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

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

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“:


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!

… cropped hair and hard hitting retro rock’n’roll made my Friday the 13th!

Another Friday night out at the Monkeys, another night for some unpretentious rock’n’roll.

The fun was that i was out with a mate whilst our wife’s decided to stay at our home, cook some great food and enjoy the Friday without us. So i left home for me mate when his wife arrived and came home late in the night only to hand her the taxi in which me mate was waiting – never had that setting and really had a laugh! At the Monkeys this time round one of the hottest new shits was waiting: The Suede Razors from the US of A had all the records collectors excited with their chain of great 7″s, so i thought it would be a rather full house and a lot of eager people to see them.

Wrong thinking, they are still a niche i guess.

The night started off with Last Crusade from the UK who, from all i could make out, are a rather new band too.

Last Crusade (Monkeys, 13.03.2015  (c)
Last Crusade (Monkeys, 13.03.2015 (c)

I think they fitted the bill with Suede Razors well, they play something unique too – a blend of old punk (as in 1977), harsh OI! (as in 1982) and they do also throw some hardcore elements in. They where though hampered by some technical issues and the lacked stage presence and persona, so they did not really get the rather small crowd in motion. But they got their share of applause for all the effort, at least. And in between they actually had some lovely chords.

Next on Jenny Woo, in her solo acoustic setting. Large banner, small girl and a strong voice.

Jenny Woo (Monkeys, 13.03.2015  (c)
Jenny Woo (Monkeys, 13.03.2015 (c)

I do like her stuff but i do like it more with a band and an electrically distorted guitar. But she does what she does extremely well, always with a smile and against many odd voices from odd parts of the skinhead scene – and it takes a hell of stamina to get on the stage just with an acoustic guitar and use your voice as the stage presence!

Finally the Suede Razors and from the start (an intro sans the singer) it was a different league: You could sense that they all had their share of experience in other bands and that they all where quite gifted in terms of handling their instruments. And tight together. Very tight. From the moment the singer entered the stage you knew it was to be a unique and joyful experience of rock’n’roll with a scent of Aussie thrown in (and that was late 70s AC/DC and/or Rose Tattoo i guess).

Suede Razors (Monkeys, 13.03.2015  (c)
Suede Razors (Monkeys, 13.03.2015 (c)

Singer Darrel not only has the belly but also the voice and guitar, bass and drums provide the perfect backdrop. Items worth to note: Tongue-in-check vocals and stage presence by all. Good chatting with the audience and all items i’d like to see covered covered, up to and including 3 points for „anyone’s team“ on the weekend. Puuuurrfect (though it did not happen in the end – the 3 points at home).

Did they live up to the quality of their singles? Yes they did and i guess they took the audience by storm. It was a bit like Giuda – people did not fully know what to expect and where positively surprised. For myself i was happy bunny all over: Out with mates, a pint of Guinness in me hand and some driving skinhead rock’n’roll. There is little that can beat that setting, so much better then say the TV Program on Friday 13th.

Thanks to the bands and thanks as ever to those who made it to support them at a cool new place for live musick. Love it.


… coitus interruptus with a monkey!

Grand opening of Sam’s new venture (with improved facilities since the Crack show) and somehow i managed to perform a vasovagal collaps, so the show ended in a coitus interruptus. Thanks (i owe you some drinks) to some around i was lifted, got a glass of water and then hailed a taxi to take a quick checkup in the hospital around the corner from home. No issues, „you have the blood data of an 18 year old“ the doctor told me – i guess a blatant lie!

Big Banders (Monkeys, 28.02.2015 (c)
Big Banders (Monkeys, 28.02.2015 (c)

I did see most of the Big Banders, Hamburgs rather large Ska 9 piece. The stage sure was too small for them, they where packed way too tight to be able to groove.

Due to my blackout i missed Hamburgs other Ramones cover band, the Melones. Thanks to Luke here is a pic:

Melones (Monkeys, 28.02.2015 (c) Luke Stevens)
Melones (Monkeys, 28.02.2015 (c) Luke Stevens)

What’s the net result: Great place with more great shows lined up, i guess i will need to split my time between Hafenklang and Monkeys now (and throw in the odd other place). Bonus for the Monkeys: Guinness from the tap! Else the evening was 2nd hand, damn. People told me it was a great evening – i tend to believe them!