… sober January ends Fucked Up!

For me this January was a month of rest and contemplation – after a hectic and full on 2018 i decided to pause. For some part willingly (eg. booze) and for some part unwillingly (eg. a man flue aka near death experience had me down so i missed some shows). At the end it was for the good old Fucked Up from snowy Canada to win the „First show of the year“ Medal and lure me away from the fire place.

It was a strange setting, an early start and an unknown support band. It turned out to be Chastity from Whitby, Ontario, and they turned out to be somehow like a 90s revival band. Or, as someone in the audience pointed out, „… they seem to know their Grunge very well„.

Chastity (Molotow, Hamburg, 31.01.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

They were definitely not my mu-sick-al chair, specifically when the vocals had spoken-word/rap style. They though had one song much slower than the others and that turned out to be a real beauty. I think it was this one – so check out yerself:

On the visual side they where quite funny: A shy, geeky guitar with a massive effect board, a hidden drummer, a french style girl on bass and a long haired guy on vocals. The looked a bit battered, so i guess that tour in tow with Fucked Up was demanding for them. But they gave their best and that’s why i gave them some applause.

Next on Fucked Up, the sole reason why the Molotow on a cold and snowy Thursday was sold out (actually it was sold out in advance, as the Hamburg lot ha to wait way too long to have them back). If you where new to Fucked up then yet again the visuals would make you wonder:

There are plenty of amps on stage and that is because they sport 3 (Three!) guitars. And 5 out of the 6 members neither look hardcore nor act hardcore. But paired with Damian on vocals they are a just a perfect visual and audio representation of the term „Wall of Sound“.

Fucked Up (Molotow, Hamburg, 31.01.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

Their cupboard nowadays is labeled „alternative hardcore punk psychedelic punk punk“ and whilst that might be the spread they entertain it is the sheer perfect guitar sound by those three gentlemen on guitar that singles them out: They play in sync but still provide soundscapes that widen the experience into all sorts. Stunning. Just stunning!

The only item odd, as almost ever with the Molotow, was the lights and the sound. Even the guitar player on the far right was at length unhappy with either his sound in his monitor or the others sound back to his monitor. On top there was also some technical defect that made the vocals disappear during one of the songs.

Fucked Up (Molotow, Hamburg, 31.01.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

But hey, that’s real life and that’s not driving for perfection but for honesty, integrity and message. I loved them, me mate around me loved them and all of us greedy record collector scum will most likely never complete their releases: 11 Albums, 54 singles and still counting. Their latest effort is here, check it out:

It started early, it finished early and i stayed away from booze on the last day of January too. And i also accomplished the final stroll home through a nicely snow powdered city. And lucky me, i live a mere 5 minutes uphill from the Molotow – so a very enjoyable day ended with an very enjoyable walk home.

And thanks for the snow Damian!

… it must be a great power pop show when them girls are dancing!

Jeff Burke (of The Marked Men and The Reds fame) is not only relentless when it comes to playing but also song-writing, collaborating and helping other to record their music. He is also relentless when it comes to do things quick end efficient. And thats why i like to watch him setup, tune and play. Forever.

Kick off at the Molotow on a warm evening though was with Hamburgs finest, at least according to a singular acclaim by one of me mates, The Dutts. He claims they are currently the best thing in Hamburg though i would have some doubts. I’d recon they are at least very active currently and make sure they are heard.

The internet (damn internet, never forgets) has them down as:

Equipped with a Sean Wood-like, gloomy, denouncing throat, border-cracking guitar, an unstoppable rolling bass, precise and pulse-strengthening drums, The Dutts are the maximum charge of atropine against the simplicity and clichés of our small universe. 
The Dutts (Molotow, Hamburg,09.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And funnily that is exactly what you get: A sturdy bass, yet again played by a lovely female contingent, a metronome like drum player, pushy guitars and a voice that you either love (some) or hate (few). And hows does it sound? It’s sounds and looks exactly like this:

I like them but i would not necessarily go the extra mile for them (eg. to Bergamo for Punk Rock Raduno – that would require The Windowsills plus The Veterans). But they have some neat edges that make them actually worthwhile plus they definitely have humor. And a local fan base in numbers. I guess i will see them soon again, looking forward.

With a quick changeover it was time for Bad Sports (one of my secret favorites), who initially where quite nervous as they faced a complete empty Moltow. They had to be persuaded that just a little noise would be enough to bring the lot back from the fresh air of the backyard into the main room – and quickly that happened.

Bad Sports (Molotow, Hamburg,09.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

They started off with something that almost did tear my ear – for my liking the guitar had way too much of a metal sound. I am not an expert on these matters but somehow that – at least for me – took some of the groove away. During the set that was corrected and they sounded so much more fitting. And, as a start, they got the first people moving.

And that lead towards Radioactivity, with was Jeff Burke plus Bad Sports with changed strings. And they kicked off, efficient and quick, like this:

And from that moment onward there where a lot of happy people in the now packed Moltow. And specifically there where a lot of happy ladies in the front row, some of the frantically dancing throughout the whole set. A nice change in audience look and feel and stark reminder on what type of mu-sick is being played: (Power) Pop Music like in Popular Music.

Radioactivity (Molotow, Hamburg,09.05.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And as ever, efficient and quick, Jeff did not talk to the audience nor introduced a song but only ever let his music be the message. And that message was well received and got quite some cheers and movement. Just puuuurrrfect as i’d like to say.

Way to early (though with an encore) Radioactivity finished up around midnight and the lot reverted to plundering the merch stall. From the 100 singles in red vinyl done for the tour exclusively some stayed right there with me and me mates.

And as it was a warm May Wednesday evening leading up to a a public holiday next day plenty of people stayed on having some more beers and chatting away. Lovely, that is how it should be: Popular live music and some drinks and chats with friends.


… a late show: The Haermorrhoids and DeeCracks played until the birds sang (for me, at least)!

For me it was the 3rd show in less than 24 hours, so the setting must have been special else me at my age would let go the opportunity. And the setting was special as it was them DeeCracks, Klagenfurt’s finest Ramonescore band. And in tow The Haermorrhoids from Hamburg, who have also turned out as a quite a force.

I would have had preferred both upstairs at the Hafenklang actually, but i had to resort to the cellar under the Molotow and i had to bridge more than an hour with chatting and listening to classics by DJ Starry Eyes. It started to feel late indeed, but i was there and a couple of other folks who made it over from the rather early Gerd show.

The Haermorrhoids had been a surprise to me when they played support for Chixxdigit on the MS Hedi as such i was looking forward to see them and see if they have been able to improve even further.

The Haermorrhoids (Moltow, Hamburg, 24.03.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

And improved they have indeed. The set is even tighter, the chorus is spot on and the three different vocals work quite neat and give a good feel of variation. Their speed is high and they rarely pause or break. If they now get some more own songs in that quality i would hope that someone would actually put a record out.

See yourself how they sounded on that tiny stage down in that dark cellar:

From where i sit a good set and i do hope that they get a chance on a bigger stage, supporting a bigger US band from that fast paced pop-punk genre. Could be fun to see!

Next on DeeCracks, who not only have a new LP with them but also a little gem they and Pirates Press did for Valentines Day 2018: A heart shaped flexi disk at a bargin price of 2€ – that is something so beautiful that i am lost for words…

DeeCracks Valentine Record - a 2€ bargin!
DeeCracks Valentine Record – a 2€ bargin!

And with little setup and just a very short redress them Austrians took the stage and blasted into their set:

And with that all of my tiredness was gone – just perfect fast paced Ramonescore with some unique selling propositions: Matt and his rather harsh voice provide the main vocals, Mike provides a sturdy and exact drumming (and provides the visual fun with all his smiles and faces) and Paul being the introvert (and could not provide the jumping, he would have hit his head given the low ceiling).

DeeCRACKS (Moltow, Hamburg, 24.03.2018) (c) gehkacken.de)

I am sold on them, they mixed old and new material and kept the pace. Those from the Hamburg lot that went to see Descendents in Vienna last year confirmed that it is a pairing that worked perfect, i’d wish they could support the Descendents in July in Hamburg and they could thus expose their beauty on the big stage of the Markthalle. They deserve it, period.

And whilst they finished at the wee of the night i took tally of those who attempted the triple crown: At least one candidate gave in on wear and beer between the two bands and took of home as he felt wasted and did not want to wake up somewhere on the street (but rather on his host sofa). The crown finally went split but i spare you to whom.

I took off on my bike towards home and it was a short and beautiful ride at 03:30 in the morning. En route (it is a 5 minutes distance actually) is a small park and that had the birds already singing. So i stopped there, listend to them and took the last meters with a big smile.

And on Sunday i was fucked but all three shows were worth it! As ever, mu-sick is to be served live, first and foremost. Go there! Enjoy!