… sold out and pleasing the elderly: Harburg Fun, Pt. 2!

Last years 1st Punk Rock Hamburg Festival was a bit of a loudmouth surprise but still a real DIY exercise. Sold out and loads of happy elderly people. As such the good people behind the Punkrock Hamburg community decided to throw a 2nd – yet again the first 2nd in the world.

As much as the Ramones had it with „2nd verse, same as the 1st“ they did not change the setting nor the idea: local bands, from the scene, for the scene. And yet again that concept sold out the Stellwerk in Harburg, south of the mighty river Elbe (and thus a world distance for most people from Hamburg).

The hardship of the early start went to Pommespanzer, who traveled by Bus from their home in Bargfeld (north of Hamburg), together with a sizable Pommespanzer Crew all dressed up in team gear.

Pommespanzer (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

Their asset is their trumpet, their weak point is their singularity: Simple songs about beer, more beer and Holsten Pilsner Halbe Dose does not really suit my mu-sick-al greed. On the bonus side their only recorded output is on a single that was complementary with an Altona 93 Fanzine and is a song about the proud AFC. So they can’t be completely bonkers.

Their crew though, all looking loaded, had fun and thus their hardship was smoothed with cheers and support.

Next on Punktucke and with them it is only ever the same: I don’t really love them but they have their own sound, well played and they are tight together.

Punktucke (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

On top their songs have actually a meaning and some of the words are well crafted. Still, somehow it does not make click for me and i just don’t know what is wrong. They had their cheers but lacked the organized travel group supporting them…

When The Crimes took the stage the Stellwerk felt full, people were all chatty, cheerful and boozing and got a grand Las Vegas type showcase to many folks surprise.

The Crimes (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

They were dressed, as always, for the occasion (something that forever is a bonus for me) and delivered from the first chord pure showmanship, paired with class Punk Rock and Roll.

And to much surprise of the audience mid show they got three lovely background ladies up and thus enhanced it to a real Las Vegas style show. Word has it that some in the audience indeed where stunned to see their better half up there.

I love them and once they finished their set i had the feeling it can’t get any better tonight or at least that i have seen the winner of the proceedings midway. I wonder why i don’t see them more often – they would fit a lot of support stints, also in larger places.

For Gerd it was now a hard competition, though they remain uncontested Party Heroes for the Hamburg lot. In the running up to their 30 Years of Stadium Rock show later this year they knew they had to beat them Crimes and thus stiffened and delivered a crisp set.

And crisp means that they distilled their set down to those songs of their vast output that would kick the shit out of the fans. And indeed it did, the party mood was in full swing (and a large contingent of the audience by this point in time had performed some serious drinking in an coordinated attempt to deplete the stock of the club)

Gerd (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

For those not accustomed with Gerd there is the little hint that Gerd made a living prior to their stadium career on dumping the fixed element of their pay in return to a high percentage of the booze turnover that night. That old trick still serves them well and their fan base can’t let go the habit.

And they also delivered some of their lesser known songs, this one they sold in 1977 during an FC St. Pauli vs. Hibernian FC friendly to some visitors from Edinburgh, who recovered half of the money only when they got the song to #17 in the UK Single Charts in 1978 (and sure thing Gerd would have taken it to Number One!). Sing-a-long with Christiane:

And here you go:

Hold tight, now we're on our own
Cue light, now it's ready to roll
Tonight, how I've waited for aggravated for years
It's fun, oh I just can't wait
Hold on, do I look up to date
Your on, I'll do anything if that's the right thing to see

Does it matter what is shown
Just as long as everyone knows
What is selling what to buy
The stock market for your hifi
Take the money, leave the box
Everybody's on top of the pops

There's one, born every day
Sing song, then fade away
Ding dong, what's the future in the pop music industry
Alright, so you make the grade
Hold tight, to the buck you made
Just wait, you been rated for constipated peak viewing time

Does it matter what is shown
Just as long as everyone knows
What's in fashion what is seen
On the front of a television screen
Take the money, leave the box
Everybody's on top of the pops

Hold tight, now we're on our own
Cue light, now it's ready to roll
Tonight, how I've waited for aggravated for years
It's fun, oh I just can't wait
Hold on, do I look up to date
Your on, I'll do anything if that's the right thing to see

Does it matter what is shown
Just as long as everyone knows
What is selling what to buy
The stock market for your hifi
Take the money, leave the box
Everybody's on top of the pops

Pay the money, watch the box
Everybody's on top of the pops

Everybody's on top of the pops

Oh boy do i look forward to their 30th anniversary show, i guess the landlord of the Knust is already double checking the contract clauses and the storage capacity for booze.

And from the all time classics penned by Gerd it was a harsh contrast to the headliner, as the Emils would stretch some of the lot away from classic punk into more hardcore. For myself i appreciate that stretch, as my own mu-sick-al upbringing happened exactly along these lines.

Here is a classic from their 1988 debut album (that got a decent re-issue in 2018):

They forever drag that crossover patch with them, despite them all coming from the same dirty streets like me and many in the audience. I noticed a couple of folks leaving but i also notice a number of people getting to the front and supporting them (and singing along).

Emils (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

Singer Ille kept the lot engaged and provided some good grounding statements between the songs. What indeed is surprising is that whilst they disbanded a couple of times and some have also other musical engagements it is still the same 4 friends they remain unchanged in their setup. And here is another sing-a-long classic from their debut album:

What did strike me most is how accurate, hard hitting and precise Carsten on the drums is. He handles the task like one of these Duracell powered toys without giving the impression to even a scent of sweat on his body. Class.

Emils (Stellwerk, Harburg, 08.02.2020)

And whilst they marched through their set they kept the icing on the cake for overtime. It started of with this Buttocks cover:

And from there they went into a something beautiful, someething real stunning: A 15 minutes medley of what felt like the first two Slime LP’s condensed. Sing-a-long galore by the lot and loads of fun. And in hindsight a perfect chosen headliner!

This was fun and it was Christian who went on stage to remind people that the fun was basically down to a small team of four running this as a total DIY exercise (though with a great loudmouth marketing attitude). So big FANX to you, you know who you are!

I will now eagerly look out for 2021 and i indeed wonder how this can be topped. I was home late, i was home gently loaded and i was happy as fuck.

Bücher, schnell gelesen: Teil 1.435

Tot Taylor - The Story Of John Nightly (Heyne Encore,  2019)
Tot Taylor – The Story Of John Nightly (Heyne Encore, 2019)

Gelesen: 15.01. – 06.02.2020, netto 912 Seiten.

Ein ganz schön fettes Biest. Tot Taylor war schon alles mögliche aber hauptsächlich Plattenproduzent und Galerist. Und hatte wohl schon lange die Idee einer fiktiven Biographie eines Musikers, der in den end-60ern im Swinging London zum Star wurde.

Das ganze ist Fake, ohne dabei Fake News zu sein. Und umgeben von viel Wahrheit. Am Anfang beschreibt er wie aus John Nightly ein Superstar wurde, dann wie dieser an Drogen und dem künstlerischen Druck scheitert bzw. wie es TILT macht.

Und dann kommt der eigentlich spannende Teil: Was macht ein millionenschwerer Popstar nach dem Tilt? Zuerst viele Jahre in einer Privatklinik…

… und dann zieht er ans Ende von Cornwall und züchtet exotische Blumen. Und hat nix mehr mit Musik zu tun.

Das ganze ist lang, voller Fußnoten, Querverweisen und falschen Fährten – aber alle Stimmig. Alle passend. Alle so wie sie in echten Künstlerbiographien vorkommen.

Aufgrund der 900+ Seiten echt schwer zu lesen aber wer ein Faible für Rockmusik, Rockjounalie und sowas hat … der wird Spass haben.

Und was sagt Tot Taylor über mein Genre?

Tot Taylor ( (c) Wilhelm Heyne Verlag 2019)
Tot Taylor ( (c) Wilhelm Heyne Verlag 2019)

Soundtrack dazu: Detention – Dead Rock’n’Rollers, was sonst?

PS: Sing-a-long …

JIMI HENDRIX AND JANIS JOPLIN AND KEITH MOON AND ELVIS PRESLEY ARE DEAD. 
PULLED THE PLUG ON THEMSELVES. 

DEAD ROCK N ROLLERS THEY WERE OUTTA-CONTROLLERS, 
PLAYED THE DRUG GAME BUT THEY COULDNT MAINTAIN AND NOW THEYRE DEAD. 
OFFED THEMSELVES FOR THE BIG BUZZ. 

JIMMY MORRISON AND SID VICIOUS AND JOHN BELUSHI AND JOHN BONHAM WERE WEAK. COULDNT TAKE IT AT THE PEAK. 

DEAD ROCK N ROLLERS THEY WERE OUTTA-CONTROLLERS, I GUESS THEY FELT LAME SO THEY SNUFFED THEIR BRAINS AND NOW THEY'RE DEAD. 

WHY COULDNT IT BE BARRY MANILOW? I MEAN I WAS NEVER CRAZY ABOUT JOHN LENNON, BUT AT LEAST HE DIDNT DROWN TO DEATH IN HIS OWN PUKE. 

AND WHAT ABOUT YOU, JIM CARROLL? ALL YOUR FRIENDS HAVE. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? DO IT!! 

DEAD ROCK N ROLLERS THEY WERE OUTTA-CONTROLLERS, PLAYED THE FINAL SOLUTION, MASSIVE MIND POLLUTION AND THEYRE DEAD.

… 50 odd people only? Damn rainy Thursdays!

January is by far the most empty month in my show calendar, also 2020 it needed something extra to lure me out. Two items came together: On the one side Riskee and The Ridicule, which i had to pass by when they played the Monkeys previously and on the other side i was still to collect my 2020 Season Ticket for the Hafenklang.

So whilst i collected Season Ticket #1, Season Ticket holders #2, #3, #4 and #7 where in attendance too and Season Ticket #2 also took along Season Ticket #8 to hand it over. That’s a lot of Season Ticket holders out of the 12 sold but unfortunately not many more regular ticket holders or Abendkasse users came around. At the end only about 50 odd people showed up on a lousy, rainy and windy Thursday – bad timing for the bands!

First on the Bottlekids from sunny southern Wales and for me absolutely a blank sheet. 3 guys, different looks … what to expect?

Ups, that sounds like something from the US, something from the 90s, something that bounces around between a couple of mu-sick-al chairs. It took a bit of time but just like myself also others stayed and did not drop the support in favor of chats and drinks. They rather had the same feeling than myself of seeing something interesting, enjoying their sound.

Bottlekids (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 30.01.2020)

Most valuable asset? Both the bass, that carries the melodies and the scratched voice of the singer (who claimed that normally he would be sooo much softer – he simply ruined his voice the night before).

At the end people where quite cheerful for them, they are not particularly defining a brand new genre or are doing something extraordinary but what they do, they do great, with precision and with some good song structures. It is exactly the reason why i go out to shows and want to see something new – to be surprised. Thanks mates!

How good was it? I bought their 12″ on colored wax and limited to 200 pcs for cheap 10 € – and i only buy records nowadays if a band convinced me live. You know the drill.

Next on Riskee and The Ridicule, self proclaimed Grime Punks, whatever that label should be leading to. At least for my mu-sick-al cupboard i now have a new label that i can stick onto one currently empty drawer. And they sound like this ….

As far as i am concerned that is happy mix of Rap, Nu-Metal and whatever … largely it is somehow DIY with loads of street credibility. Some songs to my liking are too much dominated by the machine gun spoken words from Scott (but the beauty is within, the words definitely have meaning and once you get across the accent … they are class).

Riskee And The Ridicule (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 30.01.2020)

I have no clue if this is their normal setting but they dropped the bass and featured twin guitars. As the mu-sick was driven anyway by stop-and-go elements and less by melodies it did not matter.

Whilst i was still a bit reluctant most of me mates around me rather went GO BANG, some even in full family force with two generations happily singing and dancing away. Great to see, sad that the floor was – warning, euphemism coming – spacious.

Riskee And The Ridicule (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 30.01.2020)

Eventually they carried me away too, after i guess 45 minutes they took on some extras (or, with a different view, they did a class 1 minute rock star break to disappear and reappear).

For the extra Scott took on to get it agreed with #1 Fan Nickel in the audience, some chit-chat, some bartering and off they went into not another love song.

I noted above that i nowadays only ever buy records if a band convinced me live, but it does not mean that i always buy. Riskee And The Ridicule are live an energetic, catchy, dancing-instilling unit with a class message on all the naughty items in life (and some education on Millwall Bricks and Glasgow Kisses) but on record (or, for me, testing it out via their Bandcamp page) they do not work. As such i was one of the few not scoring a record.

Nevermind, it only ever proves that it is all about checking bands out live, on stage, in your local club. And supporting them there. Thus indeed it was a pity that a mere 50 peoples showed up for two class sets by two worthy bands.

Hamburg – next time round be more attentive! And remember that now that the island yonder has done it’s little exit it will be so much harder for bands to tour in Continental Europe, across the foggy channel. We must show them that we still want them to come, that we still want them to play … for us … at our places!

Catch of the day: Bottlekids 12″