… this is Moving Targets not Reeperbahn Festival!

The triumphant return of the Moving Targets last year at the Hafenklang was a wee bit a short show for me, so i was eager this year to get exposed to a full set of blistering guitars and smiling bass players. Whilst i was fully committed, the mu-sick-al connoisseurs of Hamburg did somehow let them down. The parallel Reeperbahn Festival with it’s thousands of shows did suck up audience, at the end i guess a mere 80 people came down to see them.

They where paired with a north eastern package travelling through Europe: Cockbox from sunny Helsingin kaupunki and Rat’s Eyes from dark Mосква crossed their path and thus provided support.

Cockbox had the pain to start early and in front of almost no folks, though they provided quite interesting visuals: A rather heavy drummer with a strange pullover, a silent bass with all the 80 Punk insignia and a small and rather fully styled girl on guitar.

Cockbox (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.09.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They had some twang but did not offer a compelling proposition. On top the time it took to fix a dislocated string took the energy out of the audience somehow, specifically as the bass player was not really an entertainer that could keep folks away from the bar.

Worst moment was when the girl did an Iggy crawl – that felt just like a poor replay of visuals rather then genuine expression of herself and the mu-sick.  Still, i would give them a 2nd chance in the hope they just had sorta teething problems on stage – their Demo sounds so much better. En koskaan päästäisi suomea alas!

Next Rat’s Eyes from Moscow and they took things into a more serious and slick direction: In your face hardcore with some nice influences from traditional Russian army music (as one in the audience joked).

Rat's Eyes (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.09.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

I definitely did like that more, they also lured more people to the stage including the bass player of the Moving Targets. Their drummer literally did beat up the drum set (and specifically the cymbals), every hit was with full energy and anger – stunning. The guitar looked a bit odd from the look but provided some great shredding.

Check out their releases or just listen into this snippet:

They got the audience to request not only one but two encores, something i hinted to the Moving Targets standing next to me to be the bar that they need to pass and Kenny tongue in check answered that they’ll beat that and will provide us with even more. Plus he would reimburse me personally if i would not love it.

I told Kenny that he could save his cash, i was rather expecting the best. They kicked off quick, without too much fuzz and surprised myself and quite a number of people with energy and … a rather poor sound. There was a lack of balance between back line (bass and drums) and guitar and vocals.

Even when moving around it did not really get better, so i guess it must have been the mix. Over time it gently got better but at least one trusted friend was offended so much that he did leave early.

What was surprising to me was that they nicely speeded up things and even ventured out into 1:13 hardcore like bursts:

Given that the sound was not yet perfect there was some reservation at the start but over time and whilst the sound got better people got more enthusiastic.

Moving Targets (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.09.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

And it is anyway fun to see them: Sturdy and heavy drumming, a bass player that smiles away all the time (as he had fallen into a crate of Zaubertrank as a youngster in Augsburg, where he did grow up), jumping up and down full of energy and Kenny providing the swirling guitar plus the distinct vocals.

Once they where done with the set after about an hour they provided the promised extra (with some extra hired in). Their german merch guy was enlisted and with him they set out as a 4 piece doing some covers.

And it sounded like this:

BY now the sound was almost there and the audience did get going. Specifically when they did play „Youth of America“ from the Wipers, a song that just lends itself to be covered by Kenny, as it has plenty of that guitar swirl.

Moving Targets (Hafenklang, Hamburg, 19.09.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

I did not count but they did like 4 extras (thus beating the bar) and finished off late (and after midnight) with something special just rehearsed once on the day before.

That was a matching finish, a band that just had great fun playing and getting into it. They audience did cheer them big time but rather quickly left. Some, including myself, got the new record and some of the other vinyl, hopefully that helps them to fuel the van (or repay customer not loving it).

As they are a very accessible band they mingled with the lot after the show and showed genuine interest in how people liked it and to discuss life, music (me mate Thomas and i praised and sicussed Candian punk to the two Canadians) and the world as such. We did not discuss fucking the singer of the Sleaford Mods backstage though at one stage of the talks it was mentioned too in passing by one lovely female attendant (over just another beer).

The Hafenklang had to expel us at almost 02:00 after plenty of beers and i had the fun to stroll uphill to home with the two Canadians, who where up for some food and fun on the Reeperbahn. I left them at the capable hands of a mate for final directions as i had to work on Friday.

I can only urge the Moving Targets to avoid the Reeperbahn festival next year, i trust Hamburg will give them even a wee bit more (and yes i would believe a slightly different pairing would also work better).

In addition check out Kenny Chambers Music, there is a shitload of stunning stuff to explore!

And those options below?

Don’t let them go by – #thereaintnuthinbetterthanlivemusic

… farewell „Old Erwin“!

Farwell Erwin „Old Erwin“ Lieske (17.09.1962 – 29.07.2019)

This time it is just silent appreciation for someone that was an all-time asset of the Hamburg Punk scene and at least for me was always up there, on stage.

Running order at the Knust (thanks for hosting).

Erwin was with us all night, at the side of the stage.

Kinche: 

Kinche (Knust, Hamburg, 24.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Hake (Guitar, Vocals), Britta (Vocals)

 

Early Birds:

Nessi (Guitar), (Drums), Schulze (Vocals), Bernhard (Bass)

Early Birds (Knust, Hamburg, 24.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Spitfire Stevens:

Spitfire Stevens (Knust, Hamburg, 24.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Luke (Guitar, Vocals), Jan (Drums), Doc (Bass), Timothy (Guitar)

Nasser Hund:

Jan (Guitar, Vocals), Arne (Bass, Vocals), Kai (Drums)

Nasser Hund (Knust, Hamburg, 24.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Rudi with some very personal words:

Kotzbrocken:

Arne with a little story about his first bass and how that bass did meet Old Erwin:

 

Kotzbrocken - 1 (Knust, Hamburg, 24.08.2019)
Kotzbrocken  (Knust, Hamburg, 24.08.2019 pic by Schaub – thanks)

Rudi (Guitar, Vocals), Meng (Drums), Votzer (Vocals), Arne (Bass)

The song „Aggressivität und 220 Volt“ was the first ever song „Old Erwin“ did write for his first band Kotzbrocken, somewhere in 1978. Needles to say that they played it without rehearsing a single minute.

C³I:

C³I (Knust, Hamburg, 24.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Rudi (Guitar), Jens (Drums), Arne (Bass, Guitar)

„Old Erwin“ – Last ever song of the Phantastix:

Unreleased video of a song by Erwin intended for the never completed Schwabe tribute LP. 

Razors:

Intro banner for Erwin that was shown at the last St. Pauli home game.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 24.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Witte (Guitar), Gott (Drums), Danker (Vocals), Christiane (Bass)

Note: Never to be repeated cover of Phantastix „Das Herz von St. Pauli“

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 24.08.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Thanks to all who made this possible, thanks to all who took care of Erwin personally and thanks to all those attending and celebrated Erwin.

Special thanks to those who had the deep and personal conversations about losses, death and how to deal with it with my humble self. Much appreciated!

Farewell Old Erwin!

… 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!