… a surprise, a disappointment and loads of sing-a-long: a Friday night at Monkeys Music Club!

Live mu-sick is the best cure, it also works for getting yer mind focused away from the fact that me love is in hospital. So with a wee bit of a troubled mind i mad way to the Monkeys, first and foremost to see Bishops Green who yet again tour Germany.

Kick off was at 21:11 and large parts of the audience where glued to the TV in the Pub to see Footie (that other team in Hamburg on an away affair). They missed this:

It’s the Berlin Blackouts and they where quite a surprise – great kick-off into the evening. Cool and driving Punk Rock with a good judgement of style: 77, some Social D and loads of drive and melody. Plus: Stage personas! An ever smiling drummer, a solid guitar and a ramonesque Girl on Bass. And an entertainer with guitar in the center on vocals. Short, crisp and should have attracted so much more people!

Berlin Blackouts (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

A brilliant short but crisp set and by all means give that band a home in Hamburg (the singer tried smooth the audience by noting that he would move „…anytime to Hamburg but it is so hard to get an appartment here„) and then give them a bigger stage.

Next Seaside Rebels, who are somehow partly displaced Greeks now residing in London. And the bass player from Booze & Glory does sing. They kicked of rather lame:

Seaside Rebels (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Seaside Rebels (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

It is actually not uncommon – some bands work on record but on stage they disappoint. The Seaside Rebel this night where just not in tune for me and their sound was just too .. simple and boring. Only on few songs the singing and the rest of the band was in a fitting sync. Also the singer did take all the action and thus attention, it was somehow not work. Young lads though that still can grow together.

Seaside Rebels (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Seaside Rebels (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

It just did not work for me, it did not work for me mate Frosch and also i sensed it did not work so much for the now larger audience (that other team had banked an away win). For some parts of the audience, by the looks friends of the band, it did work and they had visible fun!

Next Bishops Green, the 4th time in 2 years in Hamburg – somehow that feels almost „too often“:

Bishops Green - 1 (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Bishops Green – 1 (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

They came in straight from Canada, this was the first date of their tour. From the start they where plagued with sound problem, up to the bass player almost too friendly needing to ask „… Mr. Soundman, can’t you set it back to where it was during sound check?„. So the first couple of songs i just felt something missing (guitar in my ears for example) but then they took the Monkeys in full force.

Bishops Green - 1 (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Bishops Green – 1 (Monkeys, Hamburg, 23.10.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Whilst playing some songs from their new album they also did throw in lots of old stuff; Whilst songs from the first category where musically more developed and structured the songs from the later category where just great sing- and -dance-a-long invitations to the now crowded dance floor of the Monkeys.

The longer it lasted the more i liked it. Though still somehow the sound of the guitar was too thin. But they have it all: Bass, Guitar, Drums in sync plus a great singer with a voice that differentiates him from those who below low.

And once they finished i was in a better mood and more relaxed, having a loved one in hospital is dreadful and drawing on your energy. This show injected some back and i could sport a neat hangover on Saturday when visiting her.

Friday night, 3 bands, cold cider – priceless!

 

… oldpunks like it simple: a twang, a sing-a-long and a chorus – and plenty of fun! Undefeated so far!

Whilst Thursday was devoted to explore new sounds and see new bands, Saturday was something more traditional and turned out to be equal fun, though with a setting of an average age quite above the K-Town Warm-up.

The Mad Moiselles (Monkeys Music Club Hamburg, 20.06.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Mad Moiselles (Monkeys Music Club Hamburg, 20.06.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

A surprise slot was down for The Mad Moiselles from Hagen and they where plagued manyfold: The audience rather boozed and mingled in the pub, they where singled out by one audience member as ‚… god, they all somehow look ugly‘ and in reply someone else made a firm statement as in ‚… i lived for 4 month in Hagen, it is ugly and they all look strange there‘. In other words the troops where not up for them but they still delivered some good 1976 styled punk rock with an emphasis on „76“ and „Rock“ (not unexpected for a band that sported Thin Lizzy and Downliners Sect T-Shirts).

Gerd (Monkeys Music Club Hamburg, 20.06.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Gerd (Monkeys Music Club Hamburg, 20.06.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next Hamburgs own Gerd and the fun element of the evening sure was there, all the classic hits that Gerd did write 38 years ago where served and good interaction with the willing audience was ensured.

Gerd (Monkeys Music Club Hamburg, 20.06.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Gerd (Monkeys Music Club Hamburg, 20.06.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

I guess it is called the home advantage, where 80% of the audience knows one or more members of the band on stage. Sometimes musicians are lucky!

And people got carried away, dancing and singing along and demanding Gerd’s 1967 smash hit – and once served celebrated it with fireworks.

Gerd (Monkeys Music Club Hamburg, 20.06.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Gerd (Monkeys Music Club Hamburg, 20.06.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

That done it was time for the headliners. Two brothers on strings and a drummer. The most simple setup but also the most welcome recipe for winning. As in over the audience. See how they lured people out of the pub and back onto the dancefloor…

And sure thing the audience knew what was being served: Mid paced melodic punk, with great vocals and choruses and sure melodic hooks. And all of that served precise. To the point. No nonsense.

Guitar Gangsters (Monkeys Music Club Hamburg, 20.06.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Guitar Gangsters (Monkeys Music Club Hamburg, 20.06.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

They are around for such a long time and they get their show across to small and large audience with a smile and with an eye for detail: For those who read here on a regular basis it is known that i do like consistent stage attire with something special. The Guitar Gangsters did get a 9 out of 10, their hidden gem was 3 ties – in Black, Red and Gold (from right to left) and thus the german flag. Nice hat off to the country where they constantly enjoy success!

And by the end they had everyone singing and moving, just a few barflies took it easier. How to sum them up? ‚Critically underrated for years‚ makes a good line. They are in it for the fun and they serve it with a smile. Well done lads!

As they where so great and they never had a hit on MTV here are more pic on heavy rotation:

And as ever thanks for those who turned up, supported the bands and supported that little gem hidden away in Altona. Love it. Love my pint of black gold too – where else can i have that and see great bands?

No name, first time away, 14 hours under the belt and still surprising the audience!

I have to admit i was biased – i had my eye on The Bar Stool Preachers for a couple of month and did pledge for the crowd funding of their first single (though it did not arrive at me home yet) and thus had a wee bit of a jump start when the date for this show was announced. Thanks to Mr. Christian Schaub this was made possible: A young band from Brighton, with high hopes but not yet an output and not really a lot of songs, came over to Hamburg and Berlin for their first away shows.

The Bar Stool Preaches (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 16.04.2015  (c) gehkacken.de)
The Bar Stool Preaches (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 16.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

It was a Thursday evening, a band with no name – so a mere 70 folks followed Christian’s invite. I tried to tell everybody „this is hot shit“ but only convinced a hand full of friends to join. And what did they get?

Outsch. What was that? Did i fall into a trap? Did their videos not look and sound so much more professional? But before i could get too much worried they provided a quite good reason: The camper outside the Monkeys was actually theirs and it took them a whoopin‘ 14 hours from the UK to Hamburg. And to get here they got up at 3 in the mornin‘. OK Lads, excuse granted! But how do they sound if they got into the groove?

That did sound so much better. So what did we get? Obviously a loudmouth on vocals, a bass player fronting, two guitars playing perfectly and a keyboarder that a female member of the audience taunted as „…see his looks, he is a serial killer„. I would not think so but hey, you never know. There is a Henry in all of us! Besides that they gave an energetic show, overcame technical issues and got themselves and the audience into the mood.

The Bar Stool Preaches (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 16.04.2015  (c) gehkacken.de)
The Bar Stool Preaches (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 16.04.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

And in the end it was love. The band loved the audience, the club and those around did either love them or at least started to get their feet moving a wee bit. And that is the sound of The Bar Stool Preachers: A lot of ska, some pop and all served with a speed and a punch that makes it worth. As some one in the audience pointed out after the show – this might be last time you see them for 7€ and in front of only 70 people. They just might hit it bigger in the UK, sure thing in the pop circut. But with street credibility.

And after 45 minutes they even came back and played an encore, yet again their signature song „Bar Stool Preacher“:

Perfect.

Christian was happy as a fuck, the band was smiling and did sell a couple of singles. And they took residence in the  Monkeys pub until 03:30, when Sam did throw them out. So with 24 hours on tour they managed to perform a great show in Hamburg. Next stop was to be the St. Pauli home game on Friday, playing the Kraken thereafter (i needed to let go but people assured me they killed it again!) and then hauling over to Berlin to play a record day appearance and a 30 minute slot at the Punk & Disorderly Festival.

I recon it’ll take them home 20 hours and they will be knackered. Hope they all have to work on Monday, because they will be worn out to the max! But hey, that is the hardship of rock’n’roll! Good luck lads!

nb: You miss a drummer listed above? As ever they do not get the limelight and are only there to provide a largely invisible backdrop for the sound. Most of them are actually quite happy that way!