… sold out places all over: Preferring sunny Santa Cruz over the East End!

Now that was a tough choice: The Monkeys had the Rejects for a 40 year anniversary show that would be a killer and the Hafenklang had Good Riddance, which i believe  have not graced Hamburg for … say 15 years? So what to do? Both went on Ticket sale early and both reported good traction on sales.

Whilst a large part of me mates jumped to the obvious choice of the Monkeys (and reported a killer show afterwards) me and a small part of friends decided for Good Riddance, as this would mark their comeback: Both in Hamburg but also after their 2007 breakup.

And also the Hafenklang very early reported „sold out“:

Two support slots went to local bands, kick off would be with Hamburgs finest ramonescore outfit The Haermorrhoids, who are busy touring and playing support slots whilst preparing for their next release.

And this is what awaited the die-hard fans in the front row:

The Haermorrhoids - Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.10.2019)
The Haermorrhoids – Setlist (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.10.2019)

15 songs, 30 Minutes. Perfect „less than 2 minutes“ scenario of pure energy. They kicked off slow and then blasted away. As the have now played a lot they are very tight and have perfected their set, which on this evening also included some new songs.

The Haermorrhoids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

The sound though was just not perfect, somehow it did not have the right balance to me: some of the vocals too low volume, some of the drumming not coming across right and it had a bit of an overcast of low frequency noise.

That was „1984“ and one of my favorite songs, specifically for the lyrics, an ode to mom:

When I peed into my bed 
My mom always cleaned up my mess 
Until I was 35 years old 
Never cared about nuthin' 
She solved all my filthy problems 
I lived in a fairy tale 
Oh yeah! 

As they only had a 30 minutes slot there was no fuzzing around, even technical issues with the hi-hat did not stop them of pushing forward and getting the front row dancing. Whilst the Hafenklang was sold out unfortunately some people did let them go and definitely missed something.

The Haermorrhoids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

I would be more than happy if they just get into the speed and rhythm of them brothers Ramone and put a long player our every year. As such the news of them doing new songs and having another record on the horizon makes me fly high like a junkie – hopefully i don’t overdose:

As always „Overdose“ finished off their set and for me that was – despite the sound issue – a more than enjoyable set. With perfect sound and light it would have been killer actually.

Where The Haermorrhoids nailed it the next band would not. At least for me. And also for a few more who wandered outside rather for some beer and chats.

Kapot (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

It is not very often but sometimes a band either through look or sound, through vocals or something else fends me off, here it was the mu-sick – it just did not make klick for me. Check Kapot out for yourself and if you like them go out and see them!

After some changeover and some waiting the by now definitely packed Hafenklang got what they waited for – here is how GR kicked off:

Bang – that’s a perfect return onto a Hamburg stage. I have no clue into what cupboard people put them, i guess it the melodic element on top of that hardcore sound that makes them outstanding, almost never at the risk of being too slow, too poppy or just too much of a waste.

Good Riddance (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

With GR you have all elements that a band should bring onto stage: A near perfect drummer that hits hard and smiles away. A joyful bass that not only plays hard’n’fast but also has an eye for fun with the audience (and accepts the risk of being hit in the balls). A fast shredding and taken away guitar that drives the sound. And a singer that does not perform too many fancy items, schemes and maneuvers and just creates a center of attention through himself.

I knew immediately that for me it was the right decision to run AWOL from Cockney and with me many many folks smiled away or where throwing themselves into the pit, through the pit and onto the floor.

Good Riddance (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

The only bad item was that it was a very male pit with sometimes little attention to smaller and sometimes female members of the audience that also would love to be near the stage. I guess that is the price to pay for having GR at an unusual small location against what they used to draw (also in Hamburg).

There was another bad item and that turned out to be a technical one that i understand was on purpose: Russ voice sounded very odd and after the show i checked with the Hafenklang and they confirmed it was due to him using his own mike, which somehow gave that sound. If he likes it that way, than that is ok but it gives a distinct different vocal sound compared to the records. And not a better one if you ask me!

Speaking of records i was hoping to be able to score the new record in colored vinyl but they had none of that record at all with them. Damn, now i guess i need to team up with others and order from the US, greedy record collecting scum that i am. And me mates are. And we all are!

Good Riddance (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 10.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

GR ruled the Hafenklang definitely and the did wear out some of the audience, who sang most of the songs louder than Russ and who danced away relentlessly. They turned out to still be absolute perfect musicians, with a great sound and with some great songs. I would love to see them back in a slightly bigger environment and still sold out.

They did not play my loveliest song though but you can’t have it all…

… toss it, here it is – listen up youth:

Perfect guitar work and chords, driving and absolute stunning lyrics.

Thanks GR, on all fronts, for coming back!

At the end of a long evening i was like the 3rd but last person outside the Hafenklang after long rounds of chatting away. That normally tells me that i did like the proceedings. Back home and sneaking into bed i was wondering if it would have been the same at the Monkeys – i fear it would have been too!

Damn choices! But great to see that both clubs sold out and scoreing their share on drinks – we need them Clubs! So please all help to repeat this more often: Sold Out instead of Selling Out!

Bücher, schnell gelesen: Teil 1.403

Jim Nisbet - Welt ohne Skrupel (Pulp Master, 2019)
Jim Nisbet – Welt ohne Skrupel (Pulp Master, 2019)

Gelesen: 05. – 08.08.2019, 226 Seiten.

Die Dot.Com Welt? Rücksichtslos. Der abgehängte Rest von San Francisco? Ebenso Rücksichtslos. Das Leben? Glücklos.

Vor diesem Hintergrund steigen wir in die kleine Welt von Klinger ein: Seine kleinkriminellen Aktivitäten gehen meist schief, doch mit ein wenig Glück kommt er immer um den Knast herum.

Letztendlich geht es ihm nur um Peanuts: Er braucht zuerst Geld für Drinks, um sich abzuschießen. Und wenn dann noch Geld übrig ist, ja Gott, dann kann er halt mal in einer Absteige schlafen. 

Phillip dagegen ist ein Dot.Com Sklave, immer auf einem 24h Arbeitstag und immer auf der Jagd nach einem Start-Up, das seine Expertise in Aktien verwandelt.

Die Bahn von Klinger und Phillip kreuzt sich und zurück bleiben nicht nur Tote sondern auch der Rest an Vertrauen auf die Menschheit. Denn im Hintergrund gibt es immer jemanden, der besser darin ist Leute auszunehmen. Viel besser.

Ein bitterböse Abgesang auf die Menschlichkeit, die Gesellschaft und menschliche Kommunikation. Und auf so profane Dinge wie die Sucht nach Alkohol. Denn die Sucht nach Apps, die Sucht nach Smartphones und die Gier nach Geld sind stärker. 

Das Setting im O-Ton:

Als er am Hawse Hole ankam, war Klinger reif für einen Drink, er war reif dafür, die letzten paar Tage zu vergessen, er war reif für einen Klamottenwechsel – Klinger war reif für alles, ausser für die Zukunft. Oder die Vergangenheit. Oder, wie sich herausstellte, für die Gegenwart. 

Einfach großartig. Ein Looser als Held der am Ende alles verliert. Lasst alle Hoffnung fahren!

Soundtrack dazu: Head – No one likes a snitch, was sonst?

PS: Der original Titel „Snitch World“ passt sowas wie!

… this is who we are, this is how we feel: Descendents!

When this years summer stint of the Descendents in Europe was confirmed i got quite eager to see where they would take camp besides known events like Punk Rock Holiday or Rebellion. To my surprise it was Hannover and the rather small Kulturzentrum Faust.

The good thing: I got 4 tickets (equals a car full of friends) on Day One of the ticket sale. The other good thing: Hannover is like only 160 KM south of Hamburg, so in reach of a quick ride.

The bad thing? It would be a weekday and it would be during peak traffic. The even worse thing? Construction on the motorway, narrowing it from three to a single lane. Paired with a chain of trucks, broken down trucks and end of summer school holidays this resulted in queues. Long and slow queues. It took us from our after work meeting point in Altona more than 3 hours to get there…

… only to realize that No Sugar (who had a slightly longer drive) got stuck and could not make it in time at all.

As we spent way too much time in the car we were thirsty and hungry, so instead of Useless ID we had a drink and a bite at the Faust with the other folks from Hamburg who made their way. We got a bit of the end of Useless ID and for my liking they are just way too soft. That type of Fat Wreck mu-sick that i happily let go.

Many people in the packed Faust left for fresh air after the Useless ID set, the Hamburg lot rather advanced to the front of the stage to make sure it can live out it’s Descendents appreciation. Fandom. Support. Whatever.

Most important things first: A scan of the setlist. And 30+ songs would wait for us, with a pretty good spread (though missing like 30+ favorites).

Descendents - Setlist (Kulturzentrum Faust, Hannover, 08.08.2019)
Descendents – Setlist (Kulturzentrum Faust, Hannover, 08.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

As the Descendents did the headliner rock’n’roll setup (support had to setup in front of the Descendents gear) they were ready in minutes. Still, they took some extra time to kick off, eagerly awaited by the lot (checking times every minute). And in their typical unpretentious style they took the stage, smiled at the audience and gave it a little chatty intro to Suburban Home (and yes, we want to be stereotyped, we want to be classified).

Descendents (Faust, Hannover, 08.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

From the first chords on i had the feeling of something slightly more intimate, something more outgoing than the last two shows i saw: Markthalle and Barcelona last year. It may well be the much more cozy location, it may well be the not barricaded stage or it may have just been the fact that we had handshake distance to Stephen and got individually carried away into „this is my very own private show, they play just for me„.

Descendents (Faust, Hannover, 08.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Bill as ever towering behind his giant drumset (i guess he uses the biggest crash cymbals i have ever seen on tour), the smiling Buddha with his headphone. Karl, the only guy i recognize to avoid a plectrum on the bass, holding things together and always looking out for the others. Stephen with his relentlessly shredding of his guitar and constantly throwing faces at the audience. And Milo being the most subtle front man, taking some songs light and on others throwing himself in like nobody else. I guess he takes some lyrics indeed personal!

And funnily they are all my age (MYAGE!) and a still „I don’t wanna grow up“ means as much to them as it means to me (having had the poster on my wall for ages, actually until i got married and moved into a single apartment with me love).

Here is a snippet from @descendentscrew:

And if your eyesight is not impacted by computers, TV’s and mobile phone screens you can see the Hamburg lot at the far end of the stage, dancing away led by our Punk Rock Hamburg Nightingale, a Descendents fan extraordinaire. Sure thing she is also known to the Descendents and as the Hannover lot failed to pick up singing a chorus Milo resorted not only once but twice for her assistance…

Milo and Christiane (Kulturzentrum Faust, Hannover, 08.08.2019)
Milo and Christiane (Kulturzentrum Faust, Hannover, 08.08.2019)

Will she wash her hands? Will she be able to sleep back home in sunny Hamburg? I guess she was simply happy as a fuck, though being a Rock Star herself with GERD (a band that fills stadiums rather than small Hannover clubs). As a Rock Star she doesn’t give a damn about her bad reputation and lives out her fandom totally unconstrained. Luckily only one audience member from Hannover recognized her, else it would have been news in the yellow press yet again.

The Descendents played on and on but also somehow rushed through their set (at least it felt so). I lost count of the songs, they also did re-arrange some of the order and at the end surprisingly came back for an encore. Years ago it was alien to all the US bands coming over  but today most of them have adjusted to give something extra once they feel they got some extra appreciation from the audience.

Descendents (Faust, Hannover, 08.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

I did not take count but they finished around 23:00, so that’ll be 75 minutes of perfect popular music if you ask me. And indeed the feeling we all had („this was better than Markthalle last year„) seemed echoed from the stage: Whilst the rest of the band was already off stage Bill stood behind his drums and smiled away with a bright and bold smile, two thumbs up. The Hamburg lot did echo this, making it 4.

Descendents - 4 Thumbs Up (Kulturzentrum Faust, Hannover, 08.08.2019)
Descendents – 4 Thumbs Up (Kulturzentrum Faust, Hannover, 08.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

And also the Hannover crowed did cheer a lot. On top i saw a lot of smiling faces, actually also quite some younger ones. I guess for them it was the first time to be blasted away by the Descendents.

We did not rest long, as we all had to work on Friday. A quick beer, a chat and back into the car. The drive north was nicely empty, so we made it home in less than 2 hours. And thanks to the foresight of our youngster on board we still had cool beer for the drive home.

I think i noted a couple of times that i am not a big friend of away tours when it comes to mu-sick. The Descendents though are worth that cause, period. I guess i will have to make sure every summer to catch them at least once. And i know that i have friends in Hamburg who will happily join in – just puurrrfect! #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic!