I’ll be repeating myself forever i believe: I do not like festivals, i do not like open-air festivals. Period. But every once in a while there are small nuggets that go by the name of a festival and that i actually do enjoy.
Be it the annual Get!Lost!Fest! and the K-Town Warm-Up Festival (both at the Hafenklang) or be it … mOi!n it’s Hamburg at the Monkeys. And these nuggets i dig. And specifically when the bands are selected with a maximum in variation of styles, thus exposing new things to my simple mu-sick-al mind.
Day One came on a Friday and as an entry into a long weekend, as Germany was looking forward to a public holiday on Tuesday, hence everybody taking off Monday (everbody sans people working at Clubs, as they have another slot to fill).
And it came to Stanley from Italy to provide the kick-off to the proceedings. And initially they stood around in front of the stage on a rather empty dance floor and gave the impression that they where unsure to play in front of so few people. The tough life of the starter, as ever.
Stanley (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
The hardship of the early bird but Stanley made the best out of it. And – one of the bands new to me – they surprised me with a tight sound and some great vocals. And – something that i would keep an eye on – they won the contest for the best set-list, single handedly.
Where Stanley had all the anger and all the power, them PennyCocks from Barcelona had all the fun and all the simple melodies. And stage personas. And at least a small professional step: They kicked of with an instrumental song to allow Adri, their singer, a stage entry like a star. Well done for that one lads, that too was you almost winning on the professional side!
I do love their records and i saw them for the first time live – quite entertaining and providing loads of energy down from the stage.
PennyCocks (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
And the PennyCocks where not afraid to bend their stage time to the maximum and trash out a classic punk rock song as an encore, providing great sing-a-long moments for the audience. A first high, early on!
Next The Brains from Montreal who jumped in for Bovver 96, who had to cancel their show for private reasons. And with them the spread of styles was just taken to another corner, not only by the massive double bass that was pulled on stage.
The Brains (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
Boy did they have power and speed and oh boy did they have vocals. Fast paced with some scent of psycho and loads of melodies. Thus they won the contest for speeding melodies, a rare art. And the best on top? Their drummer. I have never seen someone with that high speed drumming literally bend forward on this drums. How often does he see the physio after a show? Stunning! And stunning also was their sound, listen up youth:
If it had been for me, that could have concluded Day One. I was sold, actually on all fronts. But there was the headliner of Friday still to come, Die Lokalmatadore from Mülheim (Ruhr) … a band with some classic hit songs but never one of my favourites.
And they turned out to be loved by the majority of the crowd (who sang along to all their songs) and not liked by the friends i was with. One after the other retreated to the Monkeys Pub to have a final sip and i’ll take all of us had similar reasons: To much of proll rock, to little mu-sick-al quality and just general dislike. But hey, if the majority of the crowd did dig them – then all of that is sure ok. And 1 out of 8 on the bad side for me ears? Still a good percentage of good sounds that is indeed!
That thus was Day One – a packed Monkey, a good selection of drinks, bands and audience and the running order done without too much breaks. Well done!
A decent sleep, some weekend shopping and some preparations later i was back at the Monkeys, quite early to catch the 2nd half of HSV vs. Werder in the pub. A not so great game and a bad result for HSV, i do really feel with those friends who support them and just seem to have a another season in pain in front of them.
And with the final whistle blown on the telly it was time for live mu-sick again. And on stage where The Jollars from Cork (in sunny Ireland) and with them just another style hit the Monkeys. They most likely would be almost spot on where people would put down the needle to mark „Oi!“ but that was not a bad position at all.
The Jollars (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.09.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
I did dig them and the also had more than one message (and invited a friend on stage to sing a union themed song). And they not only had a message they also had something very special that i dig: They had a female drummer and that female drummer performed her art with a broad and engaging smile that made me melt. Female drummer are rare and most of those i saw had a similar way of drumming with a smile – whilst in contrast most male drummers tend to rather grin hard. Whatever would come next – i was sold!
That said next came Shandy from Brisbane in Down Under. And on their stylish singles i was sold too! Why? Let’s see how they describe themselves:
Any question? By that description they where the quintessence of the two days and they heated up the fire and entertained the crowd in style.
Shandy (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.09.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
They really have a unique sound together that is very very appealing and that only used the best ingredients. That melting pot Australia, cooking under the sunny heat, has something that we North-European will never get, let alone the emptiness nor the wildlife. And wildlife on stage they had, much to the surprise of the audience:
Quality. Fun. Street Credibility. And style, loads of sharpie style. And, in hindsight, to me they have all that Die Lokalmatadore are lacking nowadays. And, remember, they came from a land down under where women glow and men plunder. So the it was them who win the longe haul flight contest (on Emirates, as the stickers on the band gear told us).
And the energised the audience was somehow cooled down by something opposite – sunny dance mu-sick packaged as working class reggae. And with them even old farts like myself could not resists to get more than a tapping toe moving.
Actually they got the whole dance floor moving, sweating and smiling. And it was time for that very special moment: Sweat condensing at the ceiling rained down on the band and the dancers and nobody gave a flying fuck. 100% fun, 100% moisture.
8°6 Crew (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.09.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
I specifically liked their bras section and when their guitar player descended on a little surf guitar detour – just great. And they too got a great appreciation from the crowd. I think the crowd love contest clearly had a winner here!
And they thus paved the way for another French band – it was again Lion’s Law time in Hamburg and with that the audience in front of the stage changed a little bit from woman to men – it was time for some hard, fast and almost metalic mu-sick. And it was Lion’s Law who delivered from the first chord.
Lion's Law (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 30.09.2017) (c) gehkacken.de)
I do follow them from the first record and indeed their records get better and better: Song writing, production quality and everything that goes with it. By now they are really a class outfit who are able to pin down class songs like „Liar“:
What was apparent was they live they maxed the speed and they added on the heavy side, much to the liking of the audience. Lot’s of singing, lot’s of crowd movement and some small hints of turmoil (silenced quickly). I’d say undisputed leader (and winner) on the aggressive Oi! side and to many a top notch end to the two days. I personally would have preferred to end with the sunny smile of the 8°6 Crew and then bridging it into an all-nighter but that is only me.
And with that Day Two ended late and with a final beer before it was time to head home and prepare for the away win to be at Braunschweig (which turned out to be an away win – as predicted by Mao, who not only attended both days at the Monkeys but got on the road to Braunschweig). Perfect weekend with two days of great mu-sick-al variety.
A huge thanks to the good folks who run the Monkeys: A perfect and diverse rooster, perfect service, perfect security and a perfect audience. Everything you can wish from your local club. I do hope that the club also financially was able to not only break even on this rather complex event so that i will be continued. And indeed thanks for the broad smile behind the drums.
I now know at least three more bands to see again (and keep one on the avoid list). Keep coming!