible.

Reverend Beat-Man & The Underground (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 09.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They not only got plenty of applause from the audience ( i guess almost 200) but also had Penelope Houston glued to the side of the stage and taking videos. I guess they surprised her as much as they surprised me.

The are unique, driven by a singular cause (and personality, i take) and they bring back a variation that frankly i sometimes lack on eg. H/C shows. Somehow it felt like being back at the very early 80s when Punk branched out way beyond the original rock rooted Punk Rock.

If you dare, try them out. I won’t dare to buy a record (as i am unsure if the music works for me at home or on the move) but if you dare on that front too than please rely on Sounds Of Subterrania to get their stuff. The owner loves them.

The Reverend and his disciples already made the evening a good one, as such i was in no eagerness for the Avengers actually. A rare feel in the context of support and headliner but to a certain extend if was here exactly for them in the first place.

The Avengers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 09.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

It feels really good to see Penelope and Greg still at it, supported by young guns on Bass and Drums. At the start the drums felt a wee bit loud, as the drummer had a high intensity, and Gregs guitar was way to low on volume. Down the road that got better and we got to enjoy not a 1:1 copy of the 1978 Avengers but got their classic hits (and they only ever produced hits) in a real 20th century fashion.

Here is Corpus Christi and a song that is covered in 2020 by a rock star is testament to that simple fact: Only ever hits!

And yes, Penelope is still a great voice and has aged well. Would she know that some of her 1978 pictures made an everlasting impression on me? I bet she does, as she has been a hell of a good looking punkette back then. And she does well in keeping the Avengers alive and kicking.

The Avengers (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 09.08.2022 (c) gehkacken.de 2022)

They played for about an hour i guess but game back for some extras, including the all time sing-a-long and mantra: I Believe In Me!

I believe in me
I make my dreams real
I believe in me
I said I believe in me

If there is one 7″ you should get from 1977 US of A then it is the Avengers debut one on Dangerhouse.

To quote an infamous person:

These three songs are the Avengers recording debut. My all time favorite female punk singer, Penelope Houston, fronts the band and is just too great. What a voice filled with feeling she has! You just automatically believe everything she says.

True, so true. The Avengers left behind many happy people, the Reverend left behind many happy people – i can tell you i left happy too. I got what i love most: Live musik i can sing to and live music that surprises me. Paired with meeting people that share an equal vision. Just puuuurfect!

PS: The story of The Avengers is not without tears and one of the sadder element is the story of the original bass player James Clavin Wilsey, who went to fame and from there down to drugs, homelessness and … death. There is a book on this story but to get my hand on it i would have to spend 25$ on postage. Too expensive. Anyone with an idea to get it in Europe cheaper?

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