… only the 4th birthday?

Only 4 years? For many the Monkeys is like a 2nd home and for many it feels like the club has been around „forever“. True is that it opened doors in February 2015 (with an „inoffical“ show and a fun wrong print on the hardticket) and thus indeed it was time for the 4th birthday.

So congrats Sam & Ralf!

The rooster was diverse (and unpretentious) as the club itself. Kick off was with some bubblegum ramonescore from Westerkappeln (a town with indeed a funny name). Three guys, three Hawaii shirts and three sunglasses – and off it took.

The Hawaiians (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 02.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

What is surprising is that the drummer plays standing but in the back. It looks different and i have to admit that this was a bit the tricky part: If you play drums standing and provide key vocals then you got to be on the spot, in time and in sync. Unfortunately sometimes it did not feel that way but listen for yerself:

That said i did like their bubblegum sound, their stage attire (always important to me) and their short set. At the height of that they actually managed to get some Travoltas-like multi voice choruses going, something that i damn like!

And with a swift makeover of the stage it was time for a world premiere: For quite some time some of the Hamburg lot come together in the Monkeys to sing together. What at first was dubbed as Monkeys Choir now is called Hamburg City Punkrock Singers and is a 20+ folks venture.

Hamburg City Punkrock Singers (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 02.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

At first it felt funny, as in front of the stage it was a wee bit empty and that feeling was odd: Those normally standing next to me to see bands all stood up there on stage! Next to vocals they also had Hauke on a guitar to provide a bit of rhythm and by that means hold the voices together (though sometimes being too loud and too off).

Did it work? I have to admit that it worked only partially but as they are into it very fresh there is ample time and space for improvement. On some songs it went remarkably well, specifically when the song did lend itself to vocalization (and some challenge response singing was added).

On other damn simply the full frontal singing may work eg. in a football stadium but it ain’t in the choir setting on stage. But full credit for their effort and indeed i look forward how that venture evolves as the idea is a great idea!

Next chance to see them is open air on the Jolly Roger stage of the Hafengeburtstag – don’t miss it!

And once the choir had finished it was time for some surprise for Sam and Ralf: Instigated by Arne some of the regulars did collect some funds for the club to allow them to address needs outside the regular investment schedule. With some loud cheers they where handed over (only to be proposed by Ralf to be spend on a pub crawl with all the bar, stage and sound hands of the Monkeys).

A gift from the lot (thanks to Arne) ((c) gehkacken.de 2019)
A gift from the lot (thanks to Arne) ((c) gehkacken.de 2019)

Next on the eagerly awaited lottery – the big prize of a Golden Ticket (with 365 days of free entry to shows) was to be drawn (and the lottery tickets sold provided 525€ for a local charity. After some fun about the minor wins the Golden Ticket found home with a regular – well done!

A Golden Ticket for a lucky regular ( (c) gehkacken.de 2019)
A Golden Ticket for a lucky regular ( (c) gehkacken.de 2019)

In the aftermath of that lottery Sam announced 15 minutes of free beer for everyone and thus lured all of the audience to the bar and into the pub. And whilst everybody rushed to drink Faz Waltz took the stage and started to play – obviously nobody told them to hold back a wee bit until everybody was satisfied with beer.

Faz Waltz (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 02.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

But luckily their stone cold glam rock finally did lure people back to the stage and into dancing. Where Guida top their glam rock with some sugar it is Faz Waltz who deconstruct it more to the bare rocking bone and take it down the harder route.

It is retro for sure but it is delivered very very well. And it does not matter if you are into old punk or into Oi! – they carry all of these roots with them and give it back to you.

Faz Waltz (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 02.03.2019 (c) gehkacken.de)

In the end a lot of dancing came about and a lot of smiling faces enjoyed Faz Waltz. It was not sold out but the Monkeys was well filled (and those filling it took good use of the liquid supplies).

Thanks Monkeys and thanks to all who make the Monkeys happen – may you stay afloat for many many years to come. A great rooster of shows is about to happen for 2019, i’ll sure be there.

… The Briefs are back, so party on Hamburg!

People got quite exited when word came around that The Briefs are back for good and will hit Hamburg during their short Winter 2018 Tour in Europe. Back in the early 2000’s they spat out 5 great long players and endless singles (about 12 if i have my greedy record collector asshole memories right) and where the #1 party machine live. And thus folks where keen to see if that party just continues.

Support was for Spit Pink from sunny Recklinghausen. The last time i saw them was last years „Burn down the Baum“ at the Knust and my verdict was rather harsh. This time round tried to stay in front of the stage throughout their set and did manage that (for most of the time).

Spit Pink (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 11.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

At times their songs have great licks, great chords and ear pleasing songwriting – only to not sustain that throughout the whole song. They are still „too much rock infused punk“ to me though they do nothing wrong per se. It just is slightly off what pleases my single minded mu-sick-al ear.

And with that the well packed Monkeys eagerly awaited The Briefs. Whilst they setup the gear an agitated Briefs fan tried to add a missing song (at least according to his tastes) to the setlist, only to be turned down by the stage hand and the bass player with rude words: „Please don’t do that, that ain’t no good„…

The Briefs - Setlist (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 11.12.2018)
The Briefs – Setlist (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 11.12.2018)

… but it did not stop The Briefs to do a professional stage entry with an instrumental intro and storming into Stuck On You:

Yep, they are back and they still know how to throw a good party. And they had a packed dance floor with a lot of enthusiastic fans singing along. They even got the stage fuse going (or someone put beer into a socket, who knows) and had a temporarily shutdown (including leaving the stage).

The Briefs (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 11.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

The had a rooster of many hits lined up and if not mistaken they played both songs from their brand new 2018 single. And that made everybody thirsty for the 2019 to come record, by the looks that will be just another one to be added to the collection.

Also worth to note the high number of female fans in the front, whilst they kept their sun glasses on it looked like they are not only a boys party band but also something for them girls – which in hindsight anyway is the best setting. Shows with bullying males only out for physical accidents are dead boring and shows where everybody at the front happily dances away are simply the best.

The Briefs (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 11.12.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

And the last song prior to some encores was from the Angry Samoans – Todd Killings made the audience (or better, the card game producing part of the audience) go ape shit:

Spot on that is where them Briefs get the party credibility from: The mix of 1977 punk rock and high speed US punk elements. Rarely a band had that mix that much perfected. As such it is great pleasure that they record again and that they come out and play again. And if not mistaken this was just a trial run across Europe: With the new record in tow they seem to plan an much longer tour in 2019.

Great turnout for a cold Tuesday evening and great fun emitted from the stage. Two birthdays in the audience. A couple of pints. No hangover next day at work. Nice one.

… MOi!n, it’s hangover again: Part 3 of that little gem with some nice surprises!

It was that time of the year again: End of September, end of a lovely summer, and thus time again for mOi!n it’s Hamburg. A little gem in that little gem out in the danish part of Hamburg, two nights full of sing-a-long street punk and dance-a-long ska and reggae.

Day One had the tighter rooster and in hindsight that four band mix worked smarter than the full-on six band assault on Saturday (as Day Two lacked some of the relaxed Ska/Reggae sounds).

Kick-off was with Trench, a secret love of mine since their debut at the Monkeys earlier this year. We are still waiting for their debut EP (now slanted for December release) but in the meanwhile they continue to be a worthwhile enjoyment.

Trench (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

They are tight, hard, well paced and aggressive. All you actually need in that little cupboard labled „Streetpunk“.

The studio outtakes for said EP should actually water yer mouth or make yer ears eager to hear more. I’d love to see them more often in Hamburg, let’s hope that the good people running that great little venture will book them more often for support.

With a swift changeover the style also changed – The Hacklers from sunny Ireland took the stage with everything to put a dance party on: 6 lads inclusive of keyboards and sax. And for sure that’ll be Ska and Reggae and it was provided in the best possible way.

The Hacklers (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Where Trench had some people dancing, The Hacklers now had everyone in front of the stage moving. That’s indeed the distinct advantage of that different cupboard: It lends itself so much easier to both the female and the male contingent enjoying body movements (and you can’t stop yer feet mate, you can’t stop ‚em).

Out on the Streets“ – a real gem of a hit! If you need a bit of party sounds and keep the people dancing – go and score their debut LP, it’s a worthy catch!

Next on the Arch Rivals and they were greeted by the lot with loads of cheers – they had conquered the Monkeys before and they speeded up the the proceedings a wee bit: Their little cupboard is working class Oi! and they command the proceedings both with their sound and through Mike, who mans the ramp.

Their game plan was like this:

Arch Rivals - Setlist (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)
Arch Rivals – Setlist (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Full frontal from the start they scored goal after goal and won over the crowd (that actually did not want anything else than to be won over). And tongue in check they finally gave way to their own sing-a-long ode (to them fucking self).

I bet you i was not the only one who did continue the sing-a-long when strolling home in the we of the night with a bit of slippery feet (due to too much beer). Great, just perfect. All people ever need to get out of their mind!

Arch Rivals (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

And at the end they put a final mark with a sing-a-long on loan from that other band that just played over here and all of the crowd did sing-a-long with loads of energy and loads of enthusiasm.

Arch Rivals? Bring ‚em on, anytime.

On that high it was hard to keep the momentum but Berlin’s one and only Party Machine was the very right choice to finish up the already all sweaty party crowd. After some hickup with the keyboards (a broken cable finally was identified as the culprit and eliminated from the proceedings) there was no stopping to and endless hit party.

Arthur and The Spooners (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 28.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Yet again it was the Monster Sound of Ska that made lame dance again and mute sing again. It most likely made blind hear again but Arthur ain’t no Jesus – he rather wants to be a Saturday Hero:

Bang! Boom! Done. All sweaty the crowd just gave in and danced the night away. It could have been endless but at the end everybody was done: On stage, off stage – just done.

Me myself and I where done too, to much of the black gold made it’s way into the pint and into me humble self. But that is the way it should be and that Friday mix of bands and style was just puuurfect.

Perfect Mix: Beer and live Punk fucking Rock!
Perfect Mix: Beer and live Punk fucking Rock!

Thus that picture had it all: Hamburg – Punk Rock City, with a beer and a stage and some choice live music. It can’t be better mate, it can’t be better.

With a neat hangover it joined the 2nd day, with 6 bands in front of me. Faces in the club slightly changed compared to Friday and some even did join the DJ Tour through the harbor. For me that would have been too much, i am to old for that shit and me body needs a good rest after a hangover.

Very early Ultra Razzia from Montreal had to take the stage, i think half of the club was still empty. As they – at least for me – turned out as a great surprise i was happy that i made it in time.

Ultra Razzia (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Just another cupboard was opened here, Oi! with a deep root in Punk i’d say. For me just perfect French Punk Rock and as ever with a problem of language as i don’t speak a single word of French.

Wow – for me the biggest surprise on both days. Very much to my liking and very much in sync with some of my favorite stuff. Please check them out, they have a neat demo for free!

Whilst Ultra Razzia where a surprise the next cupboard to be opened was a surprise by the sheer label tucked upon it: To me plain hardcore! And it was Concrete Elite from Austin with some self proclaimed Brick Wall Music.

Concrete Elite (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

Very fast, very hard and the singer roaming like a H/C kid. Left, right, left, right and in between growls of anger and hate (as much as i could make out). They sounded like this:

A wee bit left field for this event but as ever there is nothing bad in stretching mu-sick-al boundaries. One thing is for sure though – they will not be voted as crowd favorites, i guess they even where too offensive for some.

What was great though was to see and hear that lead guitar (back there in the white shirt): He did hide away and did little moves but i bet ya he writes all the songs and his great guitar play carries all the songs!

Luckily next on some more mellow sounds, Bromure from Paris with some known faces. Their sound was clearly and deeply rooted in 80s French Punk and the addition of the sax makes it indeed special.

Bromure (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

They had more people in front of the stage and they had people dancing (no wonder vs. the break neck speed of Concrete Elite). I am not to sure with the sound though, to my ears that one did not sound as perfect and something felt lost in the mix (at least for my ears).

I dig them and i dig them specifically because they are different (and somehow are like having been fallen out of time). Class effort!

Where all the changeovers on stage earlier had been rather quick it took Menace a wee bit more time to be ready. That provided at least me and some around me with some frustration and that frustration did grow when they started.

Menace (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

From crowd reaction they seemed to have a top status, both the Oi! faction and the Blackpool Pilgrims had them down as great. I did see them a couple of times in the last 10 years and i have to admit i was never satisfied live.

This time round it was drawn into two directions: Once they where together on stage and sounded ok i realized that they have taken on power and speed and actually sounded very modern and up-to-date. On the other hand i did miss the bare Menace sound of all their early output and thus could not really enjoy the old favorites in the new sound.

But i was pretty much alone with that feel – around me a lot of happy people where singing and dancing and thus Menace did everything right (and i guess for once i was wrong). But that it how it is: For every band you have a sound in your brain and it is difficult to adjust your bearings.

Many people took it as the perfect set, i took it with some reservation though i guess the crowd can’t be wrong.

Next Bad Co. Project, forever with the burden of eg. „…from the ashes of Oxymoron„.  Just like Menace it took them a wee bit to be ready but then they took the audience, with plenty of folks from Berlin, by storm.

BAd Co. Project (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

It’s not that i don’t like them but it is just that their mu-sick just does not resonate with me. Nothing wrong with that, it resonated with many people in the crowd and as such they seemed to have delivered what the crowd waited for (and i think it was the first ever time they graced Hamburg, so the crowd did wait for some time). Bonus: Their bass player, centered on the stage, did seem to smile through all songs and choruses – so it looked like they had fun.

Finally and quite late Gimp Fist and thus the perfect encore for the two days event. Straight on Punk Rock with some scents of early Newtown Neurotics (at least for my ears) and an ever friendly (off and on stage) Jonny Robson.

They have nothing fancy and that makes them so special. They did not even need a long setup, a few twangs and a nodding „that’ll be alright„. Menace were the loud crowd favorites – Gimp Fist were the silent majority i guess. Yet again they bring it all together and match up many sides: Be it the Blackpool Pilgrim, be it the Cock Sparrer Maniac or be it the Football, Skinhead Punk’n’Roll Fan.

Gimp Fist (Monkeys Music Club, Hamburg, 29.09.2018 (c) gehkacken.de)

They hail from the North East, from the lovely county of Durham and as lovely as the area they are themselves. And they sure know about footie:

Perfect closure of the night i’d say. And a lot of happy faces in the audience (and one big fan almost in tears – you know who you are mate!).

Perfect two day, as said with the first day sporting a perfect setting and great variety and the 2nd day a wee bit too long (for me and me hangover). And on the next day i realized that my two days ticket had a magic number that was to help the magical FCSP through the local derby (which i skipped, for many reasons).

1(83)910 - a magic number for free!
1(83)910 – a magic number for free!

Thanks to all bands and fans and deep thanks to the good folks at the Monkeys for making this happen and providing a shelter for this type of Music. Your endeavors are duly noted and at least i keep you in my morning prayers!

Looking forward to mOi!n it’s Hamburg #4 in 2019!