… a classic night already: HH-Soundtrack edition 2015 – unpretentious punk fucking rock!

Oh boy, that was a show! First set to celebrate the release of the long awaited and 32 years overdue Platzangst record it turned into just a different show because Platzangst could neither play nor was their record finished. Then C³I needed to call it off due to serious health problem (all the best Arne!) so that the rooster somehow came about by luck.

What took the stage instead: A new version of the reformed Channel Rats, transporting both their 1980s punk into these days plus new songs. Kein Hass Da, Hamburgs very special Bad Brains in German cover band. The Crimes, also reformed and with Kent Nielsen (Master of the Ukulele). And, to round it off, Sheep on A Tree watered everyone’s mouth.

Channel Rats (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Channel Rats (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Kick off was with the Channel Rats and their new backline (drums, bass) gave them the much needed drive. A great set of new and old songs played with some rigor and, as Bodo stated, “what used to be 3:00 songs now turned into 2:20 blasts”.

They have added some more stage appearance and seem more comfortable on stage. If they continue down that path and keep the pace then actually they are well back on the map.

Channel Rats (Knust, Hamburg 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

See them blasting through “Geisterstunde” as the encore (and Bodo wanking the axe big time):

Next on where Kein Hass Da, the cover band that really ain’t a cover band. They took good mu-sick (Bad Brains) and gave it a great new meaning – new words in German. And just in case you know how different a word flow in German to English is you also then know how difficult it is to actually make that work!

Kein Hass Da (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Kein Hass Da (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Karl was the ever talkative front man and the band recreating the best of the Bad Brains sound (including the odd reggae tune). Fond memories on my side to that infamous Bad Brains show on 20.05.1983 in Bremen that had endless fights between Hamburg and Bremen punks.

At the Knust and with relaxed oldpunks on stage and in front of the stage there was no risk of those atrocities and Karl could even roam the audience…

Kein Hass Da (Knust, Hamburg 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

Whatever you feel about “covering” you might want to re-think upon experiencing them live – the sheer joy by which they transform something old into something new and meaningful is just great. Go see:

Just great! By now the Knust should have been … let’s say at least “half full” but i think it was not. There is space for i guess 450+ people and i would guess not more than 100something where around.

Next The Crimes, yet again something into a different direction – we had Punk Rock (Channel Rats), Hardcore (Kein Hass Da) and with The Crimes we now get a dose of Garage Punk. Hamburg can be versatile, against all predictions!

The Crimes (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
The Crimes (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

They got an A+ for stage appearance (all dressed in black with suits) but somehow Kent as the singer felt like “not fitting”. I imagine their raunchy garage punk paired with a manic singer who fronts (in all sense of that word) but i got bass and guitar standing front and Kent remaining more to the back in the middle.

The Crimes (Knust, Hamburg 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

So for me and some others it was the “dull” moment of the day respective night but who am i to ask for all bands of such a setting to be 100% fits for my rather single minded liking? Make your own choice, here is The Crime live and loud:

I think by now it was way after 1:00 in the night and the audience has gotten “thinner”, “lighter” or “scarce” – it was just too fuckin’ late!

On came the Sheep on A Tree and what did they do? They waited for the sound man, they waited for the lights to go off and then they took it on:

Singing, songwriting and stage presence – paired with the ability to actually play the songs in perfect tune: That makes a great band and an even greater live band.

That’s the classic hit from the first Schmuddelkinder Compilation from 1993 – no dust and no smell on it! Classic! Followed suit with they Hamburg hymn from the same record.

Just lovely and so many memories.And that was that other undertone that Friday at the Knust: The loving memory towards those off sick and those gone forever. Every single band made and effort into that direction and me and others in the audience

Sheep on A Tree (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Sheep on A Tree (Knust Hamburg, 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

And as a 25+ years vehicle sure Sheep on A Tree have had their fair share of ups’n’down but that does not stop them to make it just a great show with loads of energy!

Sheep on A Tree (Knust, Hamburg 04.12.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

And for myself i got carried away and taped more songs, including their final encore “Walfänger” (a song by Hake’s other vehicle “Art of Tin Toys”) that finished as late as 02:15 in the night (and with most of the audience already gone, unfortunately).

First their ode to Diane:

Next they went crazy:

And the final final effort with Heiko joining on stage:

Wow – just stunning! And a long evening with good friends ended late but in hope that this will be repeated on an annual basis – just like the after Christmas show by The Razors at the same location. Great people, great bands and a long evening!

nb: Extra bonus – i have vinyl records from all bands (even a Channel Rats / R.A.F.Gier split signed by Stickel!) but from Kein Hass Da. Who is brave enough and dares a release now?

… theres a harmony in me head!

11th of March 1979: The Buzzcocks graced Hamburg for the first time. And this year both remaining original members Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley will celebrate their 60th birthday so there was no doubt that the Hamburg Oldpunks would be there to give them a hats off in 2015, 36 years later!

Cyanide Pills (Knust, 06.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)
Cyanide Pills (Knust, 06.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de)

The support stint was for the ultra cool and retro Cyanide Pills from Leeds and the Buzzcocks confirmed stardom rumors (“…Champagne mandatory“) by pushing them and their gear to the front and by limiting their stage time. Odd. But the Pills made the best of the small space that was left. It did though take away some of the energy and moves on stage and that transpired through on the music. I liked them, they where tight, cool moves and cool non-punk white leather jackets. Class!

Next on the Buzzcocks. Almost 40 years in existence. And still going strong.

They kicked off with Boredom and i had some doubts if this was really going to be quality time – the sound was not really good and they where not together. I do not think that they practiced allot prior to their tour kicking off in Hamburg. But from then on it went better, sound was tuned and they got into it.

Fun was that though the average age of the audience was near 49 there where still some younger people in the audience, predominantly female. And even a full family was there and the daughter (i’d say 16 by age) was dressed in a Buzzcocks T-shirt and did sing all old songs, i guessed influenced by their parents. Good parenting by the way!

Buzzcocks (Knust, 06.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de )
Buzzcocks (Knust, 06.03.2015 (c) gehkacken.de )

Somehow the packed (and sold out) show had an icehockey setting: First 20 mins old songs and slowly getting into it, 2nd 20 mins new songs and the audience cooling down (but the band gettin’ tighter and tighter) and then the final 3rd 20 mins with all these songs that can only be described as timeless beauties. And by now the band was at it, played even hidden gems like Autonomy and Harmony in my head (and in that one Steve Diggle managed the audience like it was his private army, which indeed it was).

A short sip on Steve’s stage bottle of Champagne (mandatory perk) and off they where after 60 mins plus 3 songs encore. What did stick? Pete’s beard and belly. Steve’s Army and that he looked sober. And the backline (drum’n’bass) that was lacking some of the groove that should be injected into the timeless beauties that are indeed the Buzzocks love songs.

But finishing early is most likely an age thing and thus i was home early (where me sick wife needed to let go the show).

Still, quality time indeed. So hats off to both bands!

… Punk tradition, Hamburg style. And a day to remember!

Tradition is something to hold on to that gives you a warm and cozy feeling. To that extend i love traditions like eg. the annual christmas party we used to have at our favorite record shop “Unterm Durchschnitt” in the 80s that always ended on booze and stupid (but sure executed) ideas like burning non-sold record (or records we believed should be burned). Sometimes traditions are also providing the warmth and coziness to overcome sad memories.

It has been another 4 years since Schwabe from the mighty Razors passed away following a sad accident. This fundamental loss for the Hamburg punk (and oldpunk specificaly) scene has fueled the continuation of a by now new tradition: Spend a day at year end with the Razors and some friends, live and loud. 2014 was V8 of this attempt and again it was “in style”.

Eat The Bitch (Knust, 26.12.2014  (c) gehkacken.de)
Eat The Bitch (Knust, 26.12.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Kick off was early with Eat The Bitch, a young hardcore band from Hamburg. As ever the first stint on the stage is the hardest but they managed their way through it. I’d say they gave the “edge” to the evening!

Hotel Energieball (Knust, 26.12.2014  (c) gehkacken.de)
Hotel Energieball (Knust, 26.12.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

Next on Hotel Energieball (at least partially from the ashes of “The Revolvers”) from what we call the “Ruhrpott” – guests from far you could say. Musically for sure the most gifted, sound wise the cleanest and all vocals in plain german – some call it “Glam Punk” but i just say it is plain good and driving musick. Their biggest bonus? Nope, not the surfer on guitar – it was the bass player. Go see yourself for a great and energetic performance!

Platzangst (Knust, 26.12.2014  (c) gehkacken.de)
Platzangst (Knust, 26.12.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

And that gave way to more local heroes, Platzangst seem at it again and i am sure there is a record soon to happen. This time round they practiced more and they are now much better together. If i can have a christmas wish i’d say give Boffer some cleaner english (or stay with german vocals) and disallow Scholle some guitar wanking. But they had it all back in the early 80s and they still have it now and even some new songs of quality!

As a surprise guest Frankie (first ever singer for Platzangst) was back in Hamburg (he now resides in much more sunnier Portugal) and not only joined the party in front of the stage but gave vocals to the standard encore: “An der Waterkant” remains “the” Hamburg punk hymn. That was great to see!

And – for the fun of it – they now added a stage entry. Well done but next time remember to stay out of view whilst the song plays!

Razors (Knust, 26.11.2014  (c) gehkacken.de)
Razors (Knust, 26.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de)

And the evening ended with Hamburgs finest: the Razors went from nowhere (and that was 1977 and Hamburg) to actually nowhere near stardom but a real cool punk rock band. Their first incarnation ceased in i think 1984, somewhere in the late 90s/early 2000 i believe they got it going again (at least i recall a killer show at Kampnagel) and by now they are at it again. What was really low key (by all means) punk rock in 70s, british influenced pogo punk in the 80s has now been tuned up, speeded up (namely by the blizzard guitar sound of Witte) and is “up to date” (and for my likeing sometimes too fast).

I was to thrilled to record a song, but see here for yerself (with their own ode to Schwabe):

In case you like it, get their stuff. If you want to trial – download their full discography (the “Dirty Thrirty” 2CD Album) from Youtu.be:

Note: It ain’t a bootlegged copy, it was the bands concious choice to put it there!

DJ Christian (Knust, 26.11.2014  (c) gehkacken.de )
DJ Christian (Knust, 26.11.2014 (c) gehkacken.de )

And it all ended with DJ Christian and even more musick that got the oldpunks going. And that was old German stuff, new and old Englisch stuff and the full blown sing-a-long rest. That and even more beer made it a worthwhile evening with lifelong friends – so the best setting to keep loving memories of those gone. And the best: when stumbling down to the tube we caught a train by chance and where home like nothing. Killer evening, killer hangover. Love the setting!

PS: Dress of the evening goes to Toni for the Descendents Christmas Sweater – JEALOUS!