… 25 years! Thanks Hafenklang!

It is indeed a pity: Covid-19 and the rules that need to go with it have blown a big hole into me loveliest clubs intention to throw a summer of love. A summer of events across all the facets of the Hafenklang. So they have taken shelter elsewhere, where due to location (outdoor, namely) a higher amount of people can attend. Great solidarity between the clubs in demanding times.

Less solidarity came from the weather that Friday (pissing galore) and from concert goers: I guess not more than say 75 folks attended and a too large contingent (to my liking) decided to watch from the outside, by the looks largely people who supported the support from Berlin.

That support was named Trainingseineit Katzenkotze (Training Unit Cat Vomit if that works) claim the following:

Eine Band wie ein Dosenbier: harte Schale, spritziger Kern, schal im Abgang. Zwischen Jugendtraum und alltäglichen Kämpfen gegen Kapitalismus, Patriarchat und all die anderen Arschlöcher suchen wir uns die Nischen, aus denen wir unsere Punkrockkracher ins Herz der Bestie abfeuern. 
Wir sind keine echten Punks und keine originalen Queers, wir sind Pseudos und Kopien. Wir nehmen uns nicht ernst, wir nehmen euch nicht ernst, aber es ist uns verdammt ernst. Punkrock at its best!
Trainingseinheit Katzenkotze (Knust, Hamburg, 09.07.2021)

They looked like fallen out of time (or a different space/time continuum) and they sounded even more so: Humpta-Punk that last time plagued my mu-sick-al liking back in the 80s paired with bad cover jobs. I did not take a liking, many around me did not take a liking but some fans from Berlin in the audience did, also the younger ones outside the fence of the Lattenplatz.

Not my thingy at all. If it is yours, enjoy it!

Next on Es War Mord and the sound turned around that harsh that i was looking for Doctor Emmett Brown, as he must have turned the dial on the trusted DeLorrean. California, anytime post 1981 it must have been. Some people claim they take a deep dive into Depro-Punk (a mu-sick-al cupboard i do not understand) i feel completely on the contrary: What they gave was a perfect set of almost sunny California Hardcore with a small scent of flirting guitar on top, just very very short of fully embracing a surf overcast.

And frank, i would love they attempt that stunt, i think their guitar on the left will master that one easily.

Es War Mord (Knust, Hamburg, 09.07.2021)

Boy do they sound good now! To my ears an absolute perfect set in a non-perfect setting. I think i pestered Fab from the Hafenklang twice to pair them with the Adolescents next year. It would be a match from heaven!

Also i would love to see Gregor from Sounds of Subterrania putting out that sound as a next vinyl in the same near perfect packaging as the other records. In short: Currently i am sold on them. Why? Listen for yerself:

Great stuff, though the enjoyment was short (show was supposed to end at 20:00) and was impacted by the piss-poor weather. What also was apparent was that their music would work so much better in a packed Hafenklang, but that’s the one item we won’t get soon – at least nor before we have assurance how that ugly 4th wave now unfolds.

The Hafenklang also took the 25th anniversary opportunity to issue a small Fanzine, looking at both history (below) and some fun facts around what they do, how they are integrated into the community and what you can expect of them (a lot, actually).

Thank you Hafenklang!

I am ready to get my 2022 season ticket, unconstrained.

Just bring it on!

… records for the masses, Razors style!

If these odd times are good for one thing, then it may be providing leasure time for people to record something. Also our hometown heroes, the Razors, had an urge to get something done and documented, i guess both because of the new line up and because the last real Razors vinyl dates back to 2004 (the Cut The Crap Single on Klartext Records).

So in October 2020 the Razors went back to the Studio, recorded 6 songs including two cover songs that for a long time had been live favorites and queued for pressing capacities in the record production plants. And now it’s June 2021 and their New Trash 12″ is out on Hamburgs own La Pochette Surprise Records.

When and how a record release party could be thrown was for some time not clear but once regulation allowed eg. the Knust to throw outdoor shows a date was fixed. And lucky they where, in best summer weather the Razors could say “Hi there” to 220 friends who where both up for the moment and up for another sunny afternoon with good music and friends.

They kicked off early, the kicked off in the blinding sun and in parallel to my Danish friends winning just another game at this rather useless footie event. So there they stood, locking shiny and good and getting blinded by the sun.

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 03.07.2021)

For me it is still an unusual setting, 200+ folks with max. 8 per table in a seated arrangement. But it does lead to more talking, it does lead to more booze. And frank, as with the limited tickets that can be sold, the clubs need to have booze turnover to break even. I guess the Knust eagerly waits for the next Gerd show, as then record booze turnover is guaranteed.

How did it sound? It sounded actually perfect, though it looks strange to see amplifiers turned towards the band rather then the audience. But the Knust invested into a cool setup for the outdoor shows and thus the sound was near perfect (and eventually had to respect Neighbors in the near living quarter).

They had fun, both playing these old songs and throwing in newer ones (and newer ones means that they came eg. after 1982). Whatever, the lot liked it and the lot knew it was a proper lead in for another friendly family meeting.

The family actually spreads wide, some folks took 500 km trips to spend the weekend with the Razors and the lot (and too much booze). Call it family, call it community – i just call many of them long running friends. Would you listen in to discussions about the Boomtown Rats show 1978 in Hamburg anywhere else? Would somewhere else newspaper clips about the Lurkers show in the Sounds (Wandsbek back then) be handed out?

Razors (Knust, Hamburg, 03.07.2021)

It is the Razors at something like a new high, well embedded into that community and being a tight family also up there, on the stage. They have picked up a slightly better sound since they added Stoffel and you can sense that they are fully in it, as much as you can be in a non-professional DIY setting.

I like it and i do like to hear my all time favorite:

Yep, one of the first “sing-a-long raise your fist we are the gang” songs that i absorbed early on from a German band. And German bands where notoriously bad back then in getting such a thing done in style.

It went like a breeze on a warm sunny Saturday afternoon (that it actually was) and it went utterly unpretentious. Yes, there was the equivalent to an encore. Yes, there where T-Shirts sold (plenty). And yes, there where fans that got their records signed (though particular member of the Razors attempted to cross out other members signatures). And there was one fellow who decided to get his body autographed (and subsequently may even got that tattooed).

As you can see – a worthwhile record release party, DIY style.

After that came the 2nd best part, listening DJ Christian with some classic punk singles, criss-crossing the sub-genres and years plus chatting with friends from near and far.

A happy family! (Knust, Hamburg, 03.07.2021)

Happy customers? Nope, happy family. Without a doubt. If eventually that setting is the new normal for the remainder of the summer and into autumn so it be, i am ready for it though i need to reduce the acceptance of booze.

Thanks again to those who made it possible (you know who you are, we love you) and thanks to those who cheered the band. Almost 45 years in and now putting out one of the greatest power pop songs of all times in Razors style – cudos!

And thus it is time that you get this red beauty too my friend, you will not be disappointed!

… the happiest birthday gift of ALL!

I am writing this on a sunny Sunday and i do sport a neat hangover, so the love of my life concluded that it was an even better night than Friday (and accepted a late late breakfast). It was one of these gentle summer evenings where the full power of the Punk Rock Hamburg family feeling was the perfect undercurrent for a perfect show, in a near perfect (as much as the safety rules allowed) setting.

Youth Of Altona had the pleasure to start the evening with their redemption of Greg Sages œuvre. Sure thing indoors, in the dark club, the doom of the Wipers songs would have been a wee bit better placed but that ain’t possible currently.

Youth Of Altona (Knust, Hamburg, 26.06.2021)

YoA where hampered as their drummer was out for the evening and the replacement had only few session to get into the set. They mastered that hurdle well, though you could feel that the audience was up for something different. Something extra. A surprise.

I enjoyed their set, known and lesser known Wipers songs and they really put their heart into it. The longer it went, the better it sounded. Anyway, for some time that will be the norm as real touring bands from abroad, let alone off continent (ie. UK or US of A), will be rare given the rules and regulations.

As such i do hope that the local circuit can flourish a bit more than normal and will get more to do (than just provide a back line for band on a shoestring tour).

Danke Wipers, wie schon Oma Hans sang!

Talking about bands from abroad – here are DeALL!. They came 3/4th all the way from Belgium, picked up their singer on the way and had their first “same room” practice only one day prior to the show. And this show would be their first sold out show. The first show with queues at the entrance.

Actually their first show at all.

It is a typical Corona story: Raf, Koen, Maarten and Manuel meet on the net (damn internet), in a Descendents/ALL! Facebook Group. Locked out from their normal mu-sick-al business they hit off for fun and remotely, trying to master treasured music by Descendents and All.

Fast forward and they have recorded 15 songs remotely and shared the outcome with the community. Never intending to become a real band with real shows they caught the eye of the Punk Rock Hamburg Descendents connoisseurs. Given that the top Descendents devotee of the lot just had a birthday … an idea was formed.

DeALL! – Setlist (Knust, Hamburg, 26.06.2021 (c) gehkacken.de)

And, surprise surprise, it was made real. Thus the 4 guys ended up on the outdoor stage of the Knust, with 20 songs on the rooster – some rehearsed to perfection, some open for improvement. The set list was a perfect mix of old and new, Descendents and All.

How did it sound? Here is an All song, a classic hit if you ask me.

It sounded great. And those in the know quickly realized that these are gifted musicians, all with their own gigs in different mu-sick-al styles. Whilst they were a bit nervous prior to the show because of 220 sold tickets they took all the cheering in and used that to carry themselves on and through the set.

DeALL! (Knust, Hamburg, 26.06.2021)

The total output from Descendents and All must be around an equal number 220 songs, so a song per audience member. From that vast list they took some great choices and I really did dig that they took on Stephen Egertons solo effort “She’s Got Everything“:

Cudos for getting that into the mix.

How did it feel? It gave a warm feeling, a feeling of joint appreciation. For me specifically it was sheer joy to see Maarten on bass with his energy, broad smile and jumping around. As far as i understood this little venture was his idea and he puts it All! in.

DeALL! (Knust, Hamburg, 26.06.2021)

DeALL! also gave a large thank you to that happy birthday girl, here is When I Get Old for Christiane:

By and large doing a cover band is a risky enterprise: You can get all hooked up with perfection, trying to hit every chord, every break, every drum roll as it has been recorded. Or you can take it with charm, a smile and know that eventually you just get the audience to enjoy stuff that you enjoy anyhow. Thats what DeALL! did.

DeALL! (Knust, Hamburg, 26.06.2021)

And thus DeALL! finished their first ever show to much applause, sold all shirts they did for that show and gave the lot … Hope. Hope that the clubs will be able to open, will be able to break even and that musicians, bands, promoters, labels et all will regain their share.

Wow, that was stunning and a perfect setting for the family get together this actually was. I do hope that DeALL! enjoyed that too.

DeALL! – First ever encore done! (Knust, Hamburg, 26.06.2021 (c) gehkacken.de)

It carried on with chatting, booze, more chatting and eventually … more booze. And some nice background tracks by DJ’s Frank and Matthias.

It was a happy family all around us. Splendid!

DeALL! & Happiness (Knust, Hamburg, 26.06.2021)

Big thanks to Dirk (Knust) and Arne/Perry (Punk Rock Hamburg) for pulling this and other shows through (the lot owes you!) and thus giving us back some of the stuff we lost the last whatever months. I do treasure this and I got to know on this lovely evening that other do too.

… trust the Hamburg lot: All 40 DeALL! Shirts got sold at the show!